10-year-old drops S.C. record book buck

Kayson Ard shot this big buck near I-20 outside of Bishopville, S.C. on Nov. 9, 2018.

Interstate noise did not bother big deer

Kevin Ard’s text to his son, Kayson, was prophetic.

Kayson’s deer stand was located right next to I-20 in Lee County, S.C. and he texted his dad: “I am not going to see any deer until all this truck traffic goes away.”

Ard texted back: “Noise doesn’t bother the deer.”

Kayson’s brother Kanaan killed this 8-pointer earlier in the 2018 season.

Kevin Ard and his wife had returned home from a trip out of town around 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 and Kayson, 10, was dying to go hunting. His younger brother, Kanaan, 7, had killed a nice 8-point a couple of weeks earlier right after Hurricane Michael passed over South Carolina.

Big brother gets his turn

But now it was Kayson’s turn, and to say his buck topped Kanaan’s would be an understatement.

The Ards got home that Friday with only about an hour of daylight left, so Ard drove Kayson to the stand near the interstate, then took his two younger brothers to another stand to wait until dark.

The mosquitoes came out in force once the sun got lower on the treetops of the warm afternoon, Ard said. After seeing two does, which saw them and ran off, the youngsters were ready to escape the swarming mosquitoes.

About 20 minutes before dark, he texted Kayson to see if he was ready to go. The 5th grader at Robert E. Lee Academy in Bishopville texted back: “I just shot a monster buck.”

Buck snuck in while youth hunter was texting

Kayson said he had been texting back and forth and had just put the phone down when the buck appeared in front of him.

“He was just standing there, but a tree was in the way. It kind of looked at me when I tried to get the gun up, but he put his head back down. Then he looked up again and stared for a little while. He finally put his head down and started walking again.”

The young hunter slipped the safety off the .270 and took careful aim. He made a perfect shot, hitting the buck in the neck and dropping him in his tracks.

“I was not fully prepared for how big that buck was until we got to the stand,” Ard said. The massive 10-point rack green-scored at 148 5/8 inches, easily earning a spot in the South Carolina Records List.

The right main beam measured 24 3/8 inches and the left main beam was 24 1/8 inches with an 18-inch inside spread. The circumference of main right beam between the burr and first point was 5 2/8 inches. The left beam was 4 7/8 inches at that point. The impressive rack also sported 5 3/8-inch first points on each side, 9 7/8-inch and 10 7/8-inch second points, 8 2/8-inch and 9-inch third points, plus a 4 2/8-inch right fourth point and 1 6/8-inch left fourth point.

Ard Senior was right: Road noise has no effect on deer.