When Jeremy Jackson saw a particular trail camera photo back in 2011, it got him excited. Ironically, the buck in the background that was nicknamed “Stickers” is the one that had him pumped up. Little did he know that the deer in the forefront (“Kicker”) would become his “buck of a lifetime” a mere two years later. As it turned out, “Stickers” was harvested by a neighbor and scored in the 180’s.
In 2012, Jeremy again got pictures of Kicker. He had blossomed into a giant buck that was estimated to gross around 180. Unfortunately, Jeremy incurred a bad break on his finger that sidelined him for much of the season. In the meantime he was able to get several good looks at Kicker. While his hunting was limited due to injury, he did have one hunt that put him within 80 yards of Kicker, but that was as close as he would get.
This season, things were different. Jeremy’s finger was all healed up. Kicker had gotten even bigger and their date with destiny was fast approaching. The season had not gone exactly how Jeremy had intended early on. He had a different big buck in bow range, and as luck would have it, he could not get the shot he needed. At the time, I am certain he thought it was bad luck. It turned out to be good luck. In fact, it was very good luck.
November 7th found Jeremy perched in a tree, beginning a hunt that will forever be etched in his memory. Early on, he had only seen one doe. Then, around 4:40 pm, he saw antlers and he quickly identified his nemesis. It was Kickers. “I knew it was him. He was at 45 yards, and even though I practice this distance, I really wanted a closer shot. I made a soft grunt with my mouth. He pawed the ground a little bit, put his head down and came straight in.” At this point, Jeremy tried not to gawk at the sight of the big monarch heading right in. Kickers stopped 10 yards out and turned broadside. “When I shot him, I made a good hit. I was nervous though, because for the first time since shooting 3-blade Rage broadheads, I didn’t get a pass through.” It turned out that his arrow was lodged in the buck’s opposite shoulder.
Jeremy waited about an hour and a half before taking up the blood trail with his friend Terry Monroe. Doubt was trying to seep in to his head, but deep down he knew what he saw. And what he saw was a well-placed arrow in his dream buck as it bounded away. The blood trail was not hard to follow and a mere 80 yards later, Jeremy greeted Kickers the way he always hoped he would, by putting his tag on him. After 10-15 encounters with Kickers over a three year period, it was over.
Tale of the Tape
Kickers has a total of 16 scorable points. He is a main frame 6x6 with 4 kickers. Ironically, the largest kicker that he was named after was broken off before Jeremy shot him. The deer was green scored and the results put his TV score a little over 200 inches. (TV score is what I call it when you add up everything, including typical and non-typical points). The main-frame 12 point score is around 194 inches gross and after all the deductions for the four abnormal points, along with side-to-side symmetry deductions, Jeremy’s buck has a net typical score in the range of 176 inches. Jeremy believes his Gallatin County giant was either 5.5 or 6.5 years old, based on his history with the deer.