posted on October 28, 2012 13:42
By Mike Handley
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.
“Seems everyone with a computer in the county 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,” says Travis Hogan, the man who scored the rack for the BTR and whose story will soon appear in Rack magazine.
Colton's grandfather owns one of the three tracts where the buck was regularly seen, and that’s where Colton and a college buddy were hunting when the season opened Dec. 1.
Toward the end of the very cold day, the two guys and Colton’s brother staged a man-drive that pushed the buck out of hiding and into Colton’s lap.
“I couldn’t tell if it was THE buck or not, at first, because of all the trees,” he said. “But then it stopped suddenly; probably scented me. That's when I saw the drop tines and knew.
“When he resumed walking, I shot,” he added.
Word of Colton’s feat spread almost immediately, and everyone who had seen or heard about the deer felt compelled to come and get an up-close look at it.
The neighbor who filmed the big deer also had photographs of it going back years. By his estimation, it had to be 8 1/2 years old, which is believable. It had no teeth left on his bottom jaw.
The 17-pointer, which will grace the cover of Rack magazine’s winter issue, would crack the top-five or -10 lists in most states, but not in the Land of Giants. By Kansas standards, even with an official score of 203, it’s the 23rd largest Irregular felled by a rifleman. The impressive 23 7/8-inch inside spread gives it a composite score of 226 7/8.