Every couple of years I hear about one of the members of the Dudley family in Kingman taking a big buck on a hunt in their favorite game management unit, Unit 18A.
This year was no different.
I learned that Kenneth Dudley had bagged a very unusual buck on opening day of his hunt on Friday.
This buck, which has some of the antler characteristics of an elk, was taken by Kenneth while hunting with his son Kordell.
The Dudley’s are a longtime hunting family from Kingman, and the results of their deer hunting exploits have seen print in this newspaper and even in a well-respected mule deer magazine.
In 2008 it was Levi Dudley who bagged a buck of a lifetime.
Levi’s buck sported a rack over 30 inches with lots of extra points. It was such a great buck that his story was published in a story I wrote for the Muley Crazy magazine.
Then in 2012 it was son Kordell who bagged a buck of a lifetime. This awesome 6X5 buck sported a rack that was 31 inches wide.
For Kenneth, his best buck to date is a 28 inch wide 3x3 he got in 2014. He also took a nice 4x4 in 2015.
The buck that Kenneth took on opening day this year is, in my opinion, a great trophy. Everyone knows that I am really into what I call “Freaks and Geeks” and this buck surely qualifies as that.
Dudley said he and his son Kordell, who does not have a tag this year, stopped to glass in a favorite area early on opening morning.
When they didn’t see anything they decided to move on to another spot a couple miles away and started glassing some far away hillsides.
“We saw a bunch of cattle and then we spotted a pair of bucks that were feeding close to them,” Dudley said.
One of bucks was a 3x3 while the other buck seemed to have an unusual set of antlers.
The hunters closed the distance to the deer. Even though they had to get by three groups of nervous cattle, the two bucks stayed put and ultimately the sportsmen were within 275 yards of them.
Kenneth’s first shot missed the mark, but his second was on the money. Another shot and the buck was down for good.
“We do a lot of shooting,” Kenneth said.
When they got to the buck, they were surprised at what they saw.
“He had a set of neat looking antlers,” Dudley said.
The buck’s rack sported five points on the left main beam (not counting the eye guard) and five points, which included a double eye guard, on the right beam. But what was really unusual was that it had a point that came off the main beam of each antler and curled up in the front, much like one would see on a mature bull elk.
Dudley said the buck’s rack is only about 20 inches wide, and that the buck was young, probably just three years old.
Dudley brought the buck back to Kingman where it was processed and the meat put into a cooler to age.
Kenneth said he decided not to have a mount done on the buck as he has too many other big deer in his Kingman home.
And this may not be the end of the story for the Dudley family this year.
Kenneth’s wife Holly also has a tag (her first) for deer in Unit 18A and his son Ty is coming in to start his hunt in Unit 18A later this week.