POTTSVILLE For Kimberly Holbrook of Pottsville, shooting a 10-point buck on her family’s property in Yell County was like “winning the lottery.” She took home the first-place title in the Typical Women’s Division and the title of highest-scoring deer for Yell County at the Big Buck Classic in Little Rock on Jan. 27.
Holbrook said she got the deer on Nov. 24, which was the first chance she had to hunt in 2012, after working a job in New Orleans.
“I was sitting there, and at about 4:45 p.m. I heard some deer rustling over to the right of me, and next thing I know, this big buck runs out of the ridge,” Holbrook said. “He stopped because there’s a bluff, and he knows he can’t jump off the bluff. That’s where I got my shot.”
After waiting about 10 or 15 minutes for the deer she had shot at to come back into her line of sight, Holbrook went searching for the deer.
“I realized I didn’t have my light, and it was getting kind of dusky,” Holbrook said. “I looked all I could and didn’t find anything.”
Holbrook couldn’t let her hunt end with losing her “once in a lifetime” buck.
“I went back [the next day], and I hunted for an hour and a half,” Holbrook said.
She told her brother she planned to spend the entire day looking for the deer if that’s what it took. She explored a larger area than she had the day before.
After searching for a little while, she found the blood trail and said she knew at that point she had, in fact, gotten her deer.
“I found him, then sat down and cried for a little bit,” Holbrook said. “I took a picture and sent it to my brother, and he called me immediately.”
Holbrook’s family came up to the hunting property where she killed the deer and took photos of her with the deer and congratulated her.
“Everybody was so excited,” Holbrook said. “In my family, we like hunting so much; it’s like a huge accomplishment.”
Holbrook said there was no question of whether she was going to have the deer mounted.
To shoot the deer, Holbrook used a Browning .300 Magnum rifle, which belonged to her grandfather, her father and now her.
“I’ve had men tell me that they’re scared to shoot that gun,” Holbrook said. “[That gun] has good karma. I think it had a lot to do with it.”
After realizing the deer was the biggest that had been harvested by her family, Holbrook said she thought her deer had a chance at the Big Buck Classic.
“That was a very exciting weekend,” Holbrook said.
With her first-place title, Holbrook received a plaque, an embroidered jacket and a 7 mm rifle.
Her 10-point buck had a gross score of 167 and 0/8 and a net score of 152 and 3/8 on the Boone and Crocket scoring system.
Holbrook said she wants to brag more on the deer that got her the first-place title, rather than the title itself.
“That buck has been out there for a long time, and nobody’s killed him,” Holbrook said. “I think he needs some recognition.”
Holbrook’s passion for hunting started at a young age, and sitting out in the woods waiting for a deer is her therapy.
“You’re never going to have a wasted trip,” Holbrook said. “You’re going to see wildlife, you’re going to see scenery, you’re going to see deer, you’re going to see something.”
Even after taking the biggest deer Holbrook has ever killed, she said she is not going to allow that accomplishment to keep her from going back to the woods to try her luck again.
“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” Holbrook said, then added, “My dad keeps telling me that I could go back next year and kill one bigger than [this one].”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.