photo of a deer killed by Ronnie Yoderphoto of a deer killed by Ronnie Yoderphoto of a deer killed by Ronnie Yoder

Hunter: Ronnie Yoder

Points: 14 (7L, 7R)

County: Macon

Season: 2022-2023

Hunt Story

Kickers the legend!! The story of Kickers starts in 2020 when my brother Jason had him walk by at 30 yards and he had already filled both his buck tags for the season. Fast-forward to 2021, I fed Kickers all summer and his core area had downsized a lot. When the season came in, Kickers moved from where I fed him during the summer about 500 yards and I didn't have a chance at him until November the 15th! I got in the stand that morning and saw several deer, and my phone vibrates and it's a cell cam pic of a buck I was after on another farm, (now keep in mind where I was hunting about 1.5 miles from where Kickers was all summer). Out of frustration I get down to go to work and I walk over to where I had shot a squirrel with my bow and I pick the squirrel up and go to take a picture of it and I look up and here comes none other than KICKERS. I froze for a second and reached for my bow laying on the ground. He's 45 yards and closing. I get my bow up, nock an arrow and he's 20 yards still coming straight to me. By the time I hook my release, he keeps walking and gets 5 yards from me (I'm standing in open oak woods) I think now or never, I draw my bow and it startled him and he jumps and ran to 25 yards and slow walks straight away and stops and turns at 45 yards, and I settled the pin released the arrow and it's headed toward the mark—until it hits a limb I didn't see at about 30 some yards and sailed over his back. My heart sank!!! He survived the 2021 season and started showing back up at the protein feeder during this summer, and I was on a mission to close the chapter this year! I dropped six cameras around the 6 acres he was staying on for when he leaves I'll know where he is going. Well he never left, and I found his bedroom which was 250 yards behind my parent's house, and he was going from bed to my food plot which had 4S Wildlife Solutions soybeans in it. Once I found his bedroom I backed away about 150 yards and fed him 4S Draw and started getting tons of daylight pictures of him in August, and even after he shed his velvet! The last pictures I got of him were August the 23rd, but I knew he was still in there (he saw my camera and didn't like it). I needed a northeast wind, and I got it on September the 15th! I grabbed my climber and went into where I last got pictures of him, got setup and settled in, said a prayer and waited, didn't see a deer up until about 8 pm, so I stand up and start to break my camera equipment down (I was in pines so it gets dark a little earlier) and I hear footsteps 20 yards and closing. I grab my bow just in case it's him. He steps out at 10 yards and it's Kickers, I swing the camera around in position but it's too dark to video, so I just let the camera run. He is walking broadside at 11 steps and I draw, and my arrow came off the string. I let up and nock the arrow and he's at 15 yards now quartering slightly and I draw again, my arrow came off again (I think I'm not supposed to kill this deer). I nock the arrow again and he's just calmly walking away and stops at 23 yards, and I draw back arrow stays nocked. I settle my pin and send it, (it's 8:02 pm) Thwack I smashed him, the nocturnal found its mark, he mule-kicked and ran what sounded like 40 yards, and then silence. I threw my hands in the air and said thank you Lord!! I call Jason just fired up that I just shot Kickers, he and my brother Gary and the rest of my buddies come to help find him (arrow looks good) we give him about 1.5 hours and dive in to find him, and we did about 50 yards from impact. I walk up and he Is bigger then I thought!! Just tons of mass and Kickers all over. I'm in disbelief that I actually killed Kickers, I'm humbled, feeling blessed and thanking my Lord and Savior for this harvest!! The story will be out within the next week on the Hearts For The Outdoors YouTube channel!!
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