Bo's 2009 Kansas Buck

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I posted this story on some forums that I'm a member of a few months back. I figured that it was time to share it with our blog readers since I finally got my mount back from Master Taxidermist, Dan Galetti. He did an outstanding job with the mount and I am very happy with it. I hope you guys enjoy the story. This deer was a long time coming!

Scott and I took off work early on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 to drive down from Smithville, MO to our 80 acre lease in Eastern Kansas. We arrived at the property around 3:00 and were in our stands by 3:30. I hadn't even settled in yet when I had 2 does come by. This had the makings of a good afternoon. It was a little overcast, cool, and we had a light but steady breeze out of the WSW. It was a perfect wind for the hedge tree stand, and this was the first time that either of us had sat in it. About an hour after the does walked by, I spotted a huge bodied buck stand up from his bed in a cedar thicket about 80 yards away. I immediately started telling myself to stay calm. I knew that I had a real giant in front of me. He had risen from his bed due to a grunting and rattling sequence, but wouldn't come closer than about 65 yards. It was apparent that he was agitated that other bucks had dared to enter his domain, but he refused to leave the cedar thicket. With a heavy heart, I watched him disappear into his little cedar sanctuary, and I assume that he must have bedded back down. I didn't see another deer until after dark when Scott and I were on our way to the motel. I told him about the encounter that I'd had with the giant and that I knew he was over 160" and at least 20" wide.

I had been watching the forecast all week and had told Scott several days before that Saturday morning was going to be the best morning we'd had all year. The temps were finally going to dip into the 30's overnight as it was supposed to dawn cold and clear. The weather man was right! I just love those high pressure system mornings as they always seem to get the deer moving. The wind was once again out of the WSW, so on Saturday morning, after a sleepless night, I was back in the hedge tree stand. I brought a buck decoy with me this time and set it up about 25 yards in front of me. Unfortunately, the CRP grass between my stand and the cedar thicket was too tall for the decoy to be seen from a distance. At about 8:25 in the morning, after a grunting and rattling sequence, I caught movement in the cedar thicket about 90 yards out. The giant from the day before had gotten up from his bed and was raking a branch with his antlers. I grunted at him with my VECtor grunter and he looked my way then started raking the branches even harder, I knew that he was mad. While his head was behind some cedars, I rattled a little more and then grunted a few more times. With his hair bristled up and his ears laid back, he started a stiff legged walk in my direction! I crossed my fingers and hoped that he would present me with a shot opportunity and I tried to stay as calm as possible. A few seconds later, he emerged from the cedars at 60 yards. He stepped out in the open, but couldn't see my decoy. I began to worry that he wouldn't come any closer and I'd have to watch him walk away once again. Luckily, he walked further into the CRP and stopped. I ranged him at 51 yards with my range finder. I grunted once more and he looked my way, but he still couldn't see the decoy. He laid his ears back, turned around and looked like he may head back into the thicket. I knew that this would be my only opportunity. I made the decision to let him go unless he stopped on his own, I didn't want to risk having him jump the string if I had to put him on alert with a bleat. Luckily, he took two steps and did just that. He was bristled up and mad and stopped to mark his territory by urinating on his tarsal glands.

I think I should mention that I ordinarily wouldn't take a 50 yard shot on a deer, although I practice it regularly and am very proficient with it. Circumstances were perfect in this situation though. He had no idea of my presence, was perfectly broadside, and was not at all spooked. I didn't think that he would jump the string when I shot, and he didn't. So, once he stopped, I quickly drew my bow, settled my 50 yard pin behind his shoulder and let her fly. My arrow sailed true and delivered a lethal double lung hit. I had stayed amazingly calm during the whole ordeal... I was a wreck afterwards though.

When Scott arrived at the base of my tree about 45 minutes later, I got down and we began the search for blood. We found it quickly and had a fairly short and easy blood trail to follow. I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I finally laid eyes on him. I was absolutely overcome with emotion. I'd been after a buck like this for my entire life. It was a dream come true!

I've been hunting deer with my dad since I was about 5 years old. I can still remember sitting in his lap in a tripod stand in Glynn County, GA before I was old enough to shoot a gun. My only regret was that Dad was not there to share the moment with me. Scott was a pretty good alternative though.

Deer hunting has been a part of me for my entire life. I absolutely love it. For those of you that don't know, I made what many thought was a crazy decision a couple of years ago. I had lived in Georgia for the first 27 years of my life, but a Midwestern bowhunt in 2007 ruined me. I knew after my first 2 hours on stand that I had to live out here. My buddy, Chris Smelcer, still has the text that I sent him that morning. It says, "This is crazy! I'm moving!" So, without knowing a soul in the Midwest, Willie (my golden retriever) and I packed my things and drove to Kansas. Many family members and friends back home told me that I was nuts and that I'd be back in a few months, but they were wrong. It has literally been the best decision that I've ever made in my entire life. I love it! Just a few months after moving, I met my beautiful wife, Sarah, and we now have a home, a little land, and two wonderful children. To top it off, I've got a couple of nice bucks under my belt too. Now who's crazy?

Here's a few harvest photos of the buck. Scott and I scored him at 172 4/8 inches. His main beams measured 25 inches each, his inside spread was 22 inches, and his brow tines measured 9 inches.

With my custom "Thwack Attack" VECtor grunter (a gift from Scott) Best grunter ever!

Scott and I with my trophy.

Dan Galetti did an awesome job with the taxidermy. As of this past Monday, my buck is now at home on my wall!

Comments (5)

  1. A perfect representative of a Kansas GIANT! That is a day that neither of us will ever forget. Galetti did a remarkable job with the mount. His work is second to none in the area. You may have to borrow one of Weston's bibs to catch your drool while you're sitting in your lazy boy, staring at the mount.

  2. Great story Bo...reminds me of the emotion I felt when I have walked up on some of my biggest bucks that I have harvested over the years. How about we skip summer and go straight to the fall?

    I agree, Dan's work is second to none. I'm glad I discovered him back in 2006. I have had him do 3 whitetails for me now and it is safe to say he will continue to be my main taxidermist. Dan is more than a great taxidermist but he is also a great person. Everytime I see him or drop off a mount I find myself visiting with him for over an hour.

  3. Awesome story and what an amazing buck! Congrats Bo! I'm hopefully going to be hunting down in KS, NE or IL this fall, so I'll be crossin my fingers to see a buck like that!

  4. Give us a shout if you head to KS, Mark! We'll have to hook up if you make it down this way.

  5. Definitely! That would be sweet.

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