photo of hunter with big buck

DIY Bowhunter Tags Big Kentucky Public Land Whitetail Buck

What does it take to mark a Whitetail Booner in a DIY public land hunt? Well, Missouri deer nut Jace Allen can tell you it’s no easy feat. To get it, he traveled to Kentucky, hunted pressed deer for three straight weeks, and died 150 inches off public land. But the reward was huge. With a green score total of 182, Allen Buck broke a minimum B&C of 170, the biggest white-tail general land we’ve seen or heard about so far this fall.

Allen does most of the hunting in his hometown of Missouri, but his friends in Kentucky have been teasing him to come down and fish. “I had never fished there before,” he said, “but then my friend started sending me pictures of a couple of bucks living on public land.” “I had a recent job change that gave me more time to research, so I finally decided it was time to go. Plus the bucks he made on the tracking cam was pretty cool.” Allen arrived just before the Kentucky Arch opened and was determined to survive until he killed a good buck.

Where there are deer there is hunting pressure

For the first few days, Allen spent most of his time exploring “I was really there the day before the opening event, looking at the land and the topography and how the deer are moving,” he told F&S. “There were many blocks of good timber, but I noticed that a lot of the hunters’ efforts seemed to focus on that timber. Meanwhile, there were also two large fields of corn and soybeans that I knew would be major food sources for the deer. So, for the first couple of days, From the morning I have just prepared so that I can glass those fields at dawn, and see where the deer are feeding and where they may go to bed all day.”

Allen held out for other big bucks to spot this beast. Jess Allen

Allen hastily learned that hunting pressure affects how whitetails use their habitat. “I suppose you might come across some deer in the woods,” he said, “but my impression was that most deer, and almost all the good dollars, were avoiding the woods and living in the corn and soybean fields.” “The thing I ended up shooting was a name we called Crabs and often he’s traveling with another really cute guy, my friend had pictures too. This deer was also brushing and feeding in the fields, and I wasn’t the only one who knew that.” Morning I was glassing him and watched him sleep in the beans. I was planning a chase when I noticed another bow hunter trying to slip on him. He failed, and I watched five other hunters chase that morning, and they all failed. I was the seventh person chasing the antelope, and I didn’t get a bullet either.”

sneaks up to take a picture

Eventually, Allen found himself focusing on Crabs, a buck that a bow hunter had injured in the first few days of the season. “It actually helped the hunter trace the blood of the evening he hit,” Allen said. ‘We followed good blood but never prepared for it. As I later learned, the arrow actually hit the shelf of the antelope, and because he was wearing velvet, that’s why we found so much blood. When you finally got the charge you could see Broadhead’s mark on his shelf “.

buck horns picture
The spot on the left main beam of Crabs where the fawn was struck with a broad head while in velvet. Jess Allen

In the days following this bloody trail, Allen was surprised when he was able to detect crabs again. “I found an island of trees near the corn and beans which allowed me a good view, and the area had a good deer mark too,” he said. “I even had a chance to get a nice 8 points which I thought would go to 150, but I already had several encounters with these bigger deer and decided to pass the ball. I wish I didn’t regret it.”

Allen’s perseverance finally paid off on the 20th day of Allen’s pursuit. “I was sitting on that tree island on a morning fishing trip and I saw crabs in the bean field,” he said. “He was feeding for a while and then got down to bed. I did my best to locate and then drove to my car. I wanted to check the direction of the wind and make sure I could slide in there and anchor on it without hitting him. When I got into my car I kind of laughed; it was This bed is covered less than 100 yards from the road and vehicles were driving by and no one but me knew he was sleeping there. I gathered my gear and started sneaking into the beans, using the wind to shield any sound I made as I worked towards him. When I thought I was about 70 away yards from his bed, I rested in him; I was on my knees and just decided that I would wait for him to stand, and then I would find out what to do from there.”

Allen gets his chance

After two hours of waiting, Allen was pleasantly surprised. “Suddenly this big rack appeared, followed by a lobster, of beans—only 29 yards away,” he said. “He looked around a little, straight at me, then settled down to feed. I stood up and came to a full tie, and when I could see that I had a clear path to his vitals, I took the ball. The injury looked pretty good and he ran away, then stopped again to look around. I tried it quickly on After 63 yards, I grabbed another arrow and shot it, and shot it again. This time it tore, and I felt like it was in a lot of trouble. It came to the edge of a CRP adjacent grain field and flipped. I couldn’t believe it. After nearly three weeks of hunting, I finally got one of the bucks I came there to look for.”

A hunter sitting with a dead white tail.
Allen chased his back and waited for his shot. Jess Allen

Read next: 10 ways to beat the October lull and get paid

Buck Allen was worth the drive and effort. Buck had 14 recordable points, with brow lines more than 6 inches in length and G2s and G3s all 10 inches or better. Allen came in with a green total of 182 inches. “What was more important to me than the research was the pursuit itself, the effort, and how much I learned,” he said. “It was something to watch these mature bucks avoid the stress of hunting, never leave the area and acclimatize to where and when they meet people. You’d think they’d go at night with all the hunters around, but they didn’t. Most of the time, they were within sight of one road. At least, but when they heard a car coming, they lay down for 45 to 60 minutes, and then went back to doing their business. It was a good education, and getting out of there with a great glass was just icing on the cake.”


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