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Back in the Game

Back in the Game

By Mike Handley

You know those Photoshopped images showing a giant Typical standing alongside a Non-typical (usually Milo Hansen’s deer and the Hole in the Horn buck)? The one with the caption asking “Which one would you shoot?”

That’s a no-brainer for Daulton Kirby. The 26-year-old Kansan will always choose the wonky one.

Daulton is so intrigued by irregular racks that he gave up hunting for six years because he was tired of seeing garden-variety Typicals. He’s been that way since 2013, when he shot a thick-beamed 16-pointer.

“I am particular. I like abnormal racks, something really unique,” he told Gita Smith, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine. “I don’t care so much for uniform deer, and, for years, all I was seeing on my game camera were ordinary antlers.”

Daulton has 80 acres in Rice County.

In July 2019, he retrieved photos of a buck that pulled him out of retirement. His neighbors were collecting trail camera images of it as well.

With a cold front approaching on the afternoon of Sept. 22, Daulton drove to the property about 3:00. The hike from the gate to his ground blind was half a mile, the latter bit uphill, which caused him to sweat.

Two hours into his vigil, he spotted a couple of does and their fawns heading to the feeder 150 yards in front of him. They hung around for 20 minutes.

At last light, he watched another doe, completely unaware a buck was approaching from the rear.

“I didn’t hear the buck walking. It came in at 7:20,” Daulton said. “I had to reach for my gun. Once I saw the left side of the rack, I opened my window to where I could shoot, and that’s when the deer looked at me.

“I could have sworn I was busted, but the buck just flicked its tail and started walking down the trail that leads to the feeder.”

It was at 30 yards when Daulton squeezed his muzzleloader’s trigger.

The deer’s rack has not been taped for the BTR yet.

— Read Recent Blog! Indiana Insomniac Finds Cure: With a BTR score of 196 5/8 inches, the 15-pointer is No. 8 among Indiana Semi-irregulars felled by compound bow.

Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd