|Rack Report Details
|Time of Year:
|Lyon County, KS
|Thompson/Center Encore Muzzleloader Muzzleloader
Last year, while bowhunting in Kansas, Whitetail Properties' Aaron Milliken passed on an opportunity to shoot an estimated 160-inch buck. At the time, the buck was believed to be about 4 years old. This year, Milliken would be rewarded for his decision.
This season, Milliken had five days to hunt the same area where he passed on the 160 last year. Early on, he was hunting in another field for a different buck when his close friend, Heath Samuels, spotted the buck, now a 190-class monster, at around 6 p.m.
The next day, Milliken and Samuels placed a trail camera near where the monster was spotted, along with a ground blind close to a nearby fencerow. They also spread out a bag of Big &J BB2 feed. The waiting game began.
That evening, the buck was a no-show. The next evening, with clear skies and temperatures in the low 70s, the wind unexpectedly changed direction, rendering their blind location in the fencerow unusable. Milliken and Samuels chose to move across the field.
We set up in a large brush pile that would give us a clear shot to the field and enough cover, Milliken says. It may have been the most uncomfortable setup I've ever been in, but there was no other choice. It worked out perfectly.
Early in the evening, the field filled with turkeys and does. A small buck entered the field, then 15 minutes later, the monster appeared. It stood in front of the trail camera that was set up the day before. As it started to walk into a nearby grass field, Milliken found a clear shot at 140 yards.
He took it. When he fired, the buck ran directly in front of the camera and jumped the fence, running toward the grass field. There was some smoke from the muzzleloader, so Milliken was unsure if he actually hit the buck or not.
We decided to look for blood where he jumped the fence, Milliken says, but 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 from the trail camera on the way out.
Milliken was lucky. He had several pictures of the buck before the shot and one after the shot. And after reviewing all of the footage, he was confident in his bullet placement. He and Samuels returned to the field about three hours later and were able to recover the buck within 70 yards from where he was shot.
The brute scored 194 inches with an 8-inch drop tine and more than 30 inches of stickers and points. With 7 1/4-inch bases and 26-inch main beams, the decision to pass on the buck last year proved to be a wise one. It had grown an estimated 30 to 35 inches.
The hunt was shared with a group of great friends that share the same management goals and practice, says Milliken. This buck is a direct result of good QDM and low-pressure hunting tactics. We hunted hard for five days straight and had a great time.
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