By Mark Kenyon

Our friends at Whitetail Properties are at it again, as the giant whitetails are already hitting the ground early in this 2012 season. Today we’ve got the story of an absolute giant Kansas buck killed on September 20th by Whitetail Properties Land Specialist Aaron Milliken. Congrats Aaron! – MK

“For 5 days we were hunting several other mature bucks that we have on other farms in the area we hunt. One of my close friends, Heath Samuels, was glassing fields for me while we were hunting the other farms.  Heath spotted the 194″ in a grass field two evenings before I was able to harvest him.  Because the 194 was in the field at 6 PM that evening we decided that we may have a shot at harvesting him in the next couple evenings.  The next day we slipped in, hung a Reconyx Camera, poured a bag of BB2 out, and made a blind on a fence row that would allow us to hunt the buck with the wind direction the weather forecast was calling for.  The first evening the 194 did not show up.  The next evening the wind direction unexpectedly changed, so we had to change blind locations. I chose a large brush pile on the opposite side of the field that was perfect for the east wind we had.  That evening the field started filling up early with does and turkeys.  A smaller buck entered the field for about 15 minutes, then the 194 followed.  The 194 stood in front of my Reconyx camera for several minutes then started heading into the grass field to feed.  I had a clear shot at 140 yards.  When I shot the buck he ran directly back in front of the Reconyx on his way out of the field.  The 194 jumped the fence and ran directly back into his bedding area.  Because of the smoke from the muzzle loader we were unsure where the buck was hit.  We decided to look for blood where he jumped the fence and found none.  We backed out and went back to Heath’s house to review the video footage on the big screen.  We also pulled the card in the reconyx on the way out, as we suspected we had several hundred pictures of the buck before the shot and one after he was shot!  In addition we have one of his sheds from last year, the neighboring land owner has the other side (which he hasn’t given up yet). After reviewing the footage we were all confident in the shot.  We went back 3 hours later and were able to recover the buck within 70 yards of where he was shot.

The Buck has an incredible rack with many unique traits.  An 8 inch drop-tine, and over 30 inches of stickers and points off his 7 and ¼ inch bases! 26 inch main beams and great tine length throughout.  The buck was 5 years old and had been incredibly elusive the last season.  Heath actually had an opportunity to harvest him last year with his bow but elected to pass him because he was 4 years old and had an estimated score in the 160 range.  He grew an estimated 30-35 inches this year into an absolute giant!  There is a great history behind this deer.  We were able to harvest him the second time the farm had been hunted all year.  No pressure and hunting the correct wind direction was key in harvesting this buck.

The hunt was shared with a group of great friends that share the same management goals and practices.  This buck is a direct result of good QDM and low pressure hunting tactics.  We hunted hard for 5 days straight and had a great time.  I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to harvest the buck and even more thankful to share it with so many close friends.  Now it’s time to head back to Illinois and start all over again!” – Aaron Milliken

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