No Crying in Deer Hunting – My 2017 Buck

Friday, December 8th was a high of 40 degrees, cloudy with a slow North West wind. It was the first real cold front we had since the start of winter so I got in the woods extra early. Deer movement started around 3:15, one after the other crossed the creek for what felt like a good hour and a half.

I knew if I had the opportunity to shoot a decent buck it was going to be hard with so many eyes everywhere, especially since I was sitting on the ground in a fallen down tree. I wasn’t sitting in a comfortable position, my shotgun (H&R 20 gauge) was across my lap and my shooting stick was beside me. I became overwhelmed trying to think of ways to slowly prepare myself to shoot if need be.

A little after prime time rolled around everything I had been watching all afternoon got spooked. I saw nothing but raised white tails flying through the woods everywhere. I automatically assumed I got winded and was honestly surprised with so many deer from every which way it didn’t happen sooner. I finally was able to get in a better position for the last 15 minutes left of shooting light.

I had two does moving quickly back towards me so my mind was at ease again. I said a quick thank you prayer and not a minute later I saw nothing but sky-high antlers coming my way. You could tell he was tired, he was breathing heavy and moving slow. He stayed about 60 yards behind a tree and all I could see was his left front shoulder and head. I pulled my gun up and my face mask fogged my scope, I was FREAKING OUTTTTT. One step back and I wouldn’t have had a chance, I wiped my scope the best I could while trying not to breathe.

I FINALLY pulled the trigger at 5:02pm and he walked back towards the creek like nothing even happened. I instantly called my mom to tell her that I just missed a huge buck and she responded saying “awe its okay maybe next time”……. If you’re a hunter you know how I felt with that response.

angry look whos talking now GIF

I called my neighbor Jamie who had to listen to my mental breakdown while telling him what happened. I thought for sure I completely missed, I was beating myself up about the whole situation. I went to look for blood and gave up after 15 yards from where he was shot. I walked back to my truck to get my thoughts together and waited for another friend Joicy who was hunting close by to get out of the woods so we could look together. I tried to get myself normal before he saw me but as soon as he asked questions acting “tough” went right out of the truck window. He laughed… a lot.

We continued to look for my buck and a foot past where I stopped tracking the first time there was blood and tons of it. My buck went 30 yards from the tree he was shot at. It was the most dramatic moment of my life, I fell to the ground screaming with joy, crying happy tears this time and looked like an absolute nut job. I apologized to Joicy for having to witness such a horrific Kenna moment but I could not believe I just shot the biggest buck of my life.

I took my buck back to the wildlife office to check him in and had all of my favorite people waiting for me including my parents. It took a few hours for it to truly sink in but once it did I didn’t sleep for days. It will be the most memorable hunt for a very long time. I still think about it often and how incredible it feels to be successful at something you’ve put a lot of time into.

I have the best group of people to look up to when it comes to hunting and I am forever grateful for what they have taught me , continue to teach me and for always helping me when I need it. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!



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