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The Story of Nightmare

By Dale Kiser, WILD Jaeger Pro Staff (Kentucky)

Figure 1 ”Photo” Nightmare back in September of 2014.

He never had a name until 2016, the first picture of him was in 2013. He was a 100″ to 110″ -9-point and after I started getting trail camera pictures of him, I said this is a deer that I want to see when he turns 5.5 years old.

Keeping him alive was going to be a very very hard thing to do. On one side of our lease is the public land WMA and on the other side was the state Park. The other issue was all of the people hunting on the lease at the time. They would shoot any and everything they saw.

I had pictures of him all year and knew he had made it through the 2014 season and man did he put the bone on from last year. He was 3.5 years old now and he had very good minerals and good feed along with good food plots that were high in protein. He was a solid 130” to 135″ 10 Pointer with split G-2s, a dandy a deer that 95% of people would have shot in the 2014 season.

The season came to an end and there were some changes made on the lease. Jake Henderson and I took over the lease for the 2015 season and now it was time to do things our way on the property.

I Never hunted Nightmare in 2015. I had a big deer to hunt in another county which I took on October 3 with my bow. The 2015 season came to an end with him putting more bone on his head. He had jump to a 145” to 155″ 10 pointer with kickers, he was a deer that I had 1000s &1000s of pictures of but never seen him with my own eyes.

Figure 2 ”Photo” Nightmare in the 2016 season, after adding weight and mass.

I had high hopes of taking him in 2016, The first day of bow season I passed a 150″ to 155″ 10 pointer with split brows. I passed him again three more times, then on September-8th it was my grandson Landon’s Birthday. My wife Penny ask me to come home early, they were going to have a birthday party. I said yes I would be there.

This season Chuck Paddock had given me some new arrows, I had set them up on my BowTech and I was shooting 79 Foot lbs. The bow could have shot thru anything. It was getting the right time of the evening for the deer to start moving. It was also getting time for me to leave for the party. I was putting my arrow back in the quiver when I looked down the logging road and here came the buck that’s Named Nightmare.

I was in a ground blind and he was on his way to the feed. I pulled my arrow back out and re knocked it. Nightmare was still 50 yards away but coming right at me. I drew my bow as he got to within 10 yard of me. I grunted at him and he didn’t respond, I did it again and still he didn’t hear me but the third time he did and stopped at 8 yards. I placed the pin Dead Center on his body, right behind the shoulder, the arrow hit its mark.

Figure 3 ”Photo” Nightmare in 2016, what a dream buck.

I have shot a lot of deer over the years but I thought, O boy I got him. I thought man this is awesome to go after two different bucks in two different years and get them both. I had no cell service where I was so, after a 200 yard walk I called my wife to let here know I had shot the big buck. I told her I was on my way home and would come back in the morning to get the deer.

My son Tyler Kiser was the one that could not wait until the next day so he started to make his way to the farm that night. We found my arrow and there was about 7 1/2″ to 8″ that was gone and I found very little blood. So now I was very disappointed and everyone told me to call Robert Miller. He and his dog are deer tracking machines and we talked on the phone a lot about the shot I put on the deer.

Robert Miller is the person who gave the deer the name Nightmare. I hunted ever morning until 11:30 then would get down and look for him until 2:30, rest a little then go back in the tree for the evening hunt. My wife and I would go back at night and listen for coyotes but heard nothing.

19 days and 7 hours after the shot, he showed back up on camera. I was so happy to see him on camera and now it was time to start trying to take him all over again. After five mornings of hunting I was on my way to my stand when guess who was there? Nightmare was standing 12 yards from my stand and 7 yards from me. My bow was still in the tree from the evening before, right where I left it. All I could do was watch him walk off.

On October 24th I seen him on an evening hunt but did not have a shot. I hunted the next 44 days straight, morning & evening and I past on a lot of good deer. Bow season was gone and first muzzleloader & gun season was behind me but we still had a late muzzleloader season.

December 10-2016, two days after our gun season I asked Del Middleton to set me a new treestand for muzzleloader. He sets all my stands for me and we set this one 70 yards from where I shot Nightmare back in September.

I kept checking my trail cameras and I had a lot of pictures and videos of Nightmare and a buck we called the split G-2 buck that had been staying on the other side of the farm. Nightmare had been showing up every morning at 8:51am or 8:53 am

12-10-2016 the day was here, late muzzleloader season. I had seen lots of deer and turkey by 8:51 am & 8:53am but Nightmare had not showed up. The Game & Fish Department had opened the public land for muzzleloader season and by this time I had heard three shots from 3 different places on the WMA. Two of them were from across the lake and one was close to the farm.

At 9:45 the split G-2 buck was 45 yards from me I watched him for an hour by this time and I had heard 3 more shots that were all close to the farm. That got me to thinking what if Nightmare is dead and I let the G-2 buck go, so I decided to take him. My quest for Nightmare was over. The split G-2 buck was in the back of the truck and it was time to possibly get my dad Spencer set up on Nightmare.

After getting home and checking my camera cards, I found out nightmare had not been on camera since Wednesday evening. Boy that starts you thinking where could Nightmare be, maybe he was killed this morning with the 6 shots I heard next to us.

So I told dad to get into my stand and after he seen my tree stand he said I was crazy if I thought he was getting in my stand. So he hunted another stand we had close to that one. Rain was setting in for the next few day so I told dad let’s make this easy on him, after all, he is 70 years old. So we went the next afternoon and set up a ground blind for him.

After checking my camera cards again, there was Nightmare. He was right on time at 8:51 am, the next few days was great hunting for dad. Thursday evening dad shot at a big 8 pointer and missed him. He continue to see lots of deer over the next few days. Sunday was here and the last day of muzzleloader season. Dad did not hunt the morning so I went and hunted his ground blind, I seen 17 deer and around 50 turkey. I climbed out of the blind at 9:45 and went to check cameras. I got to my truck and was on my way home when going down the road I looked over in a field and there was Nightmare with two doe’s.

1 1/2 miles from the farm through the woods and 3 miles on the road, you may think I am crazy but I rolled down my window and told him to get his butt back to the farm. It was around 11:00 am by this time and I called dad telling him where I had seen Nightmare.

James Blankenbeckler was here hunting our leases in Elliott County and that evening we had all the rain we could handle and couldn’t get up the hill, so we didn’t hunt that evening. I decided to drive on down to the farm and wait on dad to come out from hunting and just as I was pulling in to the farm dad called and said well I messed up again, I said what happened he said that big deer was here and I shot at him I said what did he do?

Dad said he ran off as fast as he could, I said he is dead. So I went and opened the gate and drove down to where dad was and started looking for blood. I didn’t find any so I started looking in the directions he ran off.

After going only about 15 yards I looked and there was Nightmare, dead. Dad had gotten it done. Looking at the archery shot I put on him back in September, I couldn’t have ask for a better shot, but dad had delivered the lethal shot.

The evening dad shot him I called James at the motel and told him dad had killed Nightmare, so we took him up there to show him to James. He is the one that pointed out there was something in the opposite shoulder of where I shot him. The next day James came and took pictures of dad with Nightmare.

Thanks again James. The next evening when we caped him out is when we found my broadhead in his shoulder from where I had shot him back in September. I had taken out One Lung but it was not enough to stop him. He truly was a trophy buck and I am so glad my dad had the opportunity to tag this giant. Congratulations dad.

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