September 11, 2018
Nick Hoffman of "Nick's Wild Ride" on Outdoor Channel shares his perfect deer hunt — a Bluegrass whitetail in velvet.
By Nick Hoffman, 'Nick's Wild Ride' on Outdoor Channel
Every hunter has a story about "the one that got away." Luckily, this past season I got my happy ending.
I had been trying to take a mature whitetail in velvet on my home farm in Kentucky for 10 years. Each year something always conspired against me.
It was too dark, too young, velvet was already shed, got busted.
The archery whitetail season in Kentucky opens up with about one week of time before the bucks begin to shed their velvet. Opening day's a ritual for my buddies and me. It's hot, humid, buggy and full of ticks. But, we wait all year for it, and it's a glorious suffering.
This year we had several mature bucks coming out in daylight. The trail cameras don't lie, and I knew there was one particular old 8-point making the rounds. He was coming out on camera every night at 6:45.
Since I couldn't hunt opening day, my first day in the stand was the next day after opener. As you can imagine, 6:45 came and went, but there was no sign of the buck. I started to get discouraged when I saw movement from the corner of my eye.
There he was! He had come out in a different part of the food plot than normal, so he was a whopping 5 minutes late! After 10 minutes of waiting, he got close enough and gave me a 23-yard broadside shot that I put through both lungs.
He wasn't the highest-scoring deer I've shot, but he's definitely one of the most meaningful. And when I finally got to run my hands over that gorgeous fluffy velvet . . well, that made all the years of sweating it out on opening weekend in Kentucky worth it.