What If? A Must Read! Written by Jeff Kempf

Posted by jeff April 18, 2012

Monster Buck ATTACKS another…


and doesn’t QUIT until both are








As the bloodied buck walked away trailing the doe…when the two bucks made eye contact they immediately started displaying signs of aggressive behaviour….they came together with such violence and force and the battle was so loud and intense as these two giant bucks literally tried to kill for dominance. Get ready to experience the greatest “Monster Bucks in Rut” story I have heard!

Ross Smith and Jeff Kempf have been best friends and hunting partners for 20 years. This is their story of TWO Monster Bucks taken, one GORING the other with his horns, as he lay half dead, while competing for a doe.


It was November 3rd of the 2008 archery deer hunting season with high hopes that the pre-rut will have the big boys up and on the move. This was our first day on this particular farm because experience has taught us that we shouldn’t be in here until it’s time. This spot has an ideal funnel between a large wood lot and thick lowland bedding area. On this particular day my partner and I decided that we would both hunt this funnel and sit close enough to intercept virtually any deer coming through in hopes that at least one of us would be successful.


As dawn broke, I heard a buck grunting and chasing a doe in front of me. They both ran in and stood not more than 15 yards from my stand as I strained to look for antlers. As minutes of complete silence passed, the buck lunged and let out a tending grunt sound that sent chills thru me. It was eery, and that’s when I got a glimpse of what looked to be a dandy set of long tines. Of course, the adrenalin started kicking in as he now stood 12 yards away with 5 minutes before good shooting light. Suddenly the doe busted out along the fence line heading away from my stand and the big boy took off after her. They were almost out of sight when the doe turned around and ran right back by my stand. I clipped on my release hoping this was going to be my opportunity. When he walked by at 20 yards I could see the giant rack and his body but unsure of the obstacles between us, I had to let him walk.


As the sun came up and the temperature rose, the deer were moving and the action was steady. Mostly youngsters and does. Around ten o’clock the neighbor came in to cut fire wood just 50 yards from my stand so I was forced to climb down to relocate and Ross would stay in position. We both use climbing stands so it would make the move easy but I would have to set up just inside the bedding area. I located a good tree where the sign and trails were great but shooting was going to be somewhat limited. I settled in as the bright sun and 70 degree temperatures were trying to lull me to sleep and Ross, watched the neighbor cut wood. At 12:54 I looked up to see a doe walking by on one of the well used trials just 10 yards from my stand. Behind her was one of the biggest bucks I had ever seen in the woods. He was a 10 pointer with close to a two foot spread and towering tins. I would guess he was a 180 class deer and he sauntered by without a care in the world. I went to full draw several times and could not find a single opening that I was comfortable enough with to take a shot. The biggest buck of my life just walked by within 12 yards of my stand and once again, no shot opportunity.


We did not see another deer until 4:45pm, when a lone doe finally passed by and headed towards Ross. A few minutes later two more started working down in front of me when I heard the unmistakable sound of a buck ploughing through the woods from the pinch where Ross was sitting. I started to panic, as I struggled to find him when he sounded as though he was right on top of me. Once again I clipped on my release, as a beautiful heavy antlered 8 point appeared. He passed by at 10 yards to check out the feeding does. Once again I elected not to shoot, after all it was my first day of a week long hunt and I had already seen two bigger bucks.


With the big 8 only 20 yards in front of me I looked to my left to see a definite shooter coming from the opposite direction. When the two bucks made eye contact they immediately started displaying signs of aggressive behaviour. Hair raised ears down and pawing the ground like a bull before an attack as the big 8 made his way toward the intruder. They came together with such violence and force and the battle was so loud and intense as these two giant bucks tried to fight for the right to this doe. This is the kind of thing that you read about happening to other people but this time I had a front row seat.


The intense battle continued for several minutes as the two giant bucks got closer and closer to my stand. After several minutes of nonstop war and still totally engaged they finally gave me the opportunity I needed to make a shot on the bigger buck. He immediately turned away from the big 8 and tried to run away but fell and was practically tackled by the other buck within fifteen yards of where he was shot. The big but smaller buck continued his intense and aggressive assault on the now deceased buck! At this point I am shaken with adrenalin myself as I watched this deer’s relentless attack. I grunted, snorted and even whistled at this deer trying to get him to stop but he was oblivious to my efforts. This went on for several minutes before the exhausted, blood soaked deer decided to call it quits.


With his tongue hanging out, antlers and face literally dripping with red the victor walked under my stand and proceeds to investigate the spectator does. I tried desperately to get some video or photos with my cell phone as he walked by but by this point I was shaking out of control myself and couldn’t hit the right buttons on my phone if I wanted to.


Now, one would think that this was the end to a terrific story but the fact is it gets even better. As the blood soaked buck walked away trailing the doe they headed down the finger towards Rusty’s stand. Not more then two minutes had passed when I heard another horrendous ruckus and thought that maybe this pumped up buck was at it again. The doe led the crazed buck by Ross and with a grunt from his mouth Ross was able to stop the big 8 long enough to launch an arrow into the opposite side shoulder. The buck continued chasing the doe as if he wasn’t even hit, then turned and ran up the hill within tree yards of Ross’s stand to confront the next challenger that made that grunt. Unfortunately for him it was the second arrow through the other lung and into the other shoulder. The buck finally ran off with an arrow sticking out of each side and went about fifty yards before piling up with a crash.


The near perfect eight point grossed 138 inches and dressed out at over 200 pounds. The 10 point that I shot also dressed over 200 pounds had a 21” inside spread and grossed 160 5/8’s. These two bucks are “personal best” for both my partner and myself.


We’ve asked ourselves many times since that day how ironic it was that things worked out the way they did. “What if” I would have got a shot at that big buck first thing in the morning? “What if” the neighbor didn’t come out to cut wood that day and force me to relocate? “What if” the 180 class giant would have taken the same trail as the doe and allowed me an open shot? “What if” I would have elected to shoot the big 8 when he came in?


I’ve been hunting for close to 30 years and have witnessed many incredible moments but this is one memory that I was able to share with a good buddy and one that we will never forget.


(Story told by Jeff Kempf & Ross Smith, best friends and hunting partners for 20 years).


Category: Jeff Kempf


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