posted on October 20, 2013 10:51
By Mike Handley
Dear Dr. Phil,
My distant cousin, Nathaniel Yoder, named a deer after me. And then he killed it. Should I be worried?
Dave in Kentucky
How big was the deer?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Okay, maybe the correspondence between Dave and Dr. Phil is a stretch, but the rest of it is true.
Nathaniel Yoder shot Dave - the deer, not his cousin - on Sept. 22, 2012. Of all the nicknames Nathaniel might've chosen for the buck, he chose Dave because his cousin became unhinged after seeing a trail camera image of the big Harrison County Typical standing over a mineral lick.
Nathaniel was pretty excited, too, and he couldn't keep it under wraps for long. He wound up passing it around at a family reunion, which is when Dave saw it.
"He thought the rack might gross 190. He got so torn up about it that we ended up naming the big buck Dave," Nathaniel grinned.
Nathaniel hunted only one afternoon during the first three weeks of the bow season. His second trip to the woods was on the afternoon of Sept. 22.
About 6:15, he heard and then saw a small 8-pointer that he hoped was the same 4x4 often photographed with the buck he called Dave. It was indeed.
As soon as the second buck stepped into the open, he recognized it immediately. After passing up a less-than-perfect opportunity at 30 yards, Nathaniel wound up with an 18-yard shot.
"That's when I got the shakes real bad," he said. "I sat and tried to calm down, but I couldn't."
Thirty minutes or so later, he was on the trail. And after he'd gone 100 yards, he decided to stop and wait a little longer.
He and his wife's three brothers continued the search later and found the animal in a creek bed.
Turns out, Nathaniel Yoder's cousin is a pretty good judge of antlers. The deer's rack has a BTR composite score of 187 6/8 inches.
Dale Weddle's story about the hunt will appear in RACK magazine next year.