Ethan Lorance knows the value of eyes in the sky, or at least on the ground.
The 25-year-old pipefitter from Bonner Springs, Kansas, employed several trail cameras to learn as much as he could about the buck that made him a social media star this fall.
Ethan retrieved his first trail cam photograph of the unique buck in June 2016, when it was a 5x5 with crab claw brow tines and matching kickers on its P-2s. The cameras were set up on a friend’s mostly open ground in northeastern Kansas.
“The rack carried decent mass, too, but I decided to pass up the buck,” he said. “I was hunting a different deer on a different farm.”
The following year, he didn’t collect an image of the matching-kickers buck until September, and he was thrilled to see the rack had grown substantially. He was so smitten that he set up four additional cameras on the property.
Those four units gave Ethan an idea of which directions the deer was most likely to travel at different times of day.
Thursday, Oct. 12, marked the second time the wind was favorable for his setup. He climbed his ladder at 5 p.m.
It was a slow evening, but Ethan’s boredom was forgotten when he glimpsed a deer at 60 yards. He wasn’t absolutely certain, but he thought it could be the buck he wanted.
“It took the buck 30 minutes to travel 30 yards,” he said. “It was hitting every tree. Making scrapes. I’d say he made four of five, at least.”
When the deer stepped into a clear lane at 32 yards, Ethan loosed his arrow.
Ethan thought the deer was a 200-incher. He realized he’d seriously underestimated the size when he was 20 feet from the downed animal, which had run about 80 yards before expiring.
He had two hours to admire the antlers before friends arrived to help him drag the 5 ½-year-old whitetail out of there. It was never weighed, but Ethan says it was easily 10 to 20 pounds larger than the average buck there. Photos show it had bulked up considerably – particularly in its neck and chest – in the last week of its life.
The rack’s green B&C score was 213 3/8 inches.
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