January 02, 2024
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Going into the 2023 deer season, bowhunter Dalton Hiltibrand he never thought he’d put his tag on a world-class whitetail.
Back in 2020, Dalton and his friends had been watching a buck they called “Paraglider.” The double-drop-tine buck was their main focus. While the giant buck never seemed to be a regular on the 80-acre tract of land, he finally became consistent during the summer of 2023. In August, Dalton got confirmation from his cell camera that the deer was back and bigger than ever.
Fast forward to mid-November, and with help from his friend Loren Henry and Loren’s two sons, Dalton decided to place a stand in a cedar tree 10 feet off the ground in a spot where the buck had been seen on a trail camera.
Dalton says he got photos of the buck on Nov. 16 around 10:00 p.m. The buck was in the area the next morning on the 17th, too. The buck actually daylighted then, but Dalton had unfortunately decided not to hunt.
Knowing he needed to be in a tree for the evening hunt, Dalton deiced to go to the cedar tree stand placed just two days earlier. Arriving at his stand around 2:00 p.m., the bowhunter sat patiently and waited for the evening to unfold. Not long after being in the stand, Dalton saw some does crossing back and forth from a thick bedding area to an open rye field.
“The property is pretty thick,” Dalton says. “It’s full of evergreens, so I couldn’t see much; but I thought heard a loud, growling grunt about 100 yards off. So I grunted back, but nothing resulted from it.”
Shortly after 4:00 p.m., a 10-point buck began chasing does around Dalton’s stand. Although the buck came within bow range, Dalton decided to pass.
“I heard another buck grunt off in the distance,” Dalton says. “And a doe actually started walking towards it; that’s when the giant non-typical showed himself.”
The smaller 10-point spotted the doe that was near the giant non-typical and ran after her. Aggravated by the smaller buck, the non-typical bristled up and snort-wheezed at the lesser buck; he chased after the doe, too. After the bucks had run the doe 300 yards away from Dalton’s stand, the doe eventually circled back to his location.
“I watched the doe get closer and closer. I figured if she stayed on course, the big non-typical would follow her right to me,” Dalton recalls. When the doe passed by Hiltibrand’s stand just 20 yards away, the buck wasn’t far behind.
“I watched in awe as the buck kept getting closer and closer,” Dalton says. “I kept telling myself, ‘You are only going to get one opportunity, don't screw it up!’”
Finally the buck walked by, stopping briefly to browse at 23 yards. Dalton wasted no time sending an arrow toward the buck. “I knew it was a good hit,” Dalton explains. “I watched him run away and lay down 70 yards away.”
The bowhunter was too excited and shaking too badly to look at the buck through his binoculars. After quietly exiting his stand, Dalton called his friend, Henry, his dad, Mike, and his three brothers to tell them the good news. They decided to all go back home to watch football for a few hours while giving the buck time to expire.
“I actually laid down on the couch, because I had a stomachache,” Dalton says. “Likely because I was so stressed out.”
Four long hours later, the group arrived back at the site of the shot. A short blood trail led them to where Dalton had seen the buck go down earlier. That’s when the whole group began celebrating!
Interestingly, the buck was killed roughly 70 yards from where his sheds had been found in mid-February. The buck’s sheds from the 2022 season gross 228 with an estimated inside spread.
Even with the roughly 10 inches of antler the buck broke off his rack the week prior to Dalton killing it, the Kansas giant still grosses an impressive 240 2/8 and net scores 230 4/8. The non-typical rack sports a 26 2/8-inch inside spread and a staggering 43 inches of abnormal points! Although this is a green score because it was taped prior to the 60-day drying period required for official scoring by B&C and P&Y, an official B&C scorer measured the rack.