Buck Bragging Rights

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La Grange brothers kill bucks five days apart

By Jason Stamm

Despite five layers of clothing, four hours in the woods left him cold, tired and hungry. But the thought of killing a big buck and showing it off to his friends kept Wesley Yonts in that tree stand on a Friday morning last month.


Wesley’s patience paid off 15 minutes later, when he killed a 9-point buck Nov. 18.

“I was shivering,” Wesley said. “We were about to go back to the truck because it was so cold. I just couldn’t take it. But when you know there’s a deer around, you start to warm up a little bit.”

For the past four years, Wesley, 13 and his father, Darcy, have hunted on their Owen County farm.

Five days after killing his buck, Wesley’s younger brother Charlie, 11, killed a 9-point buck on the same property, from the same stand and with the same 7mm-08 rifle.

Charlie has been hunting with his dad for two years. The brothers take turns hunting with Darcy, since two is the limit in the stand.

The Yonts have a hunting routine. They wake at 4:30 a.m., eat a light breakfast, drive 45 minutes to their 150-acre farm and walk a half-mile to the stand.

Wesley and his father, Darcy Yonts, passed frost-covered signs on their way to deer hunt in Owen County Nov. 18. Wesley bundled himself in an Under Armour shirt, two long-sleeved shirts, a sweatshirt, coveralls, gloves and a fleece mask under his lucky, orange Buckmasters hat. But sitting in the brisk, 30-degree air since 5:30 a.m., Wesley wanted to get to his dad’s warm pickup truck.

Using a deer grunt call, Darcy suddenly motioned to Wesley that he heard a deer tromping in the woods behind them.

“It’s a buck! Big buck!” his dad said in a heightened whisper after slowly looking behind them.

Wesley turned around and with his eyes widening, turned the safety off of his rifle, aimed for the heart of the 9-point buck and fired.

Nearly 70 yards away, the buck fell to the ground.

Darcy said he took an interest in hunting as a teenager and introduced the sport to his sons. In 2010, Charlie nabbed a 600-pound cow elk on a hunt in eastern Kentucky. Also last year, the brothers each killed 8-point bucks with crossbows.

Charlie didn’t have to brave the cold weather for his 9-point buck like his brother. He also didn’t have to wait as long.

After an hour in the stand, Charlie and his dad saw the buck chasing a doe. The excitement got to Charlie, who was shaking but steadied himself.

Charlie aimed for the buck’s heart and fired. He hit the buck in the lungs, still a kill shot at 50 yards.

“I kinda yelled when I shot it,” Charlie said. “It was awesome and I was just yelling, bragging about it the whole time. We were high-fiving and stuff.”

Charlie and his dad field dressed the deer, like Wesley did. Charlie took the deer by the antlers and Darcy grabbed it by the legs and the two dragged it down a hill, over a creek and up another hill to the truck.

The Yonts stocked their freezer full of steak and ground meat from the boys’ success.The deer heads will be mounted to hang in the boys’ bedrooms.

When Charlie returned to school after Thanksgiving break, he carried pictures of his prize kill. He also bragged to his brother that he thinks he harvested the larger deer.

But Wesley doesn’t care. He’s ready for his next hunt and the adrenaline rush he gets when he sees a buck.

“You just hear your heart beat and you feel like you can have a heart attack,” Wesley said. “I just calm myself and celebrate after I shoot.”

At that point, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is.

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