Down on the Farm
Published in RACK Magazine August 2007 as
“Four Hundred Yard Dash”
The Kenny Pickard Bucks
by Edson Waite
  “In 2004 I had been on the lookout for a non typical b uck that I had caught with my trail camera. It was a 180 class buck in full velvet the first time I saw a picture of it, that came in July. Saturday, October first, was opening day of the Ohio archery season. That evening I was in my tree stand when it came out of a very thick bedding area and approached my tree stand without a care.  It looked like it was going to come right to my stand, but suddenly stopped and began looking over it’s back towards the bedding area.

After a few seconds, it turned to move off in another direction, I quickly came to full draw and released an arrow at about 35 yards. It wasn’t as good a shot as I had hoped, but I was sure I got at least one lung,” Kenny stated as he retold the story.

“The big buck ran off and I didn’t pursue it since it was getting dark and I wasn’t all that sure if it had been a fatal shot,” Kenny stated. The next morning he and two friends headed out to look for the buck and after a short time one of the fellows, Chad Custis, spotted the buck lying up along a creek and under the overhanging bank. It still appeared to be very much alive. Chad directed Kenny to circle around to where he would be able to make another shot and hopefully close the deal. After the shot, the buck still managed to run another 80 yards before piling up. “When it took off running, my brother-in-law, Mark Purtee, who is ex military and very athletic, took off following it at a full run and was able to see the buck when it finally fell dead.

  It was a beautiful non-typical that scored 168 3/8 BTR in the irregular category, it has a composite score of 189 4/8 inches.

That’s how hunting goes ‘Down on the farm’ as it were, everybody helps when needed to get the job done. Kenny Pickard is the son of a hard working farmer in Clinton County in Southwest Ohio. Kenny had tried his hand at farming but couldn’t make enough to support his growing family so he took to schooling, became an aircraft mechanic and now works for the air freight carrier DHL at their hub in Wilmington, Ohio. Working second and third shift allows plenty of time in the woods for deer hunting, and he still helps dad with the farming as much as he can.

(See the first score sheet below for details)
  Now skip ahead two years and Kenny is on the trail of another, even bigger typical buck that he has photographed with his Stealth Trail Cam. “I had 8 pictures of him starting in August when he was in full velvet. The other 7 photos all came in October so I knew he was staying close. I had been real quiet about this buck, I didn’t want anyone else looking for it, so I didn’t even tell Chad about it. I worried that if word got out, someone may try to poach it. Then one day after the bow season had opened, Chad’s wife Nickie saw the deer and of course she told him about the ‘monster’ she had seen. Chad came to me and made me fess up that I knew about the big buck and so the photos came out,” Kenny chuckled. “Chad and I have been buddies since childhood, growing up on adjacent farms, he just couldn’t believe I had kept it a secret so long.”
  “I hunted that deer hard all through early bow season but I never could get him to come in close. One evening he came out of the bedding area with a 9 point buck and they walked toward the nearby beanfield. They were about 75 yards out, so I tried rattling. The nine point came right to the bottom of my stand, but the 10 pointer stood his ground, after all, he was the biggest deer in the woods and he didn’t have to prove it.”

  As gun season approached, Kenny and the big buck never seemed to be in the right place when encounters occurred, so he never got to take a shot. The first day of gun season was uneventful for Kenny, and although he heard shooting, nothing was close and nothing he cared to shoot came by his stand. Tuesday morning Kenny was up 25 feet in a rather rickety tree stand built in his younger days. He was armed with a Remington 700 in-line muzzleloader in .50 cal with a good scope. “I was in the tree well before daylight, the wind was light and out of the southwest, perfect for this stand which was located in a lightly wooded section between two very thick bedding areas. Just after daylight, four deer entered the bean field from the bedding area to the west where I suspected the big buck was holed up. As the deer came towards me, I recognized the big buck, a six point and a four point, all following a hot doe. The three bucks were holding back and farther out in the field, still out of range,” Kenny stated. “The big one was far more interested in keeping the two smaller bucks from stealing the doe than anything else. He tended to keep them moving away from her.”
  Kenny knew that with the direction of the wind, it would be only a matter of minutes before the doe would be downwind, she would scent him and the hunt would be over. “I got out of the tree as fast I could, then half crouched, ran due south away from the doe and to the edge of another field. I had more than a hundred yards of thick woods between me and the deer now, so I could make good time.
  I followed the fence line to the east corner, then north along the slight depression of a water way to the upper corner of the woods. It was about a 400 yard run, but I made good time. It appeared they were all headed towards a cut cornfield to the east of the water way. I was way ahead of them and as they approached, I prepared my ambush. It had been more than thirty minutes since they came into the field. I was still puffing from the run, but I was in a very good position, in cover and ready.”
 It appeared they were all headed towards a cut cornfield to the east of the water way. I was way ahead of them and as they approached, I prepared my ambush. It had been more than thirty minutes since they came into the field. I was still puffing from the run, but I was in a very good position, in cover and ready. By now, the doe was 40 yards in front of the three trailing bucks and within 25 yards of the anxious hunter. I raised the rifle and as soon as I had him centered in the scope, I applied pressure on
the trigger until it fired. I quickly stepped around the smoke cloud to see the buck running away to the north. He was carrying one leg high so I knew it was a hit, but I started reloading as fast as I could so I might get off another shot if needed,” Kenny said excitedly. “I watched him run a half circle out to perhaps 150 yards and then turning back towards me. As it was going up the rising slope of the cornfield, it slowed down and just collapsed on the ground. After I got reloaded, I turned and was surprised to see the doe was still standing just 25 yards away. The six point was nowhere to be seen but the four point was still more interested in the doe than he was in me.”

  After he reached the buck, he looked it over pretty well and was positive it was “the” big boy, then he reached for his cell phone and called Chad at work, something he never does. Chad, seeing who the call was from, answered with, “You got him didn’t you?” Of course the answer was yes. The two friends chatted for a few minutes then Kenny had to call his dad to share the news. Dad wanted to know how big it was and Kenny said, “Just come out here and see for yourself. Oh, and bring the Gator.
Dad and mom soon arrived on the John Deere Gator. Plenty of photos were posed and taken and then they loaded up the trophy and headed back to the farm house. Eventually it was transferred to Kenny’s pickup for the drive to the check station. At the check station, of course, everyone was awed by the size of the rack that rose above the bed of the full size truck, and soon a crowd gathered. About that time he met a fellow who is a firm believer in the BTR system and that man, David Louvin then called me, (the author) to inform me that I needed to put a tape on this fellow’s deer.
  That deed was done on December 22. The deer officially sports 12 points on a solid ten point frame. The two stickers are 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 inches. The deer measures 175 7/8 inches with an inside spread of 21 5/8 for a composite score of 197 4/8 inches with 1.4% irregular inches of antler which puts it in the typical category making him #5 for Muzzleloader harvested deer.

(For details about the rack, see the second score sheet below)