Big Buck 411 Blog

Ghost Buster

Ghost Buster

By Mike Handley

After drooling over a summertime image of an enormous buck in 2019, Bruce Laudick quadrupled the number of trail cameras throughout his 5 acres in Grant County, Kentucky. He collected only a few more nighttime photos of the deer, which was discouraging, but he got the deer, which certainly put the spring back in his step.

Bruce had nicknamed the 212 3/8-inch whitetail Ghost, since the camera flash gave it an otherworldly glow. He busted it on opening day of the Bluegrass State’s modern firearms season.

He was practically hunting in his back yard. Five of his 7 acres are wooded, and that’s where he’d set up a ground blind and a 16-foot ladder stand.

Bruce had planned to usher in the season by sitting in the blind, which he’d set up next to a toppled tree, but he switched to the ladder when his son, Scott, and 6-year-old grandchild, Dakota, expressed in interest in hunting together that frosty morning.

“I got into the ladder about daylight. Around 9:00, I heard what sounded like a buck chasing a doe where Scott and Dakota were sitting. I could actually see a portion of their ground blind,” Bruce told Dale Weddle, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine.

Shortly after a gunshot echoed across the hillside, a 9-pointer charged in front of Bruce and collapsed only 40 yards from his tree. After notifying his son, he put his phone away and continued hunting until about 11:00.

The Laudicks returned to their respective stands around 3 p.m., after they’d retrieved the morning’s buck, hung it and reported the harvest through the state’s Telecheck system.

About two hours after a 7-point buck cruised past Bruce, a doe appeared and began snuffling up acorns within feet of his vantage point. When a second doe came through less than a half-hour later, the pair began walking uphill.

That’s when Bruce heard a buck grunting, and then he saw it just before it disappeared into a cedar thicket.

When the deer emerged from them, he was ready.

The 70-yard shot was a no-brainer.

“I gave the (dead) animal about 20 minutes while I texted back and forth with Scott,” Bruce said. “When I finally got down and walked up to it, I almost cried.”

The 19-pointer was the fifth-largest buck taken in Kentucky that year. It is the largest ever recorded from Grant County.

— Read Recent Blog! Mid-September on Public Land: David Ramey of Cartersville, Georgia, doesn’t mind breaking a sweat while deer hunting, as long as he’s in Kansas with a bug machine.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd