Jeff Humphrey's Ground Blind Kentucky Giant
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||September 24, 2022|
|Place:||Franklin County, Kentucky|
|Weapon:||Barnett Wildcat C5 Crossbow|
Jeff Humphrey had a big buck in his sights of his crossbow last year. When he squeezed the trigger, though, the bow malfunctioned and sent the bolt harmlessly over the buck's back. The miss stuck with Humphrey all season ... and for the rest of the year.
This year, Humphrey was hoping to have better luck. He decided to hunt the same farm a bit earlier than he had last year. On Monday, September 19, he put out a camera, and then popped up a Rhino 180 Ground Blind in Realtree EDGE. This was the first time I'd used the 180. I was amazed at how clearly I could see out of it and how well it blended into the existing cover, Humphrey said.
The deer must have been impressed as well. Just two days later, he had photos of two shooter bucks, nice 8- and 10-pointers respectively. But that wasn't all. The two big deer stood in front of the camera until another deer entered the frame, causing the 8 and the 10 to make a hasty retreat. The new buck was massive, bigger than anything Humphrey had ever seen. And it was on camera every day after that.
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I watched him each evening and I got really excited. It was all getting pretty real that I was going to be hunting the buck of a lifetime, Humphrey said.
On Friday, Humphrey took off work early with plans to be in the blind. Unfortunately, a late afternoon wind shift made the blind unhuntable that evening. Humphrey decided to stay away to keep from blowing what might be his only chance at the buck. Instead, he spent the afternoon shooting his crossbow to get it completely dialed in.
On Saturday evening, the wind was favorable for a hunt. Humphrey decided to head to the blind. His buddy, Brian Gibson, wanted to hunt with him. After checking with the landowner to make sure it was okay to bring his friend, Humphrey and Gibson headed afield.
By 5:30, does started to filter by. Humphrey had the front window open enough for a shot if the buck came from the same direction he had in trail camera photos. The hunters could either see or hear deer around them the rest of the evening.
Soon, Gibson elbowed Humphrey to let him know he could hear another deer coming in from an unexpected direction. Humphrey could see the deer's body and knew it was a big buck, but wasn't sure it was the deer he was after. But after a few minutes the buck stepped out and shook his head — and there was no doubt about which one it was.
The buck was on edge, but the other deer in the area soon calmed his nerves. The deer came in to 40 yards, but cover prevented a shot. For 10 to 15 minutes, the buck stood broadside and in range, but never offered a shot.
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I was pretty shook up by that point, Humphrey said.
Finally, the big buck took another step and offered up a clear shot. Gibson reached up and lowered his side of the window to clear the shot for Humphrey. Two does came by and the buck started their direction. At 30 yards, he stopped.
Humphrey leveled the red dot scope on the buck's vitals and squeezed the trigger.
The shot was perfect. The buck leapt upward and tangled his rack in the overhead thick cover. He finally got loose and bolted up the trail. The time spent tangled in the thick cover slowed him down just enough that he fell within 55 yards.
Humphrey's buck had a 5x5 main frame with a total of 21 scorable points. An official scorer taped him at 201 4/8 inches, green gross score.
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