Bill Robinson Buck: 193-Inch Kansas Beast
January 13, 2015
Waking up and checking my text messages last November, I realized that in only a short time I'd received a bunch from folks in my area of northeastern Kansas. That in itself seemed a little strange. But when I opened the first message, I saw why my phone was lighting up. It lit me up as well.
Tall, wide and massive, the rack in the photo had that great look we hardcore trophy hunters all dream of. And behind the deer was a man with a genuine glow to his face. It was easy to understand! All the cryptic text included was, "Clay Center police chief killed giant buck."
I opened the rest of my messages and sure enough, each contained the same photo. I'd received it from maybe 10 people. I gave it a couple days or so, then called the Clay Center Police Department and asked if the rumor I was hearing was correct. Sure enough, it was. Bill Robinson is the chief of police, and he had indeed shot a giant of a whitetail.
Not long after, I was able to meet the hunter and hear the amazing facts of his story firsthand. When I walked into his house and saw the giant rack on the counter, I knew right away it was as big as the photo suggested (which isn't how it normally pans out, based on my many years as a hunter and antler collector).
After visiting with Bill for a couple hours, I sensed this awesome Kansas bow kill couldn't have been made by a more honest, deserving person. And it is indeed an awesome deer. Here's how it all went down.
It began with one of Bill's coworkers, Scott Galindo. Back in 2012, he'd set up a trail camera on a local property he hunted. And from mid-July through October he got many photos of a buck with an enormous, massive 8-point typical frame.
One evening in late October, Scott set up with a buck decoy 20 yards in front of him. During his sit he saw some does and smaller bucks. As daylight was fading Scott grunted, and a nice buck came in from the adjacent bean field. Then, to his right, the giant appeared out of nowhere.
After a few minutes had passed, the monster was standing like a statue 80 yards away. Scott started grunting . . . and off the deer ran.
By now it was right at the end of shooting light. Thinking the huge buck had left, Scott turned to climb down. As he did, all heck broke loose. The massive whitetail was attacking the decoy!
Despite the unnatural noise caused by the attack, the buck remained furious, ready to take on the world. With him standing at only 20 yards, Scott nocked an arrow, pulled back and, "shaking like crazy," let it fly.
Scott was thrilled to hear the arrow hit the deer. He couldn't believe what had just taken place. After anxiously waiting in his stand a few minutes, he eased down to look for blood.
Nothing. So Scott decided to get the ATV and look for sign with the headlights. But even then, he found only a small spot of blood.
Then, as Scott drove into the field, his eyes beheld an incredible sight: a giant rack! The deer was down!
But driving to within 10 feet of the deer, Scott was shocked to see the buck get to his feet and take off! All the bowhunter could do was watch as the deer bounded off into the darkness. Further searching yielded nothing.
What had happened on the shot? Scott didn't know. But soon thereafter he got more photos of the giant, feeding and apparently recovered from the injury. Scott was glad to see he'd made it. Perhaps there's be a chance at redemption someday.
Another hunter, Bill Plowman, also was after this buck. And about a month after Scott's ordeal, he also hit him — at a range of just seven yards. But the arrow struck the deer on the front edge of the left foreleg and fell out, never actually entering the vitals.
Two local bowhunters were now sick over lost chances at a world-class Kansas whitetail they decided to call "Moose." But their loss was about to prove Bill Robinson's gain.
A Fateful Choice
Now let's jump ahead to the fall of 2013. Bill, who really is the police chief in Clay Center, decided to set up on a new piece of local property he had permission to bowhunt. It was an area in which he'd been seeing deer while driving back from his other hunting spot in the area.
Arriving around 4 p.m. on Nov. 17, Bill found a nice cedar and cut branches out from around its base to make a "natural" ground blind. He then sat there until the end of hunting light, seeing only a fat doe.
Sneaking back to his truck, Bill arrived at the road. And that's when everything changed.
This road is built up several feet higher than the field Bill had just crossed. Cautiously, he peeked over to check the other side. And there was Moose — about 50 yards across the road, feeding in the wheat!
It was almost dark by now. But the buck was silhouetted on the skyline, making it easy to tell he was a monster. Bill quickly ducked back below the road and sneaked to his truck, which was about 200 yards farther up the road. Realizing he'd managed to get away without alarming the huge deer, the bowhunter now was even more excited about his new spot.
Despite being extremely busy, Bill of course was eager to get back to his cedar blind before the rut wound down. On Nov. 23, following a very stressful day at work, he decided to give it another try.
Bill arrived there at 4:30. It was later than he'd have preferred to start his hunt, but he wanted to make the most of what daylight he had.
When the bowhunter got to his cedar blind, he set out some scent canisters. Then he rattled and did a tending grunt. Waiting a bit, he rattled again. Nothing aggressive, just a short tinkle.
Bill heard something walking to his right, but he couldn't see anything. Picking up his bow, he let out another sequence of tending grunts, then looked up . . . and there, standing 30-40 yards out, appearing as if he were the king of bucks in all his glory, stood Moose. He looked enormous, tall and massive. Bill knew this was the buck the other guys had wounded a year before.
The giant looked toward the cedar blind, but Bill remained undetected. Then Moose put his head down and walked toward the hay meadow.
Bill drew his bow and held. Now at about 30-40 yards the buck turned slowly and came directly at him, walking along the edge of the cut meadow. The range was closing quickly. In fact, within a tense minute, the buck was just five yards away!
All Bill knew to do was take a front-on shot, which he'd always heard you should avoid. But feeling confident he could drive the arrow deep into the deer's vitals at this range, he let the arrow fly.
The shaft hit the buck as intended, burying deeply and almost exiting. Moose instantly jumped and took off at a fast trot.
It was 4:50 p.m. Bill waited 10 minutes and began looking for blood. And blood he found. A wide trail of it was easily visible, almost as if sprayed from a paint gun. Feeling excited, Bill kept following the massive blood trail.
As it turned out, the giant was lying dead in a slight depression in the field. Bill felt so relieved as he walked up on the biggest buck of his life. He immediately dialed Scott to tell him the good news . . . and to say it would be much appreciated if he'd bring the ATV to help get the buck to the truck.
When Scott arrived, he was blown away. Moose's rack was just so big!
Upon closer inspection, the men saw a bump on the deer's right side, just behind the shoulder. It was Bill's broadhead, wedged beneath the hide. The shot had severed a main artery, resulting in a quick, humane kill.
Another Bizarre Twist
Interestingly, Bill noticed that when he returned to the cedar blind six days later to hunt it, exactly where he'd cut the branches out it appeared very distinctly that something had been lying there. As crazy as it sounds, had this giant actually been trying to bed down right where Bill was hiding?
We'll never know for sure. But one thing is certain: When coming face to face with another "chief," Bill's the one who ended up taking charge.
The official measurements on this rack, taken by Pope & Young measurer Rick Bergloff, speak for themselves. Not only are the numbers exceptional, the rack's shape shows off its spectacular qualities to the fullest.
Let's start with the obvious: mass. Add the eight circumferences and you get an amazing total of 51 4/8 inches: an average of nearly 6 4/8 each! And what's most amazing is that on each beam the circumferences steadily increase going toward the tip. That's rare on any whitetail rack, but particularly so on one that starts out with bases of 5 3/8 and 5 5/8. Moose was aptly named!
Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That's as big as it sounds.
Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets "only" 168 5/8. But the 8x5 rack's total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature.