Roy Franklin on Finding a True Trophy
Editor’s Note: Roy Franklin and his son, Clay, live in Westport, Kentucky, and love to hunt together. This past season, they built a memory of a lifetime. One of the threads running throughout the Mossy Oak community is a love of country, a love of hunting and all that’s outdoors and also a love of taking family members into the outdoors and sharing outdoor experiences together. Franklin exemplifies all of these.
I was hunting on a farm in Oldham County, Ken., in September, 2013, hoping to see a buck that I had trail-camera pictures of from the year before. A farmer on the neighboring property had trail-camera pictures of this buck and had found his sheds the year before. The buck would score 168 inches non-typical on Boone and Crockett. I had already tagged out in 2012, before I saw the pictures of this tremendous buck. Since my tags were filled, there was no way I could hunt this big buck that year.
I knew the the buck had made it through the 2012 hunting season. So, I hoped to find this deer and take him during the 2013 bow season. Previously in August of 2013, I started putting out trail cameras on the farm I was hunting. The first time I checked my trail cameras, I saw the buck. In one year, it looked like the buck had gained 20 inches of mass on his rack. He was much heavier than he had been the previous year. The first year we got trail-camera pictures of him he had a drop tine on the left side of his rack. The following year the drop tine was on the right side of his rack, and he had added some extra points. The first year we had trail-camera pictures of him, he was a main frame 8 with a big drop tine. The next year he had 17 scorable points.
At the beginning of the 2013 bow season, the buck vanished. I couldn’t get any trail-camera pictures of him, although I’d put my trail cameras along a point of land that dropped down into a creek bottom - where I’d gotten pictures of the buck earlier in the summer. I started studying the maps and aerial photos of the farm I was hunting and decided the buck had to be bedding farther down the point from where I had put my trail camera. In-between his bedding area and where I’d set up my trail camera, quite a few oak trees were dropping acorns. So, I decided that there was no need for the buck to come along the same trail he had been using. More than likely, he was feeding on those acorns. In August, he had been feeding in a corn field and licking a Mossy Oak BioLogic BioRock. I moved my tree stand down the creek bottom to an oak flat where I felt certain this buck was feeding.
I was hunting with a Bowtech Experience bow. On September 17, 2013, I saw deer feeding on the acorns out in front of me, in the hardwoods where I expected the buck to show up. Through my binoculars, I could see the buck coming down the point toward the acorn flat before staring out into the flat for 5 or 10 minutes. The buck then made a left turn and started feeding straight to me. As he came to the acorn flat, I saw a maple tree between the buck and me. I knew he couldn’t see me in my Mossy Oak camo. When he stepped behind the maple tree, I came to full draw. He stepped out from behind the maple tree at 12 yards, and I let the arrow fly. The two-bladed Rage 100-grain broadhead (www.ragebroadheads.com) entered right behind the shoulder of the buck. The buck ran only 20 yards before he went down.