Opening-Day Velvet Stud in Kentucky

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes

A nail-biter hunt results in Logan Beach’s first velvet buck

Rack Report Details
Buck: 162 1/8 inches
Time of Year: Sept. 4, 2021
Place: Western Kentucky
Weapon: Xpedition Mountaineer

Like many of us, Logan Beach didn’t have a lot of good buck prospects showing up on camera in early summer on his usual farms. Then the Bowling Green, Kentucky-based hunter remembered a group of bachelor bucks he had scouted the previous summer on another farm. The area those bucks called home was really thick and hard to hunt, and while some of the deer had shown promise, Logan had a larger target buck in mind on another farm. 

Beach, the owner of BW Archery in Bowling Green, decided to hang some cams in the area where he had seen the bachelor group the summer before. The decision paid off. Soon he was getting pictures of a couple of really nice bucks. He slipped into the thick area and found a good location for his stand. 

Logan Beach’s buck scored 162 1/8. Image by Logan Beach

The big bucks stayed on a regular pattern, showing up on camera just about every day for the first weeks of August. Then, on Aug. 21, they didn’t show. Nor the next day. Nor the next. “I was starting to sweat by that point,” Beach says. “I was afraid they had completely left the area.”

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But he was relieved when the buck he was after finally showed back up on Aug. 27, just a week before the Kentucky opener. From that point on, the deer was back on his regular pattern. On the final days before the opener, the buck appeared each evening just before dark and regularly through the night. 

Beach had watched the buck on trail camera most of the summer. Image by Logan Beach

Opening day found Beach and his wife, Kaylin, in the stand early that afternoon. A frequent contributor to Kentucky Outdoors Media, Beach was hoping that Kaylin could get video footage if the buck happened to give him a shot. 

As the evening wore on, a lone doe appeared in front of the stand. 

As Beach watched the doe, Kaylin tried to get his attention. He followed her gaze to see that she was watching his target buck, along with a big main-frame 8, move through the thicket along the ridge above their stand. “Like I said, that area is super thick and the deer were about 300 yards away. All we could see was their racks moving above the grass and briers,” Beach says. 

The deer soon moved into a wooded finger that ran down to their stand location. 

A few minutes later, Beach saw his target buck at the edge of the timber. “He was nervous and he had his nose up, licking it constantly, trying to catch any scent he didn’t like,” Beach says. 

The buck soon decided the coast was clear and moved toward the doe. At just 10 yards from the stand, the buck put his head down and bumped the doe off of the corn. Beach came to a full draw, but the buck kept moving after the doe and he didn’t have a shot. 

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The buck finally came to a stop, giving him a good shot at 20 yards. The instant the Swhacker broadhead made impact, the buck bolted straight into a small tree, tangling his rack in the limbs in the process. 

Logan Beach with his opening-day Kentucky velvet buck. Image by Logan Beach

“That tree held him in place,” Beach says, “and we watched as he lay there and kicked about twice. After we went back and watched the video, it was less than 12 seconds from the shot until he was dead.”

The buck taped out at 162 1/8 inches and was Beach’s first velvet buck.