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Jay Price Buck: 206-Inch Kansas Giant

To be honest, Jay Price had not even purchased his archery deer license yet when he and hunting buddy Rick Arnall and Rick's son, Alex, turned off the highway onto one of the countless county dirt roads that crisscross the rich farmland region of southeast Kansas.

It was only October 1, and even though the generous Kansas deer season had begun a couple weeks prior, Price's scouting forays and trail cameras had really not yielded a buck worth pursuing this early in the season. It's not that he was holding out for a monster by Kansas standards, but Price really wanted his tag to hang on a buck that would best his biggest buck to date, which scored right at 150 Pope & Young inches.

As the evening shadows lengthened, they continued to bounce down the dirt road towards another small 20-acre farm that Price had permission to hunt. They had already scouted nearly half a dozen farms, glassing bean and hayfields from the comfort of their pickup truck, but to their surprise, their evening had been uneventful and not a deer had been sighted. Frankly, Price felt the small farm they were heading to now would yield pretty much the same results as the others but figured since they were close they would check it out anyway.

Price has called the Sunflower State home for nearly a decade and owns Price Auto Body in Baxter Springs, Kansas. Over the years, he has managed to slip an arrow through several Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri bucks, about a dozen of which measured over 125 Pope & Young inches. But when Price put his truck in park on that fateful evening and glassed the distant hayfield, he couldn't believe his eyes at first.

"Even without binoculars I could tell it was a big deer," expressed Price, "but when I actually saw him through the binoculars I knew it was a buck of a lifetime."

Price said even at nearly 900 yards away the buck dwarfed the 160-inch 10-point that was feeding with him, and the longer he watched him from the cab of his truck, the more excited he became.

"It's not everyday you see a 200-inch whitetail feeding in a hayfield," said Price, "and we were enjoying every minute of it."

Needless to say, as the sun fell below the evening horizon and Price headed back towards town, the first place he stopped was at the local Wal-Mart to buy his Kansas archery whitetail permit. As he signed his name on the dotted line, plans were beginning to take shape as to how he was going to hunt this Kansas giant.

The Game Plan

Price couldn't stop thinking about that buck and found himself tossing and turning while he slept that night and daydreaming about him the following day, anticipating the events he hoped would happen that evening. He figured just seeing the buck with his Hoyt Trykon XL bow in hand would be some measure of success. An actual shot opportunity would be out of this world.

Price had only hunted this particular 20-acre farm on a handful of occasions the previous season, but because it was relatively small, he felt that he knew how deer used the property's limited cover. He figured that because it lacked any significant bedding cover, the buck was probably not living there but instead was taking advantage of the rich hayfield and feeding there in the evening.

He also suspected that the buck would enter the hayfield near its northwest corner in the general area of where the neighbor's tree line touched the property, or somewhere along the north/south hedgerow that ran along the property's west boundary. Price had obviously never seen this particular buck before, nor had he heard about such a beast in the area, which he knew would have been a secret hard kept, especially since one of his hunting buddies was bowhunting the adjacent property. However, because he had a good idea how deer typically used the property, he was confident in hunting it the following evening without doing any additional scouting.


Many hunters might feel additional time behind the glass a few more evenings would be warranted with such a mature buck on the hoof, and Price readily admits that those thoughts were no doubt swirling through his head as well, but one of the biggest concerns he had was the buck's behavior. Price explained that since he had never seen this deer before, nor heard about him or had any trail camera photos of him, that this particular buck might be a roamer who was here today and gone tomorrow.

"Frankly" Price stated, "I really didn't want to miss an opportunity at such a giant buck."

Needless to say, Price was a little nervous as he exited his truck the following evening and slipped on his Realtree AP leafy-suit. He knew one mistake could send the deer packing, and he wanted to make sure every "T" was crossed and every "I" was dotted.

One of the tactics Price employs while chasing whitetails is to always wear a leafy suit, especially when there are still leaves on the trees, and his camouflage pattern of choice is Realtree AP.

"I get away with a lot of movement with the leafy suit, and I feel much more concealed," Price said. "Deer have a really hard time seeing me, and it's much easier to draw and not get picked off."

Another tactic is his use of scents even during the early season, and he uses them religiously. His favorite is Tink's No. 1 Doe-P and Tink's 69, and according to Price, he's not afraid to use them generously. "Sometimes I will use half the bottle of each scent if the weather's hot or the wind's not blowing in the ideal direction," he said.

He will literally spray down with these scents like one would with scent eliminating spray and insists that it not only masks his scent but also acts as an attractant, regardless of the season. On countless occasions, Price says bucks have been downwind of his stand and unaware of his presence, and oftentimes when they hit his scent line, they headed directly to his tree.

While in the treestand, he will also spray down the area around him and will leave one of the bottles open as well. He admits that he does not think this tactic completely covers his scent, but his personal experience has shown that it most certainly masks his scent enough to keep deer from getting nervous most of the time.

After donning his leafy suit and generously spraying down with Tink's scents, Price grabbed his bow and began making the warm, 1,000-yard jaunt towards his stand. He had thought long and hard about where he was going to set up, and after much contemplation, he decided a natural ground blind in the hedgerow that ran along the hayfield was the best option this evening.

Although he prefers to hunt from a treestand, Price said that he wanted to be cautious and not bump any deer and also felt that using the natural cover the hedge row provided was a better option than setting up a portable ground blind and brushing it in at this point of the hunt. His idea was to keep the area as natural as possible and not raise any suspicion.

Needless to say, Price had the jitters as he settled into his impromptu blind early that afternoon, and like anyone else, his anticipation soared. The wind was perfect. He didn't bump any deer, and there was plenty of time to hunt before the orange ball dipped below the western horizon. For the next few hours, Price envisioned how the buck would mysteriously appear in front of him, but as darkness eventually fell, not a deer appeared in the hayfield. The following morning Price tried the same tactic, just hoping for a glimpse of the giant buck as he sat nestled in the ground blind, but as the sun rose higher and mid-morning arrived, not a deer was seen then either.

The Release

Price was a little discouraged, to say the least, and as he walked back to his truck that morning he was beginning to think his opportunity at a Kansas giant was slipping through his fingers. But like any bowhunter who has chased mature whitetails, dedication and tenacity are often factors to success. So when 4 p.m. arrived later that afternoon, Price once again went through his scent-masking ritual and headed to a treestand that was positioned in the hedgerow deeper into the property.

Throughout the evening, Price scanned up and down the hedgerow looking for the slightest movement, but the only activity that drew his attention was a family of skunks playing under his stand. As the evening shadows deepened, so did Price's discouragement. He stood up and started making plans to exit his 20-foot perch.

In seconds, his heart sent an electrical surge through his chest when he caught movement behind his stand. Noticing a deer's leg first, and then an enormous set of bone-white antlers through the screen of thick brush, Price knew in an instant it was a big buck. Grabbing his bow, he quickly pressed it into service as the buck was hunched over, doctoring a scrape.

The release surprised Price as much as it did the buck, and at 23 yards it doesn't take long for a shaft of carbon to rip through its fur-and-bone target. The buck flipped forward upon impact, landing on his side and then got back up and disappeared through the tangle of brush. Price shook uncontrollably as he sat back down and replayed the last few moments in his mind. In less than 30 seconds, he went from feeling like a zero to a hero.

"Nothing can prepare you for something like that," remarked Price, and when he followed the blood trail the Rage broadhead provided a short time later, he couldn't believe that he had actually killed such a whitetail!

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it's not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute. Read the full story.

Joe Franz

We estimate he was 7 1/2 years old. That's based on photos from 2010, when he clearly wasn't over 3 1/2. When I got him he weighed over 300 pounds on the hoof, as suspected. Official B&C measurer Glen Salow came up with a 'green ' gross score of 258 7/8 inches. After the 60-day drying period, he again taped the rack. This time he got a gross non-typical score of 261 3/8, with a net of 230 7/8. The gross score evidently makes this the highest-scoring wild whitetail ever harvested on professional video. Read the full story.

Jon Massie

Jon's no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'd shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'd never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras. Read the full story.

Tom Boyer

Knowing I couldn't even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o'clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn't figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering 'fire in the hole ' while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view. Read the full story.

Teddy's Buck

With a whopping 40 inches of non-typical growth, he has a gross Boone & Crockett score of 215 3/8. The rack's 21 6/8-inch inside spread certainly helps to show off its unique character. He was just a special deer, and very much a result of patience in both management and hunting. Read the full story.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck. Read the full story.

Junior Key

Junior's outstanding whitetail is the biggest ever recorded from Monroe County, and he ranks as one of the Bluegrass State's top bucks from the 2013-14 season. This great non-typical also is the latest member of Kentucky's all-time Top 30 list. Read the full story.

Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'I remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down, ' Mikell says. 'I'm sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity. ' Read the full story.

Bill Robinson

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 8×5 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. Read the full story.

Nick Drake

The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck. This, however, wasn't the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them. Read the full story.

(Editor's Note: Jay Price's Kansas non-typical was scored at the Kansas Monster Buck Classic in January and tallied a gross score topping 226 inches, but side-to-side deductions reportedly knocked the net non-typical score down to 206 6/8 inches. The buck carried more than 45 inches of mass and a 9-point mainframe that scored more than 176 inches. At press time, the buck had not been entered at that score.)

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