Kyler Moppert is not just my business partner. He is one of my best friends. Getting the text yesterday evening that he had “shot a monster” ignited an excitement that I was going to be able to write a story about someone I know personally. Someone I can attest to how hard he hunts, how much he scouts, how long he sits and how much he loves bow hunting!
I asked Kyler’s wife Elise two questions this morning. Two questions that I already knew the answers to, but I wanted you to hear it from someone that sleeps next to this man every night. I first asked her to describe Kyler’s relationship with deer hunting:
“He’s passionate, he’s dedicated. He’s pretty much obsessed.”
She chuckled. Secondly I asked, out of the last 90 days how many times has Kyler been in the woods? With zero hesitation she laughed and said:
“Is 91 an acceptable answer?”
Kyler is a native of Baton Rouge and is what some would consider new to bow hunting. But by doing his homework and spending countless hours in the woods he has surpassed some seasoned hunters who have had less success with decades of experience under their belt. He won’t brag about what he accomplished this year, but 3 bucks and 3 does is a pretty amazing feat with a bow. Especially when you consider this trophy public land 10 point and a nice 8 in the mix.
Kyler and his buddy Garrett Ramsay made a trip to Tunica Hills WMA this weekend for one last hoorah. They both hunted hard all weekend.
“Garrett had some pretty nice bucks on trail camera in this area. A big 7 point, the buck I shot and a nice 8 that I let walk early in the weekend. Saturday morning I mistakenly set up within 80 yards of another hunter. After the sun came up I climbed down and moved 200-300 yards away to a different ridge top where I found tons of sign. I ended up seeing 4 does that morning before I climbed down for a break and a few slices of pizza.”
“I did a little more scouting mid day and found a great spot.” A west wind would be worst case scenario for this spot but the sign was too good. He had to give it a shot.
“I found a tree with a big fork in it. I got busted earlier by getting in a tree that showed my outline too easily. That was not going to happen again.”
“Hunting Saturday evening and Sunday morning produced multiple deer sightings but not the buck I wanted to spend my last tag on. He was gonna have to be big to be worth dragging him out of this place. We had already made a pact before the hunt not to shoot a doe. The terrain in there is a nightmare.”
Sunday evening, what was to be Kyler’s last hunt of the season, he braved the West wind and got in the go-to spot around 3:15 pm. Around 4:30 pm a flock of 7 turkeys walked in making tons of noise. At 5:15 pm Moppert described how he watched them roost eye level with him just a few yards away.
“We were hunting really close to the river. Shortly after the turkeys went to roost I text Garrett as a tugboat passed commenting on the diesel smell that was inevitably covering up my scent.”
“At 6 pm I could see the rack. I saw him at 40 yards and immediately knew, ‘That is the kind of rack people make logos out of; heavy wide and symmetrical.'”
“He was slowly making his way towards me but as I shifted my foot on the stand the back of my boot caught the support cable and made a twang! The buck froze and looked dead at me for what seemed like forever. He took one step and looked at me again. He turned to his right to walk down the hillside.”
Kyler drew his Prime Impact and anchored for the shot. “I had my 25 yard pin behind his shoulder. I released and watched my arrow pass through and stick in the dirt on the other side.”
The Gold Tip velocity and Wasp Drone did their job. “He turned to run the way he came in and went down hill. I immediately text Garrett, ‘I just shot a monster.'”
Unsure of exactly where he hit he walked over to the arrow to inspect the blood. He found light airy blood and a missing vane, a great sign of a lung shot. Wanting to give the deer time to expire and not risk pushing him he backed out and waited on his hunting partner to arrive.
“I sat on the bank of the Mississippi River waiting on Garrett and watched the sunset. It was pure bliss. It was if that sunset was made just for me. It was so peaceful.”
Garrett arrived and they began to track. Here’s what happened next:
The buck ran 90 yards along a steep embankment and collapsed. The public land bruiser weighed 158 pounds field dressed and boasted at nearly 21″ inside spread. That made for a long half mile drag to the 4 wheeler but an even longer trail of memories that will definitely last a lifetime. Congrats my friend. You earned it!