Tim Young Buck: 195-Inch Bluegrass State Velvet Bruiser
June 30, 2015
Living in the state of New York years ago, Tim Young was so consumed with hunting big whitetails that he packed up his family and moved to southern Iowa. Once resettled, he took a job as a guide for an outfitter who booked a large number of deer hunters each year.
"Over time," he says, "I didn't feel good about what I was doing," he says. "I would listen to a guy tell me about how he had saved for years to go on this hunt, and I knew I was taking him to a stand that had already been overhunted that year. I just didn't feel good about it."
So Tim left and started his own outfitting business, taking a far smaller number of hunters each year on what he feels will be a high-quality hunt. His "day" job as a truck driver fuels his hunting ambitions, and he thinks about whitetails year round.
Going into last season, Tim had enjoyed his share of great luck on trophy bucks, having personally killed a couple approaching 200 inches. But he had one big whitetail goal unfulfilled: to take a buck that was still in velvet.
This quest would be all but impossible in Iowa, due to the relatively late season opener there. But some other states of course do open when bucks are still in velvet, one of them being Kentucky. So Tim began going there, hoping to fulfill his dream of bagging a fuzzy-antlered specimen.
But things quickly started going wrong. And they kept going wrong.
"I was hunting the first time in Kentucky when from the tree stand I could hear a large commotion on the neighboring property a few hundred yards away," he explains. "I didn't think that much of it until I was picked up that night. The friend I was hunting with told me the ATF and other government agencies had raided a moonshine still a couple hundred yards from where we were hunting and had scared all the deer out of the area."
OK, so that's some pretty tough luck. But Tim's problems in the Bluegrass State were just starting.
The next hunt found him in an area where the landowner told him no other deer hunters had access. Tim soon learned why: There were several squirrel hunters in those woods almost every day. "They were just as serious about their squirrel hunting as I am about deer hunting. They were walking through the woods shooting shotguns. This wasn't going to work."
Given this latest bad experience, you can imagine Tim's excitement when he finally hooked up with a Kentucky hunter who had well-managed land to hunt and wanted to trade a quality 2014 hunt on his property for one in Iowa.
"He had a trail camera photo of a 150-class buck in velvet, and he had lots of land with quite a few food plots and mineral sites," Tim recalls. "I didn't care about a huge buck. I would have been satisfied with any buck in velvet from 125 to 135!"
Tim arrived in Kentucky last Sept. 4, two days before the opener. The following day, his new friend began to take him around and show him the farms and mineral sites. That's when the "Kentucky curse" cropped up yet again. Within hours, Tim knew he was in the wrong place.
"The mineral sites didn't have any fresh sign," he says. "None of the cameras had pictures of bucks larger than 100 inches. And even the trail camera photo of the 150 turned out to be from the previous year!"
The curse had struck yet again.
It was the day before the season, Tim was hundreds of miles from home, and he had no good place to hunt. Desperate, he called friend Luke Carpenter, who lives and hunts in Christian County, and explained the dilemma. Luke graciously told Tim to come on over and they'd see if they could find some velvet bucks to hunt.
As the bowhunter traveled west to this new destination, the sun was getting low in the sky. Tim looked out in a clover field and saw a bachelor group of bucks feeding. One of them was a definite shooter. Tim pulled into the next driveway and started asking around, trying to find the owner of the property to see if he could get permission to bowhunt. He got a name and number, but no one answered the phone.
Tim called an acquaintance who was an outfitter in that area and asked if he knew how to get in touch with the landowner. The guy said he did and that he'd try to contact him. The next morning, Tim finally got the landowner on the phone, only to find out that the land had been leased the night before. And by guess who — the outfitter he'd called! Cursed.
It was opening morning when Tim pulled into Luke's place. By now he'd missed the first hunt of the season. But there was good news: Luke told him he had a 145-inch deer that was in velvet on camera every day. This buck was on a very consistent pattern and very killable.
So they went out to check the camera. Sure enough, the buck was on time as always. But there was a problem: He'd shed his velvet that night! Cursed again.
"Luke told me he had two other farms we should check out," Tim remembers. "He headed to the north one, and I headed to the south one. Luke hadn't scouted this farm at all this season, but I headed down there to glass the fields that evening.
"I arrived at the area, and when I came up over a little rise, I saw a huge buck feeding in the pasture," Tim says. "I knew even before I put my binoculars on him that he was a giant — but when I got my glass on him and he picked his head up, he was huge. It took me a moment to believe what I was seeing."
Tim was committed to not making any mistakes on this world-class buck. "I know these bucks bed very close to where they feed this time of the year, normally within 100 yards," he explains. "I wasn't going to hunt this buck until I had him figured out."
Tim and Luke watched the buck the following evening, taking note of exactly where he came out of the woods. But there was no tree suitable for a stand. They decided to glass one more evening.
"He did exactly the same thing," Tim notes. "He was walking by a clump of small trees, and I began to make a plan. I felt I could conceal myself in those trees and shoot him from the ground."
There would be problems, of course. First, the wind had to be right. Plus, the other deer feeding with the buck were coming out earlier. They were likely to see or smell the bowhunter before the big buck walked out. So Tim and Luke spent considerable time talking and strategizing about the options and how to possibly get a shot at the buck.
On Tuesday, Sept. 9, the wind was perfect for hunting from that clump of small trees. It was go time.
"I went out there early in the afternoon with a little 3-legged stool and cut brush to conceal myself," Tim says. Then he got settled in for a long but adrenaline-laced wait.
Incredibly, that afternoon the giant came out first.
"I could see his antlers above the brush as he moved along," Tim remembers. "Man, he looked big." The buck walked down the trail, just as he had every other time, pausing prior to jumping the fence. Then, at 20 yards, he turned and looked right at Tim and his blind.
Tim was frozen in place with his bow up, ready to draw. But big bucks always just seem to know when something is wrong. Maybe it was a pile of brush that hadn't been there before. Maybe it was just some sixth sense of something being wrong. Regardless, the buck didn't like it. He turned away.
"He walked down the fence and turned to jump again, this time at 32 yards," Tim says. "I know, because I must have ranged that low spot in the fence 100 times."
As the buck crouched to leap, Tim took the opportunity to draw his Hoyt Carbon Spyder. But then things went wrong again. After jumping the fence, the buck immediately turned and began walking away.
"He was at 42 yards when he exposed enough of his side that I put the pin on his last rib and touched off the shot," Tim says. "It hit just a little bit back of where I was aiming. The arrow buried well into him, with the broadhead lodged in the off shoulder."
Tim waited for what seemed a very long half-hour before he went to the scene of impact to look things over. There he found blood but not the arrow. Tim was concerned that the shot had entered behind the ribs, so he talked it over with Luke. They decided to give it a few hours.
Taking up the sign in the dark proved to be easier than the men had assumed; the trail was a good one and relatively short. Only 80 yards away they found the buck piled up just inside the woods.
When Tim first laid eyes on the buck lying on his side, it seemed like a dream.
"I walked up to him lying there in the grass and just stood there in awe for a while," the archer says. "Then Luke said 'Boy, that's a giant!' And that's when it began to sink in that this had actually happened."
The Kentucky curse had been broken — and in spectacular fashion. The buck scored 195 5/8 "green" and in velvet. Tim says he has no plans to remove the velvet and have the buck entered into B&C or any other record book. He plans to have the deer officially scored at some point, but he's inclined to admire the rack just the way it is. He doesn't feel the need to have it entered.
The deer is a typical 6x6 with one abnormal point, that being a split off the left brow tine. There are solid main beams and impressive tine length, with all four of the G-2s and G-3s being over 11 inches. The bases measure over 7 inches each in velvet.
Tim Young went to Kentucky hoping to shoot a velvet buck of 125 inches or better. He returned to Iowa with something he never could have imagined. This is clearly the buck of anyone's dreams.
Considering the hardships the serious hunter went through to break his Kentucky curse, it's safe to say the memories of the moment he finally grabbed this deer's massive rack will last a lifetime.