Hunting has always been a family affair for the Simmons family. Everything from choosing stand locations and hanging stands to shed hunting. They all experience it together.
The first indication they had of Kyle’s huge buck was a pair of sheds found in the spring of 2008. Lance, Kyle’s younger brother, had found the sheds on property their father (Todd) has been hunting since 1984. When the sheds scored in the 190s, they knew their 2008 hunting season was going to be interesting and exciting.
In September, the family set up a few trail cameras on the land they knew so well, but the mystery monster hadn’t showed up. Early on the morning of October 16, Kyle headed for a stand in the middle of the property. He never made it. A doe busted him on the way in, so he decided not to spook the whole area and went home.
Later that afternoon, Kyle took a climber stand and headed for a densely wooded spot where two valleys converged. At 3:30 p.m., he heard something walking behind him. Half of a deer was visible through the brush, but Kyle could already tell it was a big buck. He grabbed his bow and took another look. This time he could see the buck’s big rack — it was huge.
The buck stepped behind a tree, giving Kyle a chance to swing his bow around into position. The buck took three steps and stopped behind another tree. That’s when Kyle came to full draw. A few more steps placed the buck behind brush yet again.
Kyle continued holding at full draw. Two more steps were all he needed. Then, the massive buck stepped into a shooting lane. Settling the pin on the buck’s vitals, Kyle let the arrow fly. He thought his shot was good, but maybe a little too far back. The buck turned and bolted about 50 yards and then abruptly stopped. Within 30 seconds, the giant went down.
Kyle immediately text messaged his brother with the news. Then he sat and watched the buck to see what it would do. Fifteen minutes later, the buck stood up and started walking, only to lie down again a short distance away. They decided to wait the buck out. After several hours, Kyle climbed down while there was still enough light, circled away from the buck, and headed home.
Minutes seemed like hours, but the Simmons family waited until 11 p.m. before going to search for Kyle’s buck. Lights in hand, they found him only a short distance from where Kyle had last seen him. Kyle was speechless — and with good reason. He’d just taken a record-book buck. Furthermore, this wasn’t just Kyle’s first buck with a bow. It was his first deer ever.
Editor’s Note: The Boone & Crockett Club has long been a conservation organization that stands and strives for the preservation and well-being of all big game animals, but especially the white-tailed deer. As America's most popular game species, it carries a storied history and a promising future.