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A Tale of Two Deer Hunters

September 6, 2011 by  
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Ed Waite scores big bucks for Buckmasters. He also does some writing and has provided us with two awesome kid hunts. Congratulations to Alexis and Jeremy!

Hey, if you have taken a kid hunting recently or plan to this fall, please share the excitement, submit your story to!

A Tale of Two Deer Hunters

Ohio and Indiana share a common bond among deer hunters.  We are into some of the very best deer hunting ever experienced in the modern era.  The whitetail population has exploded in both states.  With the explosion has come the opportunity to increase our time afield with a multitude of hunting seasons for both young and old alike.

We have special youth only hunts, archery seasons that go on almost forever, muzzleloader seasons, and of course gun season.  Ohio allows anyone that chooses, to hunt with a crossbow, this hunting method suited Alexis Kemp to a “T” as the young girl took a fancy to hunting with her father Dennis.  The Kemps live in Warren County near Blanchester and that is a plus for Alexis who has been hunting for 3 years.  Warren County has produced some terrific trophy deer and we all know that you have to be where the big deer are, if you want to harvest one.

During the 2008 season, Alexis and her father found themselves seated in a double tree stand the morning after Thanksgiving.  The previous day had been very busy in the Kemp household and bedtime came late for Alexis and her sisters, so when dad came to roust her out for the morning hunt, Alexis was a bit reluctant to start moving.  After several attempts by dad, she finally got moving and soon they were headed to the tree stand behind their home.

Alexis soon snuggled up to her dad and drifted off to sleep while they waited for the coming dawn.  Soon Dennis had to wake Alexis as he started seeing deer moving in the woods across the field.  Several does moved in and out of the woods and then suddenly another doe emerged with a huge buck just behind her.  They had seen this buck a couple of times during the past month, but there was never a chance for a shot.  This time looked like a repeat as the doe and her suitor stayed in the center of the field or close to the timber line on the far side.  The pair moved around the field for more than twenty minutes, with the buck laying down several times in the process.

After a very long time, the doe suddenly made a beeline for the treeline on Alexis’ side of the field.  The buck was in hot pursuit.  The doe pulled up just inside the treeline and began browsing on greenbriers, while the buck moved in behind some trees and then stayed put as he watched the doe.  They were just 50 yards away now.

Eventually the buck came out of hiding and started walking towards the anxious pair of hunters.  At 20 yards the buck turned slightly away, offering a quartering shot.  Alexis raised her Horton crossbow and squeezed the trigger.  The bolt was right on target, and both father and daughter saw the hit right at the shoulder.  The buck abruptly turned and ran flat out back into the tree/brush line, disappearing from view.

After several anxious moments the pair climbed down and began the search which was soon ended when Dennis came upon the downed buck inside the thick brush.  He summoned Alexis and the two shared a reverential moment together.  Then the celebration began as they called family and friends to come see her magnificent trophy. Alexis’ buck carries 12 points on a typical 10 point frame.  The Buckmaster’s total score is 195 1/8 inches including 17 7/8 inch inside spread.


Just across the border into Indiana, another young hunter has a great story to share also.  He is Jeremy Eaton of Ripley County.  The fourteen year old has been hunting for several years and is somewhat of a fanatic.  Life has been rough on this farm country boy the past year as he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma back in May.  The illness has taken Jeremy out of school for the time being while he makes twice weekly trips to Cincinnati for his chemotherapy treatments.  His doctors feel he should not be in the classroom environment where colds and viruses abound.  With his immune system being attacked by the chemicals of Chemo,  he is much more subject to other illnesses and infections.

Home alone, (not really) but with home schooling to help keep him up with school work, the former athlete needed an outlet.  He has bow hunted the family farm for several years, and now his hunting hours were expanded exponentially.  He could go out in the morning for a few hours, return to the house for schooling and lunch, then back into the woods for the evening hunt.

On a cool October morning, Jeremy was in his stand when he saw three deer emerge from a cedar thicket into the open wooded area he was watching.  Two does and one buck, one very large buck, as Jeremy saw it through his binoculars,  “They were too far away for any shot but I started getting ready just in case they came my way.  I got my bow unhooked and was getting anxious, when suddenly all three deer tore off back into the thicket after being spooked.  I was crazy when I saw my grandmother walking through the woods.  She was getting firewood for her fireplace.”

Jeremy was very frustrated, so he climbed from the stand and headed for the house.  He vented his anger to his father, but eventually calmed down under his father’s admonishment.  Still, Jeremy didn’t go back into the woods that day.  This was by far the biggest buck Jeremy had ever seen in his young life, but he had a hard time getting it across to his dad that this was not just an ‘ordinary buck‘.  This was truly a giant among whitetails.

Over the next few weeks, Jeremy moved his trail camera several times in an attempt to get this monster on film, but with no success.  Eventually Jeremy felt he had the buck patterned however, even though he never saw it again.  He moved his stand to a trail that showed a recent increase in traffic and some fresh new rubs.

The first day of gun season was going to be his day. Unfortunately however nature thought otherwise as there was heavy rain and it was much too cold for Jeremy to be out.  November 16th would have to be his first best shot.  “My legs and knees were a bit weak from my treatments, so my dad went with me to make sure I could get into my stand ok. After I was seated and secure, he went back towards the house, then on to his stand for the morning hunt. About 7:30, I saw two does come out of the cedars, followed closely by the big buck.  They were about 150 yards away.  For several minutes they slowly came towards me, then they turned and went into another cedar thicket,” explained Jeremy.

“After many minutes of dead still, I suddenly heard crashing and thrashing coming  from the cedars, and here came the buck all by itself.  It was moving pretty fast from the left to the right.  I raised my 20 gauge Remington, took aim and fired at the running deer.  I emptied the gun in a matter of seconds, hitting the deer all three times, but the last time dropped it in its tracks, a spine shot.  I grabbed my cell phone and called dad to tell him I killed the big buck and he should get over here,” related Jeremy.

While waiting for his father, Jeremy called several other friends to come help, knowing he would not be able to help with the hard work of getting the deer out.  And what about this tremendous trophy, well Jeremy’s buck sports 24 scoreable points.  13 on the right and 11 on the left.  The buck is very irregular, but also very symmetrical at the same time.  There are only 2 points on the right side that do not have matches on the left.  While each beam has a pair of non typical stickers extending toward the back.  One sticker on each side has two points and the other has three.  It is very hard to explain, so I hope the photos help show the complexity of the rack and the stickers.  Even the photos are confusing. Jeremy’s buck has a Buckmaster’s gross score of 238 inches.  And he was right, this is not an ‘ordinary buck!’

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