Hoyt Trophy Photos | Kelly Ison

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Kelly Ison, KY

Bow Used: 2008 Hoyt AlphaMax 32

What an unbelievable afternoon in Kentucky. I was taking it easy today, no hunting and just relaxing at home. I had just woken up from an afternoon nap around 2PM. I walked in towards my kitchen and a flash of white caught my eyes out behind the house. It was a buck, which surprised me since I haven’t seen a buck on the farm in daylight in over a month. As I watched him walk in the back woods, I thought to myself he was nice and how I wished I had been in a tree instead of piled up on the couch. Anyhow, I watched him slowly picking bushes and walking towards my front woods. I decided this may be my only opportunity left this year to fill my Kentucky tag and I’d have to pull a miracle off, but what the heck. I ran into the bedroom, causing a shock to my wife and kids, as I exclaimed big buck, I’m going after him. They looked at the window and watched him as I quickly grabbed a camo jacket, blaze orange vest (MZL weekend this weekend) and my muck boots. I ran back into the great room and picked up my new hoyt alpha max and slipped the boot on as I moved towards the front door. I knew that the deer had been moving into the front woodlot then out the back of that lot to bed. So, I decided if I could get around him without being noticed, I might be able to sneak and cut him off. Just for the record, I still had on my gray sweat pants and no socks. I moved down the driveway and noticed him over in the far front of the front woods. I quickly sprinted to the back of the woodlot. The grass is tall in the lot, so I kept low as to not be seen. I climbed up in a 12 foot ladder stand and waited. Again, thinking this is never going to work. I saw the buck about 200 yards away picking and looking around then he disappeared. I waited 20 minutes or so and no movement still. I thought he bedded, so I quickly used my rangefinder to scan the tall grass for a glimpse of rack. There he was, 200 yards bedded downwind and his back to me. Now, I’ve never made a successful stalk on any animal, but if there was ever an opportunity this was it. I climbed down, slipped off my boots, barefooted and made my move. I slow crept step by step, the ground was damp and the birds were chirping, so I thought this is too perfect. I made it to within 60 yards ranged a nearby tree to the deer and nocked an arrow. My heart was racing. There was this big rack just sitting there in the weeds. I took a breath and step by step closed the distance. I last ranged his rack at 24 yards. He rose up and I knelt down almost in disbelief that I could actually be this close to such a buck. He again lowered his head un-alerted to my presence. I took a deep breath, drew and began the final few steps to make sure I could make out his vitals. I got to within 15 yards, saw my opening and a creased leg and let my arrow go. Thwack. He jumped up and I could see the arrow placed perfectly behind his leg. He made it 20 yards and piled up. Holy crap, I couldn’t believe what just happened. I literally ran like a kid to the house. Busted inside to my waiting family and shouted he’s down. Everyone cheered…it was a great moment. I gave him 45 minutes, changed clothes thank God, and went back out after him and there he lay. A gorgeous Kentucky 11 pointer, probably close to 148-150 inches that I took barefooted at 15 yards on the ground. I just had to share….I’m still laughing inside. Simply unbelievable. And I know..I’m extremely lucky and proud of it. Enjoy.

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