Predators & Small Game
'Hunter' Bags Giant Jayhawk Buck
Buck: 191 inches
Hunter: Hunter Boone, 11 years old
Time of year: Sept. 8, 2012
Location: Linn County, Kansas
Weapon: Remington Sendero Bolt Action 25.06
Jerry Boone had a feeling the big buck would show. In seconds, the behemoth materialized inside the thick woods. The mature whitetail raised its massive head to check the wind, keeping a keen eye on the does feeding in front of him.
Boone glassed and recognized the brute as “Big Boy” – an elusive, giant typical he had been after for two years. Jerry smiled knowing his plan was coming together. Beside him – also in prone position – his young son Hunter carefully steadied his rifle’s scope on the buck, waiting for the “go ahead and take him” from his dad. From 170 yards away, he felt confident that he could shoot the buck.
Suddenly, the great buck turned and walked back toward its thick lair of trees. Dejection washed over, but then the buck stopped and turned broadside again.
Hunter is a typical 11-year-old boy who got his name because of his dad’s love for the outdoors. This youngster has been hunting since he was 7, and is definitely following in his father’s footsteps. He has taken four deer; his previous best a 160-inch, 10-pointer.
Two years ago, Jerry got permission to hunt a piece of property in Linn County located in east-central Kansas. The spot was 1,800 acres mixed with agricultural plots and hardwoods. Boone set out trail cameras and soon found the property held a monster. The buck was huge and carried an amazing rack, with long typical tines and bases the size of soda cans.
Jerry bow hunted the buck he nicknamed Big Boy during the 2011 season, but never saw the phantom. In fact, trail camera photos contained the only sighting of the buck.
“The buck just wouldn’t come out much in the daytime hours,” Boone said. “But, I guess big bucks don’t get that size by being careless.”
Last spring, Boone found one side of Big Boy’s rack and the shed scored 98 points. Determined now more than ever, Jerry was consumed with shooting the elusive whitetail.
As youth season approached, Boone wanted Hunter to shoot the great buck. Game camera photos revealed that the buck would walk by the same location at 7:30 every evening, before heading to a soybean field. So Jerry formulated a plan that would give his son a 170-yard shot at the buck.
On Sept. 8, during the Kansas youth season opener, Jerry and Hunter arrived at 6 p.m. for an evening hunt. The plan was to lie prone on a high terrace overlooking the buck’s route to a nearby bean field. Their wait was brief before does started filtering out of the woods. At 7:30, Jerry spotted Big Boy inside the trees and alerted Hunter. In seconds, the huge buck walked out and stood broadside, before turning around and heading back into the thick hardwoods.
Suddenly, the buck stopped and turned broadside just 200 yards away. Jerry whispered, “Can you shoot him there?”
Hunter replied, “Yes!” He fired. The big buck dropped on the spot.
“We got him, Dad,” Hunter yelled.
“You sure did, buddy,” Jerry said.
Both father and son hurried to where the big buck lay. The sight was moving.
“Hunter was pretty excited,” Boone said. “I had tears in my eyes.”
The enormous buck was a mainframe 10-pointer with two sticker points; later field-dressing at 240 pounds. The antlers were massive and green-scored 191 inches.
Boone said that he wishes he could get a life-sized mount done of the buck, but probably couldn’t afford it. He hopes a local taxidermist will make him a “special deal” on the trophy.
Submitted on September 25, 2012