Darke County teen arrows 200-inch non-typical buck

Morgan Kimmel, 17, of Bradford, Ohio, used a crossbow to take this buck that green-scored 206. It was the biggest buck she’s ever taken. (Photo courtesy of Rick Busse)

Bradford, Ohio — For Morgan Kimmel of Darke County, the tradition of hunting runs in the family.

“I probably started hunting when I was about 5 with my dad,” said Kimmel, who’s now a 17-year-old high school junior.

But, it wasn’t until this fall that Morgan killed the buck of a lifetime. On Oct. 27, Morgan loosed a bolt from her crossbow that brought down a 21-point nontypical buck that gross green-scored 206.

Piqua taxidermist Rick Busse, who will handle the mount, was surprised when he put a tape to the buck.

“I thought it was a nice buck, somewhere in the 170s or 80s,” he said.

It was that and more, as it turns out.

The kill came on a new property the family was just hunting for the first time this year

“The farm is across the road from my grandparents’ farm and we’ve always had good success there,” Morgan said. “So, I just thought I would see if I could get permission to hunt across the road.”

Permission granted, Morgan set out with her crossbow on Saturday, Oct. 27.

“It was a rainy day and it was kind of a toss up on where I went,” she said. “I knew that I would have to take my climber and find a tree to get in.”

Morgan found a dead ash tree that fit the bill, and proceeded to put up her climber for a long sit.

“About halfway up the tree, I look out across the tall grass in the field and saw two does about 130 yards away,” she said. “So, I just continued my climb.”

A smaller, 8-point buck made his appearance about 15 yards from Morgan’s treestand and proceeded to walk directly under her position.

“About a half-hour after that, I hear something coming down the edge of the field,” Morgan said. “There’s a big maple tree there, so I couldn’t see but I could hear (a buck) scraping at the tree. I could only see the lower half of it.”

Finally, after a few minutes of watching the buck, Morgan identified it as a shooter and began to get ready.

“The only shot that I had was I had to turn around and (the buck) was going to have to walk about 20 more yards out into the clear,” she said. “So, I turn around and I squat down because I’m going to have to shoot under these limbs.”

The buck, though, had other ideas. He had already walked past Morgan’s shooting lane.

“I had just another small window and I shoot,” she said. “I hit him and I knew I hit him.”

Morgan’s first reaction was to call her dad, but Dad was in Columbus and not available.

“So, I call my cousin and my uncle and they came down to track this deer,” she said. “We tracked it, but we couldn’t find it. So, we decided to back out and come back on Sunday morning.”

Sunday morning’s track was more successful, and the buck was found about 50 yards from the spot where Morgan shot it with her crossbow.

“I might’ve cried a few times,” Morgan admitted.

The biggest buck before this one for Morgan came in the form of a 9-pointer last year within 400 yards of where she shot this year’s buck.

“We’ve had a lot of success, my family has,” Morgan said. “All of my uncles hunt, but they’ve kind of backed out of it to let us kids hunt now and provide meat for the family.”

Morgan plans a career in natural resources when she gets out of high school.

“I breed hunting dogs and I really enjoy bird hunting,” she said. “So, I would like to do something along those lines in order to spend time with the dogs and things like that.”


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