Colton Lowry’s 17-pointer from Norton County is the 30th largest Irregular felled by a rifleman in Kansas.
The yard was like a parking lot, the farmer’s shop a veritable Wal-Mart on Black Friday. But it was the first Thursday in December, and the crowd wasn’t there to find a deal on a flatscreen TV or the must-have toy du jour.
They came to see Colton Lowry’s buck, a deer that had set tongues wagging long before Colton came home from college for the short Kansas rifle season.
Someone had videotaped the double drop-tined buck when it was very much alive. Trail cameras all over that corner of Norton County had captured its image. And several folks had actually seen the deer that even experts might’ve claimed had been “Photoshopped” because the rack seemed impossibly wide (nearly 29 inches).
Perhaps the most shared video revealed that the buck had to tilt its head in order to walk between trees.
Seems everyone with a computer in the county, including yours truly, had received e-mails with either jpegs or video clips attached. Thus, news of the giant whitetail’s demise was a big deal, and it spread like wildfire.
This buck was “WANTED,” and preferably dead, not alive.
The deer was living in a section that included ground owned by three different landowners, including Colton’s Grandpa.
Colton and a buddy, Dawson, came home from Northwest Oklahoma State college for the opening weekend of rifle season. Since he’d been living in Alva, Okla., he didn't hear about the local legend until a couple of weeks prior to the season, when, home for a weekend, he was shown pictures and a couple of videos.
Appetite duly whetted, he couldn’t wait for the rifle season to open.
Colton and Dawson arrived around midmorning on Thursday, Dec. 1, and because Colton's brother, Cody, was feeding cows with his dad, the two struck out alone. While walking alongside a creek, they jumped what had to be THE buck, but neither had a clear shot at it.
They were not sure if the buck had followed the creek back to the east or exited the timber and run across the big bean field between the two strips of land Colton’s grandfather owned. Full of anxiety, the guys decided to take a break and wait for Cody to finish his chores and join them.
They called the owner of the bean field to see if it was okay to walk the creek eastward. They got permission, but the trio found nothing.
Toward the end of the day, Colton was cold, tired and ready to throw in the towel. Cody suggested they try one more man-drive. He’d push; they could take stands.
Colton sat at the point where three tributaries flowed into the main creek. Dawson went to the far northeastern corner, in case a buck decided to bust out over open ground.
While waiting, Colton was tempted to shoot at another nice buck trailing a couple of does. Knowing what else roamed those woods, he opted to wait.
The first of three fingers Cody had planned to push was devoid of deer. The second one wasn’t.
Turns out, THE buck had sought refuge from both hunters and a biting wind inside a deep cut just a few yards from the highway. When Cody jumped it, the deer kept to the trees.
“I couldn’t tell if it was THE buck or not, at first, because of all the trees,” Colton said. “But then it stopped suddenly; probably scented me. That’s when I saw the drop tines and knew it was him.
“When he resumed walking, I shot,” he added. “My .30-06 did the job!”
Word of Colton’s feat spread almost immediately, and every-one who had seen or heard about the deer felt compelled to come and get an up-close look at it.
The hunter who produced all the video footage of the big deer claimed he had pictures of it going back years. By his estimation, the buck was 8 1/2 years old, which is believable. It had no teeth left on its bottom jaw.
Hunter: Colton Lowry
BTR Score: 198 2/8
— Photos Courtesy of Travis Hogan
This article was published in the Winter 2012 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.
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