Skip to main content

Young Man Ignores The Wind, Downs Sizable Southern Buck

When a bad wind was forecasted prior to his hunt, Luke Kelly felt he needed to hunt anyway. Ultimately, that decision led to him downing a massive Mississippi buck.

Young Man Ignores The Wind, Downs Sizable Southern Buck

Afraid that the buck would soon disappear, Luke decided to hunt on a “bad” wind. Luckily, it worked out for him. Photo courtesy of Luke Kelly

Breaking News Bucks is presented by ARCUS hunting brands. To find out more click here.

At just 15 years old, Luke Kelly has possibly taken what many consider the benchmark of big whitetails: a buck that could make the Boone and Crockett book. And he killed it outside of the rut in Mississippi with a crossbow!

The magnum whitetail first appeared on a trail camera in 2021 during early archery season, but he didn’t hang around long. In 2022, the giant returned, and Luke spotted him twice. On each occasion, unfortunately, it was too dark for a shot. Then he was gone again for the rest of that season. This offbeat behavior earned him the name “Disappearing Act.”

The property was logged during the summer of 2023. The crew left in August, and the big deer returned right on schedule. So, Luke and his father, Larry, put 15 trail cameras out trying to narrow down his travels. Disappearing Act appeared every night on only one camera. Then, for no discernable reason, he began daylighting. The week before the bow opener, Disappearing Act was showing up every afternoon.

lk-2
After unsuccessfully hunting the buck for two seasons, Luke named the deer “Disappearing Act” because of his elusiveness. Photo courtesy of Luke Kelly

So, Luke’s friend, Eli Acker, made the trip over from Ole Miss for the second afternoon of the archery season to video the hunt. Predictably, the big deer didn’t read the script and never showed. School and other activities kept Luke out of the field until the following Sunday, and bad wind almost cancelled the next hunt. Luke was worried that the deer would be leaving soon, and he told his dad, “I just have to try now!”

After getting dropped off, Luke climbed into his shooting house overlooking the previous year’s food plot. “The wind was swirling in every direction,” he recalls. “But a bunch of deer started coming into the field.”

One of them was a 150-class 10-point, very tempting for a young hunter. However, Luke waited, hoping his target deer would show up. And 30 minutes later, he spotted the buck coming out of the woods only a few yards away. The bruiser nudged his way into the field just as some of the other deer caught the young hunter’s scent and spooked, taking him another 50 yards from Luke’s position.

“I ranged him and pulled the trigger,” Luke says. “He dropped a little and ran back into the woods.”

Larry and Eli came out to help with the search. Ultimately, they all made the decision to call in a dog tracker. Eddie Moorman and his dog, Cash, were in the area; and within an hour they were on the track.

lk-3jpg
Just to be safe, Luke decided to call in a tracking dog after shooting the buck. Photo courtesy of Luke Kelly

“Cash was all business when he got there,” Larry says. “Then I heard a lot of yelling and realized they were celebrating. Cash had done his job!”

Trail camera photos from other folks who were after him helped Luke determine that Disappearing Act was at least 8 1/2 years old, and the impressive rack green scores 179 4/8.

lk-1
Luke Kelly’s 2023 Mississippi buck has a green score of 179 4/8. Photo courtesy of Luke Kelly



GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Ripcord Arrow Rests Rejuvenates Lineup with Three New Models

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Don't Sleep on Conventional Trail Cameras

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Browning Trail Cameras Announces Cellular Innovation for 2024

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

ATA 2024 Core SR First Look from Bowtech

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Air Venturi Avenge-X Classic PCP Air Rifle Reviewed

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Browning OVIX Camo: Ultimate Concealment for Any Time, Any Place

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Primos Edge Carbon Fiber Tripod Shooting Sticks

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Bowhunting Aoudad in Texas with Browning OVIX Camo

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Bowtech CP30: A Better Bow Made For The Whitetailer

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Browning's Exclusive OVIX Camo Gives You Complete Concealment

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Learn

Year-Round Deer Scouting with Moultrie Mobile Edge Cellular Trail Cams

As a whitetail hunter and landowner dedicated to pursuing great bucks each season, North American Whitetail's Blake Garl...
Gear

Start to Finish Success for Ultimate Season Bucks

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now