December 27, 2022
Kentucky bowhunter Josh Harlow has been hunting for a long time, but for the past three years, he’s been watching a huge typical that summered at his hunting spot. Unfortunately, the buck always left before the season opened.
This year, the deer followed its typical pattern. Harlow’s last photo was on Aug. 23, 2022. Then, incredibly, when he checked his camera again, the deer returned the morning of September 7th.
With temperatures in the low 80s, the conditions weren’t ideal. Still, he wasn’t missing this opportunity to hunt the deer. He immediately went in and settled in for an afternoon sit.
His stand location was in some thick cover on the edge of a 500-acre stand of hardwoods. With cedars and hardwoods around him, and a hay field off to the side, the stage was set for a great hunt. Since the buck was there earlier in the day, he had hopes it might return.
After a while, several does and fawns walked into view. Then, two yearling bucks did the same. Around 6:00 p.m., the huge whitetail stepped out 60 yards away, and it walked straight to the mineral lick. It stopped at 18 yards but didn’t offer Josh a clear shot.
About 15 minutes passed by. Then, the two smaller bucks caused the buck to shift, exposing his vitals. “He stepped forward with his front leg, opening up his vitals, so I drew back, released the arrow and smoked him,” Josh says. “I knew when it hit him that he was dead. He ran 30 yards before disappearing.”
Harlow waited about an hour and then climbed down. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the arrow or blood. He considered backing out, but he was confident the deer was down. So, he went a few more yards, and there he was. The buck was dead. It only ran about 60 yards.
“For three years, I had never had a hard-horned picture of him,” Josh recalls. “He arrived in May with two other shooters, and they left every year in mid-August. They did this year as well, but for some reason he came back.
“To me, deer hunting is a way of life,” he continues. “I’ve done it for 31 years. It’s my escape — sitting in the quiet woods enjoying God’s creation and watching the wildlife in their habitat. There’s just nothing like that. I am very thankful and blessed to be able to hunt as much as I have.”
Josh’s Kentucky typical is a true trophy. The giant scores 196.