Bringing in the big one a really big one

By By Otha Barham / outdoors editor
Dec. 13, 2002
Question. Who has killed the biggest game animal in the area this season? The largest one I have heard of to date was bagged by 12-year-old Kelsey Simmons.
Kelsey and her father, Donnie Simmons, were sitting in an elevated shoot house waiting for deer to appear. Donnie had seen a buck in the area a couple of times just a few days earlier. They were hunting on Kelsey's grandmothers property and it was Thanksgiving Day evening.
The giant wild boar stood 125 yards away in the brush and was swinging his nose high in the air as if trying to locate other hogs or searching for the scent of some perceived enemy. "He began walking toward us, nose up," said Donnie. "He came in a zigzag fashion, all the time with his nose up in the air," he added.
Moment of Truth
Kelsey readied her New England single shot .243 rifle and waited. On came the big hog. Donnie refrained from nervous coaching. When the boar came to within about 50 yards and presented a broadside shot, Kelsey sighted at the hog's shoulder and fired. The black giant collapsed and there was noisy celebration which began with, "Daddy, I got him!, I got him!"
The Enterprise Middle School student had realized another of her wishes. She makes A's and B's in her 7th grade subjects and enjoys basketball, softball, water skiing, fishing and riding a 4-wheeler. She wants a career in the medical field.
Kelsey feels she enjoys hunting a bit more than her 19-year-old sister, Lindsay, and much more than her mother, Denise. During the black powder season, she was hunting with her dad in the same stand where she got her hog. They had put out scents to attract deer. Suddenly Kelsey said, "Daddy, there comes a big one!" The deer was a 6-pointer which Donnie promptly collected.
Her first deer was taken on a hunt Kelsey made two years ago. Her second deer showed up right behind her home. The big 6-pointer had followed a big spike and three does into the shooting lane. She and her father watched for nerve racking moments from an elevated stand as the buck stayed hidden behind other deer. Finally the buck presented a clear shot and Kelsey lined up her scope sight and fired. The deer ran into the woods and the pair set out on the track. When they found the dead buck, "I screamed," said the young hunter.
Pet Peeve
Although she understands how mistakes can be made, Kelsey is troubled by the shooting of young bucks (button bucks) that are mistaken for does. Her concern reminds us all to be especially careful to look hard at the "does" we take for food and population management before we shoot.
Practice shooting a .22 rifle and rabbit hunting have helped Kelsey establish good shooting skills. Along with developing skills, she advises new hunters to, "be patient and don't give up."
When the celebration subsided where the big boar fell, the pair took off for home to tell the news. They returned with a camera and help to load the hog. Lindsay and her boyfriend assisted in loading the monster, after which they took it to scales for weighing. Two hundred and eighty-five pounds. Maybe the biggest of big game hereabouts.

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