October 24, 2022
By Blake Garlock
Leading up to the 2020 hunting season, Kentucky hunter Kenny Crosby had been watching a good-looking velvet buck on his hunting property. Once archery season opened, Kenny hunted the buck when the deer was still in velvet and briefly saw him; but after the buck shed his velvet, Kenny saw a trail camera picture of the deer and didn’t think he was a shooter. “I just thought, Man, this deer needs another year,” Kenny remembers.
Kenny stopped hunting the buck, and he never had another encounter with it or received another picture of the deer for nearly two years. “I honestly thought someone had killed him,” Kenny says. “I had zero contact with that deer for about two years.”
Then, in 2022, Kenny decided to go back into the area where the buck had been and hang a trail camera. During the second weekend of Kentucky’s 2022 archery season, Kenny got a big surprise. “He just showed up out of nowhere that second weekend,” says Kenny. “It was like, boom. He was just there.”
When Kenny had last seen the buck in 2020, he was a mainframe 10-point with a distinct kicker on his left G2. Although the buck blew up into a great non-typical in 2022, his unique kicker remained and helped Kenny identify the deer. Kenny’s son named the buck “The Second,” and Kenny began doing everything he could to put himself on the non-typical.
“I needed a north wind to hunt the buck,” Kenny says. “But here in September, we don’t get many north winds. Luckily, it’s been an abnormal September and we got several.” Since Kenny knew he was hunting such a big deer, he took all precautions possible during the hunts. “I probably went a little overboard with my scent control,” Kenny says. “I was running two Ozonics units and washing every single garment after I used it. Even my backpack.”
Kenny’s hunt for The Second wasn’t easy, and he sat for the buck six different times unsuccessfully. The deer always seemed to show up within an hour of Kenny leaving the tree stand. Finally, during his seventh sit on Sept. 29, Kenny heard something distinct. “I heard him coming,” Kenny recalls. “He had a lame leg on his right side, and the sound he made because of that while he walked let me know he was coming before I ever saw him.”
The buck popped out at 80 yards, and Kenny says his emotions were racing when he saw the deer. As the buck walked into the staging area Kenny was hunting, it seemed as if Mother Nature was about to ruin his opportunity. “He was at 30 yards quartering to me, and just for two seconds I felt the wind switch,” Kenny says. “He threw his nose straight up in the air and looked right at me. I thought, He’s got me.”
Kenny was already on the deer, and he took the quartering shot and watched his arrow make impact and then the buck ran off. Kenny left the woods and got his family to help track, and they recovered the deer only 60 yards from where Kenny had shot it. “This deer consumed my whole family,” says Kenny. “I couldn’t have killed this buck without my wife’s sacrifice. She knew I was going to hunt him whenever I could.”
A local scorer preliminarily scored Kenny’s buck. The buck has an unofficial gross score of 197 4/8, and he nets 174 5/8.