When a man turns his passion for deer hunting into a family affair, he reserves the right to drop a nice one every once in a while himself. After his wife, Jennifer, killed a 158 6/8-inch buck on opening day, and his son, Brayden, took another big buck a few days later, Kevin Morris of Moriah bagged a 12-pointer for himself on Sept. 24 that scored 146 ½ inches.

“I’d rather see them shoot,” said Morris, “but I picked this one out this year and said he’s gonna be mine.

“I’d been getting this deer on camera for a couple of years. I let him go all of last year.  I started seeing him again in August.  He had really blown up since last year.”

Morris slipped into his box blind at about 4:30 p.m. and soon found himself at the center of activity as he watched 15 to 20 deer eat from his corn pile.  

“I had seen seven or eight bucks and let three good ones go before he came in,” he said. 

Around 7 o’clock, the chosen buck slipped out of the hardwoods.

“He came in and turned broadside; he wasn’t there for more than a minute,” he said.  

But that was all the time it took Morris to raise his Stryker 380 crossbow, and fire off a shot at the buck, which stood 22 yards away. His Black Eagle bolt, tipped with a 100-grain Ramcat broadhead, found its mark behind the buck’s shoulder.

“He ran probably 200 yards before we found him,” he said.  “We lost the blood because it started to rain.”

Like his wife before him, Kevin Morris called Kirk Vaughan of Country Boy Blood Tracking, whose dog had no problem finding the buck.

Morris said his bucks main beams were only 18 inches long, and it had a 14 ½-inch inside spread. But its back tines, both of which were split, were 12 5/8 inches long, and they stepped down to 9-inch tines.

Morris said early archery season is always the most-productive time for his family. 

“Every year, the first two weeks is when we kill our big ones. They come in like doves,” said Morris, who admitted he feared that last fall’s outbreak of epizootic hemorraghic disease last fall might affect this season.

“We were worried that we weren’t going to see any big deer after last year’s EHD, but after we put up our cameras, we knew it was going to be a good year.”

– Read about the trophy taken by Morris' wife earlier this year.