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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Ken Carnes

By Mike Handley

It'll take more than broken bones and bruises to keep Ken Carnes indoors during deer season.

On Sept. 9, 2012, Ken and his brother, Troy, walked into the woods to do some scouting, pruning and to move at least one ladder stand. Only Troy walked out of there.

Ken was on the 28-foot-tall ladder stand when the rope holding the top of it broke. Rather than ride the stand to the ground, Ken jumped.

The fall broke his ankles, a wrist, and fractured two vertebrae in his back.

Imagine the look on his doctor's face when Ken, who could barely walk on crutches and wore braces on his wrist, left boot and over his entire back, begged for an official okay to hunt opening day of rifle season barely two months into what promised to be a very long recovery.

"Go ahead," the doc told him.

"My dad, Kenneth, helped me dress that (opening) morning," Ken said. "He and Troy took some pillows out to a four-wheeler for me to sit on, and then Dad drove me down this hollow to a place we call the Third Pond, where Dad had a chair for me."

Ken's father, who was hunting about 50 yards away, shot a doe at 7:45. A few minutes later, Ken shot the buck that might have been shadowing her.

"I hollered for Dad, and he got up, walked over and asked, ‘Did you finish her?' It was then that I realized that the buck had come at me completely outside of Dad's line of sight. He had no idea what had just happened," Ken said.

Troy joined them moments later, and he and Kenneth dragged the giant buck down to where Ken could get a good look at it. All three were slack-jawed over the size of the rack.

The Bracken County 20-pointer has a BTR composite score of 230 6/8 inches.

Dale Weddle's story about this monumental family effort will appear in RACK magazine this fall.

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