posted on June 04, 2012 06:33
By Mike Handley
When Mike Walters applied for one of the coveted permits to bowhunt a city park overrun with deer in 2011, he had no idea that drawing one would cost him almost $1,000 -- not for the permit itself, but for two mounts and 145 pounds of freezer-wrapped meat.
Both Mike and his bowhunting-addicted wife, Paula, were drawn for the 24-day, Nov. 7-30 hunt at Kansas City's Tiffany Springs Park. One of his coworkers at the Ford plant told Mike about the managed hunt at the nearly 800-acre, city-owned parcel. The man also suggested where he ought to hang a stand, a place near the airport where he'd taken a nice buck.
He could walk a mere 100 yards to the tree.
The first day aloft there, Mike saw at least 200 deer in seven hours. The second day, Nov. 14, he saw only three, but one gave him a severe case of Elvis leg.
"I've been hunting 25 years, and that was my first real taste of buck fever," said the 43-year-old auto worker from Independence, Mo. "I had it bad, too!"
The short version of the story is that a 19-point buck -- lured either by rattling, a Tink's #69 scent bomb, or both -- came to within 5 yards of Mike's tree shortly after 9 a.m. When it left, there was a hole in it.
The mount set Mike back a pretty penny, and he also spent almost $400 to have the deer turned into summer sausage and venison burger. But his season didn't end there, since he arrowed another fabulous buck in the park a week later.
The first one, his largest, wore a tremendous mainframe 4x5 rack with 10 small extras. Even without the junk, the antlers would've had a composite (true gross) score of nearly 184 inches. With them, it registers 208 5/8.
The complete story (and it's a good one) will appear in Rack magazine this fall.