Hunter: Chris Kevern
Points: 14 (6L, 8R)
Benny was first named 2 years ago and has been hunted by several local citizens of Washington County. He was known to migrate to several pieces of property within a 2-mile radius. He was known for being caught on camera but always eluded the hunter. When he was seen, he was always seen at a distant further than bow range and with several other bucks. He had become somewhat of an urban ghost. For 2016, he was spotted on trail cams consistently 3 weeks before bow season, daylight and night with a bachelor group of bucks. Once bow season started, he seemed to be more consistent this year than he has in the past. As an estimated 5 1/2-year-old buck, consistent daytime activity was a good & exciting sign. Opening day, I was hunting in a ground blind. Benny and I had a stare down at 6pm at 45 yards. He just stood there, as he knew I was inside that tent. He just then made a subtle turn and disappeared. A few minutes later, several deer begin to funnel in to the food source and Benny came back right at dark (at 18 yards). He was just passed legal shooting light. After many more hunts and a few small encounters, on Thursday October 13, 2016, we had received word that Benny had almost been killed by a vehicle – twice on the same day. Worried that he would be injured in such a manner, I decided to set up a hunt for the evening. The wind was perfect. I had set out cover scent and utilized an Ozonics ventilator. For several hours, there was no activity. At 6 pm, a few does funneled in. The wind started to swirl and a few got startled. At 6:30, a few does ran off. I just knew my hunt was over. The yearlings stayed and continued to feed. When I turned to view my blind spot, I was shocked to see Benny standing there at 20 yards behind a bush. My blood pressure shot up! He began to move closer to me. The yearlings moved out of his way and Benny was quartering to me at 12 yards. He seemed to be looking right through my window. For 2 or 3 minutes, he fed and never turned broadside, allowing a clear shot. All of sudden something spooked the yearlings and they fled. When they did, Benny took a small turn around quartering away. I had to make a quick and rushed shot before he ran. Shooting slighlty back and driving all the way in the front shoulder, the green Luminock flew through the air. As I worried about my shot, he crashed through the bushes leaving a great blood trail. We gave him an hour to settle. A good friend of mine, London Young, helped me track him with the help of his dog, Odie. We were able to locate Benny in no time. It was a bittersweet moment – the thrill of taking Benny down but the sadness of the close of Benny’s story.