Kentucky Hunter Who Nearly Lost Everything in Tornadoes Tags Monster Trophy Buck

by Amy Myers
Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Last December, hundreds of Dawson Spring, Kentucky residents lost their homes to the tornadoes, and among them was father, husband and deer hunter Aaron Watts. After all of the despair and destruction Watts’ family experienced, it seems that he has finally had a stroke of good luck.

Of course, Watts was incredibly thankful that his wife, Ginny, and their daughter, Cavvy, were safe, but the emotional trauma of the natural disaster was still raw. As the Kentucky natives picked up what remained of their neighborhood, Watts happened to find his old bow, a Hoyt RX3 that was ruined beyond repair. A neighbor had even found his mount of a 12-point buck, though, at that point, it had turned into a doe.

Still, the loss of his trusty bow was a reminder of the tragedy and kept Watts from one of his favorite pastimes. Come fall, the deer hunter had nothing to accompany him to his father-in-law’s property, where he had been bowhunting for the past five years. Luckily, though, his brother-in-law lent him his old Mathews No Cam, so Watts went back out to the field where his wife’s father planted a micro plot of winter oats.

The does had been hitting the field pretty heavy, but the real shocker was the absolute mammoth of an eight-pointer (with one kicker on the brow tine) that appeared on the trail cam.

Watts knew it was time to suit up.

Kentucky Hunter Thought He Lost His Mount-Worthy Buck

At 2:00 p.m. one warm afternoon, he settled into his stand and waited. Just before 4:00 p.m., the tell-tale doe and six-point buck that previously accompanied the monster buck appeared.

“I knew the big one had to be close because for the last two and a half weeks, he’d been together with that 6-pointer,” the hunter explained to Field & Stream. “Then, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and the rack coming through the trees.” 

Watts drew back his bow and let the arrow fly. The buck, just 35 yards away, didn’t even flinch.

“I thought I’d shot underneath him,” he said. “I called Ginny and told her that I’d missed.” 

Once the hunter investigated the scene, though, he found his arrow and knew that it had pierced through the buck. There was just one problem, though. It was a gut shot.

Watts called a friend who happens to own a game-tracking gear company for advice. They told the hunter to wait eight to 10 hours before following the trail of stomach contents.

So, Aaron went to work, with nothing but that deer on his brain. The following morning, he met with his father-in-law, and together, they scoured the field for the eight-pointer. For some unlucky hunters, this can be where the story ends, in sheer disappointment and frustration.

Thankfully, though, this deer hunter finally had a change in luck, and 75 yards into the thicket, they found Watts’ brand new trophy buck. With a new mount on the way, Watts and his family will be able to further rebuild the home they once had.