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Estill County KY Mountain bucks

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Dad and I arrived in KY on Thursday. Friday drove and hiked up in to check access and areas on our lease once more. On our lease really just a couple areas made sense to focus on. Rest was too difficult to traverse or winds would've blew all the deer out of the area. Many respectable bucks but I put two on the hit list. I was willing to shoot anything else that showed up bigger than them. Saw several bucks first day. That south face I was hunting was so thick that almost all encounters were bow range despite I had a 30-06 rifle.


First light opening morning (Saturday) I had a monster longbeard pitch down just above me 20 yards away and then hammered away for about 20 mins. Had multiple encounters with spike bucks working by me setup in a climber stand. One within 10 yards. Neither my dad or I saw any doe during daylight the whole trip and none of those bucks were nose to the ground searching for doe. They were all vacuuming up acorns though. Late morning I had a 2.5 or 3.5 yr old 9 pt (possible 10pt I'd you count the sticker) come in at 15 yards. Recognized the buck and wasn't on my hit list so I passed. He looked real big that close and after he disappeared into thick cover to the north I had second thoughts if I did the right thing. He was possibly the #3 biggest known to be on the lease.


Told myself I wouldn't call first day but it felt right. I put out some tinks scent Bombs off to my flanks in case any buck tried to circle and cut my wind so they'd hit them first. While later I sent out a few series of grunts toward the deep ravine I believed deer were holed up in that the tinks was also blowing down into. Not long after I heard steps and saw movement again. Thought it was a spike I previously saw headed into thick cover and then steps fell off like it bedded out of sight. Well the buck came partially into view on and off. First saw tarsals to confirm it was older. Then I saw glimpses of a large rack. He worked to the edge of an opening in the thick stuff and turned toward me. That's when I identified the buck. As one of two on my hit list. He was scanning the woods looking for a hot doe and buck he smelt and heard. Seemed to be nervous like he was going to pull a 180 and disappear back into cover. Took a frontal shot and then followed him in scope the best I could through thick cover. After several seconds it occurred to me he was rolling down the ravine not running. I could see his white belly rolling and heard him let out a quick distressed grunt each time his belly turned up. He must have hit a flat spot or got hung up on something as he stopped and started to rise on his front feet so I sent another shot behind his should through a small opening. Sent him into a flop again but fell out of sight. Drag sucked getting him back up to and over the point I shot him at. It was pretty much down hill from there just making sure he didn't slip or roll over top of me. Lol great respectable tall 9pt.


dad's was uneventful with a bang flop and came in on a usual pattern. A nice 10 pointer though.20211113_165112.jpg20211113_160827.jpg


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Beautiful bucks!! Nice you could share the hunt with your Dad!
He's more a casual hunter as he gets older. I was even going to bring my bow and hit up Ohio big woods public land, but he pumped the brakes and wasn't willing to tag along or make a detour home. He's the person that got me into hunting though at a young age and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Was this the first year huting this lease? Both are awesome Bucks and what a great experience for both you and your dad.

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Yes. first year hunting it. It's been switching owners in recent years years.

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