A 200-Inch Kansas Head-Turner

White-Tailed Deer


A 200-Inch Kansas Head-Turner

Posted 2016-11-28T23:52:00Z  by  Brian Strickland

Let the Red Moon Be Your Guide

Rack Report Details
Buck:219 non-typical
Time of Year:November 5, 2016
Place:Atchison County Kansas
Weapon: Hoyt Spyder Compound Bow  Bowhunting 

Adam's giant Kansas buck. (Adam Hays photo)

Bowhunter Adam Hays needs no introduction. As one of the hosts of Team 200, Adam Hays has been chasing whitetails for more than three decades. As an Ohio native, he has killed many whitetails with his bow, but when he arrowed his first 200-inch Ohio giant in 1999, something changed in his whitetail psyche. Since that fateful day, he's almost exclusively hunted for the biggest whitetails the ground he hunts can produce.

Hays has well-over 40 Pope & Young class bucks to his credit, but what's even more impressive is his knack for killing true-blue monsters. Of those bucks, 10 have grossed into the elite Booner class, and as of the beginning of the 2016 season, three of those have smashed the magical 200-inch threshold. However, that all changed when he received a phone call in late October that another 200-inch giant was showing up on trail cameras on the property he hunts in Kansas. With this information, Adam quickly changed his plans, which were initially to head to Iowa the first part of November, and headed to the Sunflower State.

A side view of this extremely impressive whitetail. (Adam Hays photo)Regardless of what part of the whitetail season he hunts, Adam is a big believer in the moon phases and how they affect deer movement. In fact, of the 10 Booners he has arrowed, nine of them were moving during what Adam considers these peak moon times, or the Red Moon as he refers to it. As Hays explains, when the moon is directly overhead (straight up) and directly underfoot (straight down) it has the greatest gravitational pull, which he feels influences animal movement. When this corresponds during the peak movement hours in the morning and evening, it is extremely effective. He believes in it so much that he has dedicated a website to it, www.moonguide.com.

Typical of Kansas, the 160-acre farm Adam was hunting is surrounded by crop fields with a deep creek bottom weaving its way through it. With bedding cover located along the creek, as well as in larger blocks of timber close by, it is a perfect travel corridor for rutting bucks. When Adam slipped into his stand for the first hunt he saw little activity. But with a 200-inch giant starting to make an appearance and the pre-rut in full swing, it was only a matter of time before he would lay eyes on him.

Because of the wind, Adam was forced to hunt a different part of the property for a couple days, but when it switched on November 5, he made plans to slip back up his creek-bottom perch hoping the rut activity would pick up. As Adam noted before he headed out that evening, the red moon was set to be overhead at 5:44 PM, and that is primetime for deer activity.

Wanting to limit his noise and scent impact on the area, he used the deep creek bottom as an access route. Sprinkling shavings of Conquest Scent's EverCalm Herd Scent below his stand like he always does, he slipped into his treestand and got settled in.

Deer activity was slow. In fact, he hadn't seen a deer that evening, but that changed around 5:45 PM. When he first saw the buck just 35 yards away, he knew it was him. There's no mistaking a 200-inch brute, and the buck was heading toward the area where Adam had climbed out of the creek. The buck picked up his scent trail immediately, but instead of blowing and running to the next county, the buck simply followed the EverCalm scent trail to the base of his stand.

The buck circled 360 degrees around his stand, offering no shot opportunity. But when the buck moved out to about 10 yards, Adam let his Hoyt Spyder do the rest.

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