February 27, 2023
By Clifford Neames
“The right place, right time and a whole lot of luck!” That is how Xen McAllister describes his hunt for the giant 243 2/8-inch green-scored Illinois buck he took on Nov. 16, 2022.
Xen first discovered the deer when it showed up on his trail camera in 2021. The buck appeared to be over 190 inches then and was by far the largest whitetail Xen had ever seen. But he was not the only person who knew about the deer.
“People for miles around had seen it,” says Xen. “And I heard that folks were watching it from the side of the highways when it was feeding in the fields.”
With limited time to get away from work, and a small hunting area, Xen figured the odds for him to kill the buck were against him. Then, the giant showed up on his camera again.
“During the summer and early fall of 2022, I got more pics,” Xen remembers. “So, I knew there was a chance; but I still would have taken any really good buck that came in.”
On the morning of the Nov. 16, Xen had one thought in his head: I need to get my deer before the shotgun season opens. He watched some bucks chasing does that morning, and he sat in the brisk wind until late morning. He then decided to take a short lunch break.
Xen returned to his stand at 2:20 p.m. ready for the afternoon hunt. “I normally get in no rush, but with the day off work I decided to take full advantage of the time and went back early,” he says.
A few minutes later, Xen spotted the giant buck about 150 yards away, standing in a nearby field. “I grunted, snort wheezed, and he came closer,” Xen recalls. “Then he stopped and started looking around, so I decided to rattle. He came in so fast after that, I had to stop him to make the shot!”
Xen released his arrow at just 15 yards, double-lunging the deer. The monster buck busted through brush and expired only 80 yards away. The hunt for the non-typical was over, but the real drama was about to begin.
“Once folks heard that I had killed him, some ugly rumors started,” Xen says. “So, I called the game warden and had him come look at my stand and showed him where I shot the deer. I hope that let everyone know that this was all legal.”
The big buck has great symmetry, a wall of long thick tines on each beam and incredible mass. If the green score holds up after the drying period, Xen will have himself a 240-plus-inch buck.