Scott Carlson's 255-inch big boy should be the state's new #1 muzzleloader and make the top ten list overall.
If you take a peek at the deer records for the state of Kansas
, you'll find some absolute eye-popping bucks on the list, but what you won't find are a lot of trophy whitetails that have been taken in the west half of the state. Only a handful of big bucks have been harvested west of Salina and there's not a single toad on the state record list that's been killed in the flatlands that lay west of Hays, but that's about to change.
Atwood, Kansas in Rawlins County sits 50 miles east of the Colorado border and the region is known more for its mule deer and pheasant hunting than big mature whitetails. So imagine the surprise of Scott Carlson (who owns Carlson's Choke Tubes located in Atwood) when he spotted an extremely nice deer on a trail camera image three years ago that was as big as any whitetail he'd seen in the area.
The non-typical buck featured an array of bone shooting off in all directions and was definitely a deer that Carlson planned on hunting with his muzzleloader.
The only problem though was that this freak buck only came out at night, and disappeared like Houdini when dawn approached. The buck only showed up in images after midnight and never after 6:30 a.m.
"I've hunted that deer for three years and in three years, I've seen him five times and two of the times was at dark. I'd never see him during the season at all. I knew where he was going to at night€¦but he never moved until it was dark," shared Carlson.
As the 2011 Kansas muzzleloader season approached, Carlson decided to make sure he was in a stand each and every day to try and catch this buck making a mistake.
With an idea of where the deer was bedding down, Carlson positioned his stand on a high ridge that overlooked two pasture draws on either side of him.
Day after day, Carlson waited for the buck to show himself, but it wasn't until the last day of the season that the big buck finally made a mistake.
With a half hour of legal shooting light left, Carlson spotted the buck and immediately put a plan together to take the deer. He quickly moved around the ridge and got down-wind of the buck, closing within 80 yards.
He peered through his Leupold scope and steadied the T/C Encore before igniting the Hodgdon White Hots with the pull of his trigger. The Hornady 250 SST found its mark and the buck dropped within 40 yards from where it was hit.
Carlson was elated to finally get a closer look at the deer.
"I was extremely happy -- but at the same token, I don't get any more pictures of this guy -- it was neat to see what he looked like in real life instead of seeing him on the camera," shared Carlson.
The mainframe 10-point buck featured 30 scoreable points, was 30 1/2 inches wide and green scored 255 inches, putting him in line to become the new #1 non-typical muzzleloader buck for the state of Kansas (Ryan Stoppel's 228 2/8 inch buck taken in 2009 is the current muzzleloader record.) The buck should also place on the top 10 list overall for either firearm or archery non-typical whitetails.
While western Kansas hasn't gotten its due for producing giant trophy whitetails, this Carlson buck certainly proves that big brutes are liable to show up anywhere in the Sunflower State.