A midday trail cam photo leads to a big buck payoff the next day
|Rack Report Details
|Time of Year:
|November 7, 2023
|Logan County, KY
Most deer hunters dream of owning their own hunting property and taking a giant buck on it. Katie Beaty and her husband Daniel had that very thing in mind when they closed on a south-central Kentucky farm this summer.
“The very first thing we did was hang trail cameras. The property was mostly wooded… there was already a food plot, so we started there. Then we put in some mineral licks, hung some stands, and eventually built an elevated shooting house,” Katie said.
When Katie Beaty and her husband Daniel purchased their property, the first thing they did was place trail cameras to take stock of bucks in the area.
The trail cameras immediately started to show some nice bucks, including one giant that had both Katie and Daniel’s immediate attention. Then the big buck mostly disappeared. He showed only a few times in August, then was almost totally missing in action for September. Katie started to worry that their property was only a summer hang out for the buck, not a place where he would regularly spend time once the season came in.
In October, the buck continued to be scarce, only showing on camera a few times and always at night. Katie suspected he was staying on neighboring farms that had standing beans and corn. Katie hunted several days, both morning and evening, in hopes that the big buck would show. Then, on November 6, Katie got the photo she was waiting for. The big buck was on camera at midday, following a doe. He came back by the camera a couple hours later.
The big buck was a regular at first, but soon moved to another property and rarely showed on the Beaty’s trail cams.
Katie, an assistant girls basketball coach at the local high school, had practice scheduled that evening and couldn’t hunt. She was in the nearby box blind bright and early the next morning in hopes that the big buck was still in the area. The morning passed with several deer sightings, but not the buck she was after.
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Katie had to leave late morning for another basketball practice, but was back in the blind early that afternoon. Again, lots of deer came by, but there was no sign of the big buck. As darkness approached, Katie resigned herself that the buck probably wouldn’t show that evening and began to close up the blind and prepare to head home.
After a rare daylight photo, Katie knew she needed to be in the stand.
With just a few minutes of shooting light to go, Katie glanced out the blind window to see a deer step out of cover just 15 yards from the blind. Her breath caught as she realized it was the big buck. She quickly reached up to carefully lower the window she had just closed. Katie raised her Ravin crossbow and began to take aim. The buck looked straight at her. The two locked eyes. “It was probably only 10 seconds, but it felt like forever,” Katie said.
The buck finally decided that things were safe and put his head down. At less than 20 yards, the elevated box blind meant the shot was at a pretty steep angle. Katie leaned out the window and centered the crosshairs on the buck’s shoulder. She took the shot. The big buck made a small mule kick and ran 40 yards, then stopped and looked around. “I really started to worry that I had missed him at that point,” Katie added.
Beaty was just about to pack up her gear when the buck stepped out with just minutes of shooting light remaining.
The buck stood for several seconds, then bolted into the woods. Katie thought she might have heard him crash, then things got quiet. She climbed down and located her crossbow bolt. There wasn’t a lot of blood on it and her concern grew.
The giant buck featured a 6x6 frame and long tine length.
Katie backed out. With Daniel out of town for work, she called her dad, brother, and a good friend to come help her look and hopefully recover the buck. After two hours, they took up the track. The shot had been good. The buck had only gone a short distance.
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The giant Kentucky buck featured a 6x6 main with several kickers and extremely tall tines. Katie says the final score is going to be around the mid-170s, Katie’s biggest buck to date and the biggest to come from their new farm.