posted on September 06, 2011 07:10
By Mike Handley
When a doe led two bucks through the Harper County, Kan., creek bottom Billy Garner was watching on Nov. 12, the bowhunter from Arkansas thanked his lucky stars that the rut was only beginning. Because after the doe cruised on through, her two suitors hung around to leave calling cards in multiple scrapes.
The property’s 2 1/2-year-olds were chasing everything in sight, but the older bucks knew it was not yet time to dim the lights and cue up some soft music.
“At one point, the big 10-pointer (which he so desperately wanted) was broadside at 41 yards, and the 8-pointer was working a closer scrape, at 27,” Billy said. “The big one was raking the ground and breaking limbs overhead. I could feel my heart beating, but I was trying to stay calm.”
Eager to seal the deal before the buck walked out of his life, Billy used his rangefinder to check various yardages. He struggled mightily over whether to take the longish shot or wait to see if the beefy whitetail would come closer.
“They worked the scrapes for a long time, and I almost drew on the big one a couple of times,” Billy said. “I was thinking -- hoping -- it would hit the scrape the smaller buck was working, that it couldn’t just leave that one alone without adding its two scents.”
His hunch was as on target as his Mathews bow.
Even before the 8-pointer finished, the larger buck decided it was his time at the hydrant.
“I had my bow in hand and was almost chanting: make the shot ... make the shot ... look through the peep ... look through the peep,” Billy said. “When it was done, I think I made the best shot I’ve ever made in my life. I could see the fletching when the arrow hit.
“It was the biggest deer I’d ever seen,” he added. “It might be the biggest I’ll ever see. I still have a hard time believing I shot it.”
The huge 5x5 had three irregular points Billy didn’t see until afterward. Sweeping beams and four tines exceeding 13 inches help the antlers to a BTR score of 179, making it the fourth-largest Typical ever arrowed in the Sunflower State. With the inside spread added, it tallies 195 2/8.
The full story behind this incredible buck, written by Lisa Price, will appear in RACK magazine this fall.