photo of a deer killed by Kellen NeeSmithphoto of a deer killed by Kellen NeeSmithphoto of a deer killed by Kellen NeeSmith

Hunter: Kellen NeeSmith

Points: 14 (7L, 7R)

County: Montgomery

Season: 2022-2023

Hunt Story

Sunday morning November 6th was a typical Sunday for Kellen's family. As with every other Sunday church was the first priority and getting a hunt in before the service was paramount (to Kellen at least). At 5 am I (Kellen's PaPa Jay Murray) was hoping he'd sleep in, Kellen's mama (Kelsie Williamson) was trying to talk him into sleeping in and amidst all that Kellen was already planning the evening hunt. At Kellen's insistence his Papa picked him up to get a quick hunt in before he had to be back to clean up and get ready for church. When I picked him up we were running late (for us) and I asked "Kell do you want snacks and be even later or just tough it out til 9? as always snacks are imperative as well. At the store the usual court of the older gentlemen quipped things like "You goin after a biggun?" and "You gonna get a biggun today bud!" Kellen is 7 and he's as dedicated as any adult and they see this every weekend morning before daylight so the whole bunch roots for him. Since we were later than usual and needed to leave early I asked Kellen where he thought we should go. He answered "Papa I think we should go to the blind we can almost drive up to so we can sneak in there even if there is a deer (The blind is about 5 yards off of a pecan orchard on a logging road that is planted. we drove around the edge of the orchard with lights off since it was breaking daylight to a blind spot 9for the deer) a meager 30 yards from the blind. After shutting down and letting things settle we eased into the blind. as we approached the blind Kellen turned and said "See Papa there is a deer already down there and he has no idea we are even here." We eased into the blind and as I was setting the tripod up and getting settled I tried to see what the deer was. As I set-up Kellen was negotiating to shoot something "Even if it's little"... I tried to see what was down there but it was foggy and my binoculars were still adjusting to the humidity. I got Kellen's 7mm-08 clamped in the Bog Pod tripod and turned the Sig Sauer Scope all the way up to 12 to see what we were dealing with. I saw a rack with at least 4 on the right side (legal in our county), Turned down the scope to 7X, and ranged the buck at 198yds. Since that scope places a dot at the precise aiming point when the target is ranged I told Kellen "Hey put on your earmuffs and kill that deer". He jumped into action and I plugged my ears. As he was lining up the shot the buck walked to the edge of the trees and my heart sank. I said " Squeeze that trigger slow he's about to leave". As the shot rang out a deer just to the right of the buck bolted into the brush. Kellen has killed 8 deer in 3 years and missed one. After every shot he exclaims "I smoked him!!!" (He's only been wrong once with his crossbow) Since I saw the deer run and he didn't know how big the buck was (or even that it was a buck) I was cautious and said just hold on buddy and we'll give it a minute. As I looked down there with my binoculars i saw a white spot. I hoped it was a belly but I saw a deer run off. Then I thought oh no he shot a different deer that I hadn't seen. I said let's ease down there bud... After we walked 100 yds I picked up my Binoculars and saw a NICE rack sticking up. I said Kellen HE is laying right there...He said "really Papa" and I said " Listen to me bud... HE... Is laying right there." He said "It's a buck?" and I said "Yes and he's BIG". Kellen broke down into tears of pure joy , hugged me and just kept saying "Thank you Papa... Thank You Papa!!!" I walked to the deer to ensure he had expired and couldn't resist counting points (we hadn't seen this buck). I counted 13 and one broken... I walked back to Kellen started my phone video and said go get your Buck bud!!! After much celebration I invoked a tradition that I believe is of upmost importance. I said " I'm going to walk back and get the truck (in view 200 yards away) and just like every other deer I want you to spend some time thanking the deer for his life, the sustenance he will provide our family and above all you be sincere and thank God for all of this and especially the blessing of this buck. I walked a few steps and turned to remind him to be sincere and he had his hat off praying over the most majestic and biggest buck taken on our lease and in Georgia our family among our family of hunters. when I returned to load the buck Kellen asked "Can we go to Buzzy's (the store) and show those old men what I killed?" I said "You bet bud...and everyone else too!!!" We showed the buck off, cleaned and caped him out, took showers, and still made it to church on time. It was hard however to keep Kellen from showing off his buck during Children's church 🙂
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