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Where's Waldo? Girl Fooled Big, Elusive Buck in Kentucky

Katie Beaty and her husband had been hunting a buck they called “Waldo” for the entire 2023 hunting season. Ultimately, Katie got her shot opportunity at the Kentucky buck on Nov. 7.

Where's Waldo? Girl Fooled Big, Elusive Buck in Kentucky

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Since they’re natives of Logan County, Kentucky, Katie Beaty and her husband, Daniel, are very familiar with the area’s deer herd. Going into the summer of 2023, the couple was able to close on one of the properties they knew would produce trophy deer. Although it wasn’t a large tract, it was set up perfectly for deer hunting.

After closing, they started hanging trail cameras over the already established food plots. On June 27, a buck they would call Waldo made his first appearance. Little did Katie and Daniel know, this would be the first and only picture they would get of Waldo until Aug. 31.

Going into October, Katie and Daniel had high hopes that Waldo would become more consistent since their property was full of oak trees dropping acorns. By the last week of October, Waldo was starting to show his face more, giving Katie confidence that she was going to have an opportunity at Waldo. During the days leading into November, Waldo began showing up every night.

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On the evening of Nov. 7, Katie watched as all the deer in her food plot spooked. Just 20 minutes later, this incredible buck emerged, giving her a 20-yard shot. Photo courtesy of Katie Beaty

On Nov. 6, Katie finally got her first daylight photo of Waldo, and he was locked down with a doe. Hoping the doe would keep him around, Katie decided to hunt consistently for the next few days. Katie woke up at 3:45 a.m. on Nov. 7 and began preparing for an all-day sit. She packed snacks, drinks and everything else she needed for the day. The morning hunt was slow, so Katie decided to slip out of the blind for lunch. Katie settled back into the stand around 1:45 p.m., and it didn’t take long for deer movement to increase. There were several young bucks coming in and out of the food plot checking does. As the sun began to set over the trees, the field emptied abruptly.

Just 20 minutes later, Katie caught movement to her left at 18 yards. She recognized the buck was Waldo as he headed to work a scrape on the tree line. Katie slowly lowered the window on the blind and used it to steady her crossbow. After an intense staring contest, Waldo offered Katie a broadside shot at just 20 yards.

Waldo took off after the shot and stopped 45 yards to Katie’s right. Not knowing where the arrow hit, Katie’s heart sank as she watched him run into the woods. Concerned about the shot, Katie decided to back out and give the buck several hours. After the long wait, Katie and her husband took up the trail.

With little to no blood at the site of the shot, Katie began heading in the direction Waldo ran. And just 20 yards into the woods she located blood. “Once it started, it didn’t stop,” Katie recalls.

Katie walked the easy-to-follow blood trail for just 80 yards before her flashlight reflected off Waldo’s rack. Katie says that her prayers were answered when she located the Kentucky giant. Waldo’s rack scores 176 6/8.

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Katie Beaty and her husband, Daniel, watched this buck they called “Waldo” from June 2023 until Katie killed the deer in November. The Kentucky buck scores 176 6/8. Photo courtesy of Katie Beaty



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