Colt Hicks, a 9-year-old Warren County hunter, has killed his share of deer in his young life, and his dad’s number one rule when shooting a buck is to make sure it’s bigger than the last one you shot. Last month, Hicks killed his biggest yet, but it’s going to be tough to top. The 10-point buck measured 146 inches.

It was an afternoon hunt for Hicks and his dad, Scott Hicks, who said they’ve been capturing this deer on trail cameras throughout their property for at least the past 3 years.

“When you’re getting kids into hunting, you don’t want to stop them from shooting something just because it’s got a small rack. So I’ve just always said that I don’t mind what you shoot, as long as it’s bigger than the last one you shot. That’s as good a management program as you can get when getting youth involved in the sport,” said Scott Hicks, who was in the stand with his son when the big buck came out into the open area they were overlooking.

They were definitely hunting in the right place. With an acorn patch, a cutover, a food plot, and an open area all present, it’s a hotspot for deer activity, and it didn’t take long for them to see some action.

“A doe walked out, and I woke Colt up, told him to get the gun ready, because she was acting like she was in heat,” said Scott Hicks.

As soon as the young hunter had the Remington 700 .308 mounted, a buck ran up to the doe, stopped, and offered a quartering shot. With the crosshairs of his Trijicon scope on the buck’s vitals, he pulled the trigger. The buck ran about 50 yards, then piled up.

Scott Hicks said this buck has stayed in the immediate area for years, and that they’ve allowed him to reach trophy size by not pulling the trigger on him until he’d matured.

“It’s a 5-year-old buck, and we hunt on 600 acres, but he’s only been spotted on the trail cameras in this immediate area,” he said.

The buck weighed 186 pounds, and had dark, chocolate horns. At the age of nine, Colt Hicks has his work cut out for him when it comes to killing the next one with his dad’s rule of making the next one bigger. But he’s got a trick up his sleeve for that, even though it will take some traveling.

“We’ve got family in Illinois, so we hunt up there some too. Maybe he’ll find something up that way that can top this. He’s ready for it,” said his dad.