Tom Boyer, of Seagoville, Texas, made the trade of all trades.
Boyer, the founder of Boss Buck feeders and blinds, swapped some of his products for a hunt with Bob McConnell of Horseshoe Hill Outfitters in Anderson County, Kansas. It was a trade that would result in Boyer taking one of the biggest bucks of 2013.
Most of the hunting at this Kansas outfitter involves long hours on stand, and that's what Tom was prepared for when he arrived for the start of the 2013 rifle season.
But things didn't go as planned. Boyer opted to sit all day, even when other hunters were being picked up for a quick lunch. Early in the afternoon, McConnell headed back out to deliver the other hunters in camp to their locations for the afternoon hunt.
As he was driving down a gravel road, a giant buck with a doe ran across in front of him. McConnell turned around and finally located the buck bedded with the doe in some tall grass near a soybean field. All he could see of the buck was a massive, nontypical rack sticking up above the grass.
The buck's location wasn't too far from the blind that Boyer was still patiently waiting in. McConnell quickly headed in his direction to grab the hunter and attempt a stalk.
“When (McConnell) got there his eyes were like golf balls, and he was acting like he had just drank a gallon of coffee!” Bob remembers, “He was saying ‘Get your stuff! Let’s go! It’s a giant buck! Deer of a lifetime!’”
With the help of a train that went by at just the right time, the two hunters were able to get out in the field and close the distance to the buck quickly before belly-crawling another 150 yards to where they could finally get a look at the animal. When Boyer first laid eyes on the rack, he was amazed.
“It was a surreal moment. It just didn’t even look real,” he said. “It took me a few moments to get my mind wrapped around what I was looking at.”
The pair crawled another 40 yards to get Boyer in a position for a shot. Now they had a decision to make: Wait for the buck to stand or take the shot. It was getting late in the day and the wind was dicey. To make matters worse, the buck was bedded on the edge of a creek. If it moved just a few yards, it would be over the edge and no shot would be available.
“I felt like the .300 Win Mag with a 180-grain bullet would slice through any grass in the way so I decided to shoot," Boyer said. "There was an old, broken-down fence that I used for a rest.”
At the shot, the buck disappeared and, at first, they thought it dropped. In reality, the deer had bailed off the creek ledge and was gone with little sign to show for it. Boyer began to have doubts that he had even hit the buck well. With dark coming on fast, the pair decided to back out for the night.
Boyer went back to camp not sure if he had even hit the buck. Doubts about finding it were strong. After what seemed like the longest night of his life, Boyer and McConnell went back to the location the following morning. The buck was lying dead and frozen in the creek just 50 yards from where they last saw it.
“Walking up to that buck was a euphoric feeling; numbing actually,” Boyer said. “You never think something like this will actually happen to you.”
The buck was green-scored at 241 inches, making it the new largest buck highlighted in the Realtree Rack Report for 2013. The giant whitetail's most amazing characteristic is the tremendous mass that carries all the way out along the beams.
He knows of no one who has trail camera pictures of the deer, but when he went to check the buck in, the area game warden said he had seen the buck once before.
“This is an unbelievable blessing,” Boyer said. “I doubt if I will top this one, but I will keep hunting. You never know.”
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