September 24, 2021
Breaking News Bucks 2021
Jon Landwehr was vacationing at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri in late August. On August 23, while in Missouri, Jon’s Tactacam Reveal X sent him a photo of a giant whitetail. A buck he later named Zeus.
Jon works for a farmer, and the picture came from a property that he farms but has hunting permission on. For a few days after the initial trail camera picture was taken, Jon received sporadic nighttime photos of the buck. Then, on August 27, he had the buck on camera shedding his velvet.
“He’d walk in front of the camera with just a little velvet hanging off, and then he’d come by later with even more velvet off,” John remembers.
On Sept. 4, John took his son out to hunt Zeus on the opening day of youth season. They never saw the buck, but he was still showing up on the camera consistently after dark. However, on Sept. 6, Jon and his son went to a different blind to hunt. Later they found out they should’ve stuck with their original spot.
“After our hunt on the sixth, I went home and checked my Tactacam app,” says Jon. “It turned out that Zeus had daylighted in front of the blind we hunted on the fourth.”
Jon didn’t let the missed opportunity deter him, and on the opening day of the Kansas archery season (Sept. 13), Jon decided to go out and try to get more information on where the buck was living.
“He was living in a milo field,” Jon recalls. “That evening, I caught him coming out of his bed, way too far for a shot. The following two nights I did the same thing and just went out to watch him. I wanted to figure out where his core area was.”
After gathering the fresh intel, Jon decided to act on it. On Saturday Sept. 18, he and his friend took a Redneck blind that was sitting on a trailer and hauled it to the mouth of a waterway within the milo field the buck was frequenting. It was hot that day, over 90 degrees, so Jon wasn’t sure if he would hunt that evening.
“When you have a full-time job, you kind of have to hunt when you can,” says Jon. “So, even though it was hot, I knew the southwest wind would work for that blind. So, I decided to hunt that evening.”
At 7:30 p.m., Jon was watching two young bucks from his blind. He began scanning the milo with his binoculars, and then antler tips emerged from the cover and filled his glass.
“He lifted his head up, and I thought, that’s Zeus!”
As Zeus approached, John got his bow ready. After not seeing the buck for several minutes, Jon spotted the buck glaring toward the blind. The deer knew something was different about the area, so he leaped into the milo and began following a young buck around.
After the two bucks chased each other around the field for a while, the young buck turned and walked right toward Jon’s blind. Then Zeus started following the young buck. Eventually, he made it within bow range.
“I ranged him at 34 yards, and then I drew my bow and let the shot go,” says Jon. “The arrow hit with a big WHACK, and he turned and took off into the milo.”
The buck darted across the milo field and stopped about 175 yards from Jon. Then, after a few seconds, Jon saw the giant tip over.
“I almost had an emotional breakdown, because I put so much work into this stuff. And it’s awesome when it finally happens,” says Jon.
Jon plans to have the deer officially scored. However, while in his garage, he unofficially gross-scored the non-typical at 235 inches.
“I work really hard to figure out these deer,” Jon says. “I believe if you want to kill big deer, it’s all about how hard you’re willing to work for it.”