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The biggest buck I've ever seen
I was really excited about this years whitetail hunt in Kansas but was a little disappointed in the quality of bucks I was getting pictures of. I set out a new camera on October 26 and a few days later was shocked to see a huge 10 point working a scrape two nights in a row. This buck looked to be about 190 net typical. With one small sticker on his right G3 and a short G4 on the left, I felt that he might be upper 190's gross. This was for certain the best typical I've ever had pictures of and if I ever laid eyes on him, probably the biggest deer I've ever seen. I realized that this was a once in a thousand lifetimes opportunity and made a promise to myself that I would do everything I could to get a shot at this buck. That might mean passing up some really good bucks but I had to stay focused and try to make this work. This picture is one of the better trail cam photos that I got of him at the scrape.
Uh Oh! I think Jim just set the hook!
I'm patient, up to a point :-)
....and the biggest buck I've ever seen was across the fence from where I was hunting. :-(
I hunted this specific buck for 24 days. I passed up some very good bucks but for the most part stayed away from other areas where killing a good buck would be somewhat easier. I hunted for this buck every day except for Thanksgiving day. I would occasionally give this spot a break for an evening or a morning and also hunted all day some of those days. I had pictures of him, all in the dark, on 7 different nights during this time frame. I would convince myself that I was doing something wrong and think about giving up and then I would get another picture showing that he was still around, just not during the day, in front of any of my cameras. I hunted this buck for 24 days without even seeing him. On the evening of the 24th day he finally made a mistake and showed up during legal shooting hours. He stopped broadside at 19 yards and I was able to make a good shot and finish my hunt. This was the most unbelievable whitetail hunt I have ever experienced and to get that one buck that I had focused on was beyond belief. The highs and lows during these 24 days were sometimes hard to take. Just when I was ready to give up and go after one of those other bucks, something would happen to lift my spirits. Here is my 2018 Kansas buck
What a brute! Way to persevere, Jim!
Some day I’m hoping to have 24 days to hunt!
Wow! Congratulations on your perseverance, Jim! What a beauty!
Holy Moly!!! That's awesome!! Congrats on a monster!
Way to go, Jim! You earned that one. Super buck!
WOW, beautiful... Many CONGRATS!!!
Guessing he'll be in B&C, please let us know...
Wow! What a hog! Congrats on an incredible buck, and with traditional gear to boot! You definitely earned that buck!
James, Your story captures absolutely the very best of everything that bowhunting has to offer us. A once in a lifetime trophy taken with a traditional bow after 24 days of dedicated hunting! You are in a class by yourself. My hat is off to you. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement! Awesome!
Wow! Beautful deer and great story
Awesome. Good job sticking with it. Very nice buck.
Spectacular buck, Jim! Congrats. You earned it
Congratulations are in order. This is what it's all about. A lot of hunters don't have this fortitude, endurance and determination. Excellent, excellent unrelenting persistence and then holding it all together at the end. Well done sir! My most sincere congratulations. BW
Another angle of my buck. I know someone will ask and while I seldom do green scores, here is what I got. When I do green score something for someone I try to keep things pretty tight so they aren't disappointed after the 60 day drying period. 190 2/8" net and 199 2/8 gross. Sorry Ed, I had to list the gross score as well. Just like most great bucks he is somewhat uneven. The left side is over 91" If the right matched the left he would be 204. I still can't even believe it. Like I said, this is a buck of a thousand lifetimes and I can't believe I had the opportunity to hunt him.
Congratulations are in order. This is what it's all about. A lot of hunters don't have this fortitude, endurance and determination. Excellent, excellent unrelenting persistence and then holding it all together at the end. Well done sir! My most sincere congratulations. BW
Way to go, what an incredible amount of determination you have. Very nice, that buck is what whitetail dreams are made of. Congrats!
Amazing to me in so many ways. My hats off to you sir!! Wow. Hunt
Wow great buck! Congrats!!
Congratulations on an amazing animal! Having a target buck can be very frustrating and a hard task to accomplish, but then you throw in that buck being almost a 200” gross typical deer and man that’s unbelievable!! Way to stick with it!!
Wow!!! Way to stick with it, Congrats on a great buck.
Unbelievable, Jim. Way to stay after it, what a truly awesome animal, congrats!!!
Amazing story thanks for sharing.
Incredible buck! Congrats and well done.
Absolutely beautiful! Congrats and you have unreal determination.
Congrats on sticking with your goal/dream. That’s impressive perseverance.
Spectacular! Once in a lifetime experience and reward for sure. You have definitely been blessed with a dream season this year! Congratulations on keeping after that target buck till he made a mistake!
Wow! Great buck and great story of perseverance, and you made the shot. Congrats.
Unreal. When you get an Attaboy from Barry, you don’t need one from me, but GREAT GOOGLEY MOOGLEY, that’s a Hoss!
What’s your bow?
Awesome deer man! You are a stone cold killer. 24 days of not seeing him would have me falling out of the tree after determining I would shoot no other. Mental toughness defined by the feat you just accomplished bud. Congrats!!!!
Outstanding!! Like many have said, incredible in SO many ways. Hats off to you sir!
Way to get it done on a beautiful buck!
A Kansas Beauty - my favorite kind - I have held out for one buck several times in the last 5 years and been on both sides of the coin. It is an amazing feeling when it comes together and it sticks with you for a long long time. Congrats
Congratulations on the great accomplishment of sticking to it and coming through when the chance presented itself! I agree, "a buck of a thousand lifetimes"!
Wow, what a buck! Grats Jim! You sure have had an amazing year.
Thanks for posting and thanks for posting the green scores so we didn't have to ask :)
An absolutely amazing buck. Outstanding job on sticking with it and finally gettin' er done!
A trad-bow typical netting over 190 surely puts you in rare company!
Wow Awesome is all I can say! Congrats in staying on course to take him or nothing. Gross is all that matters. Nets are for fish.
Your story is about as real as it gets. Those types of bucks usually only make the mistake of being on their feet during daylight a few days out of the hunting season and it's usually after the first set of does have been bred. Killing them with a bow is a huge accomplishment. Nice work!
I had the pleasure of hunting a 180+" KS buck this year and had only had one opportunity to kill him when he was late to go to bed at daybreak chasin a hot doe. Crawled 600 yards on my belly in a CRP field only to be busted at 35 yards by his doe while I was drawing on him when he stood up out of his bed. Successful hunt 100%.
Thanks everyone for the kind comments. Especially from Uncle Barry. That might be the best compliment ever. Nets may be for fish but the official P&Y or B&C score is the benchmark of any trophy. It's the system we've used for decades and it's likely not to change. It will be hard to wait 60 days to find out for sure what the final number is. Experience tells me that this late in the year, there should be very little shrinkage.
Beautiful buck! Way to stick it out...
Congrats on a tremendous buck.
Just know that B&C, whose scoring system P&Y has coopted, publishes gross scores. There's no shame in referencing it.
"Nets" are for fishing....This kind of kills the "50% recovery rate" to bed for trad hunters. He looks bigger dead than in the pic....great buck.
That buck could be measured in meters and it's still a TROPHY! Who cares what P+Y says the official score is. Awesome deer!
Great deer, great hunt, great perseverance! Bowbender
Way to have the dedication and stay with it! Congrats on a great deer! I never even see the one I'm after! Well done Sir
Congratulations, you won't ever forget this hunt that's for sure...!
Amazing buck! Congrats Jim!
What a beauty!!! The longer/harder you hunt the sweeter the reward!!! That is one for the ages!
Incredible buck. Congrats !
Dreams realized! Congrats!
Great season! Exactly what the guy in charge should be doing!!
Wowzer! Congrats on a fantastic trophy!
Crazy to think if it weren't for the cams, you wouldn't even know that buck existed! What was he doing when you finally got the shot? Was he trailing a doe or just cruising?
Congratulations on an incredible deer!
Congrats and a buck of a lifetime. Way to stick to your plan. Giant
You're right Jim, buck of many lifetimes! Congrats, looking forward to seeing you both in Feb!
Awesome, just awesome. Congratulations
Fantastic, huge congrats sir!
Unbelievable. Persistence has paid off! Congratulations on successfully hunting that fine specimen and making the shot when it counted
Now that is a buck I would definitely cry over... nice job!
Wowzie. Awesome deer
I especially like the photos where you didnt do anything to 'stage' or 'pose' the deer like so many do.
Congratulations!!! That’s a dream buck. And your commitment of 24 days of effort has to make it more of a captivating story.
Don’t hesitate to post up any more pics.
Impressive resolve. And great deer. Congrats.
now that is spectacular
That's a true trophy hunt! Please tell about your bow, arrow and broadhead setup. Thanks Congrats again. Dave
You will never get tired of shootin 190 typicals
Wow, way to get it done. No ground shrinkage there, Looks even more impressive than the trail cam photo.
Wow, dream buck for sure! Congrats on your success.
Congrats!! What a trophy and using what looks like a longbow makes even more of a trophy, way to go.
Congratulations! This has to be one of the greatest successes ever.
Wow is right!! An amazing animal and story. Thank you for sharing. I apologize if I missed some of the details, but did you know that buck existed prior to this year and do you have any idea how old the buck was? Such an amazing experience, would just love to hear more about it. CONGRATS Again!! MO
Not that it matters, but I wonder what it ranks in the trad category all time. Got to be right up near the top.
Wow! Congrats on a great effort and buck!
wow man.. congrats and way to persevere
Wow! Awesome deer! To harvest the buck your after with traditional equipment, has to be the best feeling ever. Congratulations!! I killed a similar nocturnal buck a few years ago. The difference was we could only hunt him on a sw wind. Did you have a few different stands to hunt him or a tent? We can't get the wind right 3 days in a row here, not alone 24.
Its all been said above but WOW. This is incredible. What a deer...and to do it with a stick and string! Huge congrats
Amazing buck and a great story Jim! Congratulations!
You should be able to and points for putting in all that time. Jim is a hell of a hunter
The first thing I noticed was the Recurve!
James that is wicked
Congratulations. Must have been a pretty emotional few moments after 24 days of hunting and finally getting a shot. Hats of for sure!
Amazing animal Jim, congratulations! And a free range Bison in Utah, you are the man! Hope to get a chance to visit with you at the P&Y convention in Omaha.
Congratulations Jim that is definitely a buck of a lifetime!
WOW. Congrats on many levels! For staying after him for so many days, for sticking it out, for being smart, and for making the shot! Well done is an understatement!
An epic adventure you'll always remember, Congratulations on such a fantastic experience.
amazing! great job sticking it out!
Congrats great buck and kudos for the perseverance Lewis
About my set up. I shoot a bighorn takedown in one of a couple of versions. The last new one I bought was in 1999 when they came out with the shorter 15" riser. I had it made with 56", 52# at 27" limbs. These limbs had the reversed lower limb wedges that really increased performance. They shoot really hard for 52# I shot a heavier bow on my elk and bison hunt and I never switch bows mid season. I changed that this year and switched back to the 52# bow because I shoot it really well and there's the whole cold as hell in the tree stand issue. So I'm using a 52#, 56" bow that has killed dozens of animals. I make my own cedar arrows starting with closely matched 55-60# port orford shafts. I hand taper the back 9" for better clearance off the shelf. I burn in the spirals to give it a camo appearance and to make them original. I like all white feathers but in order to tone them down I die the front 2/3's of 2 feathers brown. That way I'm seeing white during flight but they are just a little more camoed. I shoot a 125 grain 1 1/4" magnus glue on head most of the time but occasionally get nostalgic and use an old bear razorhead. Total arrow weight is 520 grains. After 35 years of shooting a recurve I'm fairly comfortable out to 40 yards. FYI, I know plenty of guys feel that they have to have a 3 or 4 blade to ensure a quicker kill and it makes sense but my 2 blade setup brings them down really fast. This buck only went about 80 yards. My bison went maybe 100, my elk went 20 and I spine shot my antelope. I can't remember the last time I had a double lung hit go over 100 yards. All of this years trophies went down within sight. I didn't see this deer go down because of overhanging limbs and low light but if I had gotten back in the stand the next morning I could have seen where he fell. Thanks again for all the kind remarks. I'm still in a daze about this hunt.
What an incredible deer, congrats!
Just unreal !!! Huge congrats !
Whopper x 10... Congratulations Jim. Please, please, please bring him to panel! For those of you who do not know, Jim is the President of the Pope and Young Club and has set an example for bowhunting on many different levels... this is just one of them. Way to stick with it and persevere. Ed F
Thanks for the setup explanation in detail...... well thought out.
Awesome story, Mr. Willems! -“Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity" -You are "Lucky"!
Amazing buck as well as persistence. Huge congrats Jim, on a buck of a lifetime.
Congratulations on what has to be one of the top all time bucks taken with a recurve. Glad it all came together for you. Thanks for posting
Buck of a lifetime! Congrats!
I was not aware of that fact, Ed. Thanks for pointing that out.
Jim, you stated that you never saw this buck go down, but could have, had you gotten back in the stand the next morning. I’m assuming that you waited until the next morning to track him.? If so, I’ll bet that was one LONG, sleepless night!
Wow, beautiful buck! Congrats!
Awesome! This represents everything that’s great about bowhunting. Well done.
Great story, great dedication, great buck! Congrats man!
I love big typicals, and that one is fantastic! Great job Jim.
I remember scoring a 172" (net) typical for you many years ago. Shot with a Bighorn.
Wow. Great deer, I'd love to see more pictures.
It's all been said .... absolutely a magnificent Deer and hunt! Definitely a "shooter".
Absolutely incredible! Congratulations on your success and persistence paying off. WOW!!!!
T-roy, I did leave him over night and you're right about the sleepless night. I got up at about 4am and went out and started tracking him. It didn't take long to find him so I was able to start taking photos just as the sun was coming up.
I've been going through pictures to try to figure out the one that goes on the wall. Here is another view.
Man, what a great buck! Wonder if that will make the P&Y traditional books? :)
Sadly Rick he won't make it into the next Traditional book since the cut off is December 31. I can't have him measured officially until January 23. He will be in the 4th edition in 6 more years.
Awesome! Great story, pics, persistence, etc. This one has it all! Congratulations! It truly takes determination to beat your own mind at times and it's always good to see and hear stories such as yours, it's good fuel for the motivation when things get tough.
What an awesome awesome specimen! I echo everyone else's congratulations and being able to hold it all together at the moment of truth. What fine deer. If you are looking for votes, I like the last pic best followed closely by 3rd last ;)
Wow! Nice pictures and great story, congrats!
Too awesome!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!!!
Wow! Awesome deer - few will get the privilege of even seeing a whitetail that big - much kess shooting him!!
My Lord, what an incredible buck. Congratulations Jim!!!!
I like ALL the pictures!!! Golly what a deer
My vote goes to the one where you are all smiles (rightly so) looking through the antlers - great pic.
Wow what a buck! Congrats on such a great accomplishment!! Also thanks for sharing.
Awesome buck! Way to hang in there!
Congratulations Jim... outstanding!!
Hard to make that buck and your projecting the sense of accomplishment and dedication look bad.... it's all good. Congrats again.
That's pretty dang amazing! Congrats! I'd do some kind of collage type arrangement- too many good pics to choose one.
That's an awesome buck. Congrats!
Congratulations, he's a beautiful buck!
Wow Jim. Amazing. Congrats!
Well, that was worth waiting for ! Big congrats !
Incredible! Congratulations Jim!
Awesome buck! Awesome story! Congratulations!
What an incredible adventure. Once in many lifetimes. Congrats, congrats, congrats!
To do it all with trad bow is simply amazing! Excellent job and persistence.
My vote is for that 2nd pic. Really shows the whole rack and how awesome it is!
Just like everyone else says - Truly Awesome! Way to stay devoted to your sport. Great early mourning pics!
Awesome buck! Congrats Jim!
Amazing deer and an awesome story! Way to stick with it! Congrats!
Congratulations on a stud.
This is the best deer story of the year. Hardly anyone would have what it takes to hunt him for so many days straight. Getting him with a recurve makes it even better. Outstanding.
All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and CONGRATS! ;-)
Just curious- do you own property in Kansas? Or lease? Just wondered because it says you are from New Mexico. And were you planning to hunt that long to kill that deer?
Great story, fantastic animal! Many, endless congrats. Cool reward for all you do for bowhunters and bowhunting! Thank you for that
Thanks for sharing your story
Wow, what an amazing animal! Congrats on the trophy of many lifetimes!
Congrats Jim on your buck of a thousand lifetimes!!!
Rut Nut, I do own land in Kansas. I grew up there and took over the family farm for a while before I went broke. I bought some land when I was 19 and managed to hang on to it through the hard times. I moved to NM for all the other big game opportunities and to start over. I bought a lifetime license in Kansas before I moved so I've hunted deer in Kansas every year since I was 16. I now have significantly more acreage and work on it about a week a month from spring to August to make it as deer friendly as possible. I also bought a little house in BFE so I can get Lisa to go with me, which allows me to hunt that long. I've been unemployed for about 10 years and try to spend about a whole month deer hunting starting the end of October. When I discovered this buck, I joked with Lisa that the season lasted until 12/31 and I wasn't going home until I got him or ran out of time. I actually had about 1 more week to hunt before I had to make that decision. I realize that few people have the opportunities that I have and believe me I thank God every day for that.
That’s cool Jim! Glad you got him before you had to make that decision- I’m sure that would have been agonizing!
Wow- I give you credit sir- not many kids are buying land at age 19! At that age most are spending all their money on beer and condoms! ;-)
Sounds like you love your property and put a lot of hard work into it every year- I envy you! And the amount of time you get to enjoy it.
I may never own a large piece of land, but I hope to retire one day and be able to hunt 24 days in a row! Maybe by then PA will (finally) pass Sunday hunting so I can! (Legally! ;-)
Thanks for elaborating on “the rest of the story.”
Incredible buck Jim! Congratulations on a dream buck!!!
Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story.
JSW, that is with out a doubt a brute. Now I for one would like to here the whole story. They say hind sight is 2020. So what do you think in your mind was the deciding factor in closing the deal. Over the course of your hunt how many stand sights did you try out? Would love to here your hindsight and story. Possibly Pat could do an interview?
Wow! And congratulations. Mike
I am working on a feature article about this hunt so I don't want to give it all away right now. I would be up for an interview and will probably do a few podcast in the next few months.
A buddy asked me last night now many hours I spent on stand for this buck. I'm going to try to figure that out while it's still fresh. The good thing is, Dan and I text where we are and what we are seeing about twice a day so I do have some records to look at.
I have to offer my huge congratulations to you also Jim. Harvesting that caliper of whitetail is an accomplishment I cannot even find words to say. That experience is one that will keep a sense of satisfaction and a smile on your face for the rest of your bowhunting life. That bowhunting high is why us crazy bowhunters do what we do, work and hunt so hard, and sacrifice so much. Enjoy my friend, you earned it. Frank
Jim, Huge congratulations! Way to persevere and make the shot when you got the opportunity. That is a buck of a lifetime. Nothing beats a big ten in my opinion and that is about as big as they come. True buck of a lifetime. -Jeff
Congratulations - that is that buck of a lifetime for 99.9% of us. What a perfect mature specimen of the species, and you used all your hunting skills to get him and did it trad-style to boot. I don't think there is any aspect of bowhunting ANY game animal that is better than that.
Pretty well everything has already been said, but sincere congratulations and it's great that it was you who got that buck - you deserve him for many, many reasons!
Congrats. Great buck and a great story. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Congratulations Jim and thanks for sharing. You've had an amazing year.
Simply amazing. And with a stick bow to boot!
You were very blessed to have gotten a daylight sighting and especially so at 19 yards. The rest.....the perseverence and shooting skills.....are hard earned....congratulations, sir! What a magnificient animal.
Congrats on an awesome deer. Like you said he is a buck of many lifetimes.
I wanted to bring this thread, Jim and his incredible whitetail, back to the top. I think a whitetail of this caliper needed the thread refreshed. Actually, I don't "think" that, I know that! This buck is a SUPER buck. I was pondering and laughing to myself yesterday about this thought. One of my goals is to arrow a net typical B&C whitetail. This is an extremely big hurtle to accomplish, as you guys know. When I do shoot a 170ish whitetail, it will not even come close to comparing to Jim's huge Kansas whitetail! Jim's deer dwarfs a 170" net typical. That is something to wrap your head around. Congratulations again my friend on a once in several lifetimes, super buck. Christmas came early for you. (-;
Also it’s amazing that Mel’s buck taken in 1965 is still 14+ inches bigger!
I must have missed this the first time around. What a buck! Congratulations Jim on the culmination of a lifetime of bowhunting skills!
Absolutely right Frank. A whitetail of this caliber just doesn’t grow 99/100 if everything was perfect. All the stars aligned and Jim was able to capitalize and it’s truly outstanding. Also great that it couldn’t have happened to a greater person
Jim, Congrats again!!!!! I missed the thread the first time but saw the buck in an email that was going around. What a hog!!!! And so well deserved. Kurt
I don’t know how I missed this thread but I am sure glad that I did.
Congratulations on a great buck! A deer of this magnitude is seldom scene in a lifetime and then to kill it Is nothing short of amazing!
Son of A Buck!Frontal view shows how much the beams curve in.
Thanks again for all the kind words. I mount all of my own trophies and I'm having the tannery do a rush on the cape. I plan to have it mounted right after Christmas. I'll post a photo when it's done.
Jim- All I can say is that's just awesome! He looks great at every angle, but from side he really looks amazing. Congrats.
Great accomplishment resulting in an amazing buck! Well done. Would be great to see this one at the spring CBA banquet.
Wow Jim, awesome buck. I will be looking for his kids down the road. What was the finaly score.
I will be presenting a seminar at Colorado Bowhunters in March and plan to bring the mount. I'll see you there.
Please do post some pics when you get him finished, Jim!
Charlie mentioned above that it's amazing that Mel's buck is still 14" bigger, which is a lot. There have only been 2 typical bucks killed by a bowhunter that measured over 200" Mel's 204 4/8" WR and Tiggy Collins 203 3/8" SAS buck. My buck is big, but it's still well below those deer. It's interesting that if you take the biggest side of my buck which is the left antler at 91 6/8, double it, then add the inside spread it would be 204 3/8. If it were absolutely perfect it would be close to WR. None of this means anything except it should give us hope that if we stumble onto one of those truly world class typical bucks and he just happens to have a perfect rack, it's possible. The right G4 on my buck is 4" shorter than the left one. Almost every top end rack that I measure whether it's elk, mule deer or whitetail has something on it that doesn't match. Those small anomalies keep them from being the biggest. Even Mel's WR has 7 2/8" in deductions. Every few years, someone finds a set of sheds that would break the archery WR. It's fun to dream about such things but until I stumbled onto this buck, I didn't think I would ever have the chance to hunt a world class buck. You never know where one might pop up.
I’m assuming from your first post on this thread, that you didn’t, but thought I’d ask anyway. Did you have any pics of this buck from previous years?
I may have had 1 picture of him last year but it was not good enough quality to tell for sure.
One more point, these giant typicals are almost always 4.5 to 6.5 years old. After that age they grow “stuff” which is usually “abnormal points”. These will knock the final score down or kick the rack to the non-typical category. Jim is aging the teeth so it will be neat to find out the age. Deer like this are like 7 foot humans. RARE
That was on the top of my questions to ask, was age. Looking forward to hearing his age. Fine buck, Jim! Congratulations once more and I'm sure won't be the last.
Charlie, that is funny about 7' humans is rare, just seen an NBA team that say different. The age factor would be interesting, remember going to a Wi deer commentee and their age study on bucks killed was 0 for 4 year olds.
Incredible buck and great story. Congrats on a beautiful deer. Tremendous pictures as well.
Well done on all counts. I like the side view with golden sunrise glow the best.
Holy crap! if I ever got a shot at a deer like that i doubt my old heart would survive, lol. Congrats!!
I finished the mount today. I'll be shamelessly showing him off at a few convention/banquets. CTAS, Kansas Bowhunters Association and Colorado Bowhunters. They might even let me display it at Pope and Young in Omaha.
I'll get chills thinking about this hunt for the rest of my live.
i dont say it often, but OMG.....
hats off to you JSW!