December 06, 2023
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Lightning struck twice in one place for bowhunting friends Joshua Moore and Casey Jones in Kansas this fall. Joshua hails from North Carolina and Casey is from Indiana. The two have leases in Kansas, and they couldn’t wait to start hunting this season.
As the season neared, the two received cell camera photos of one particular buck they couldn’t recognize from the prior season. Joshua and Casey were both stumped on this new giant buck that had suddenly showed up. After carefully studying pictures from last fall, the two figured out which buck he was.
There was a big 7-point with junk around his bases on the lease during the fall of 2022 that they frequently received pictures of. On Oct. 1, 2023, they got more trail camera photos of the deer, and the buck had grown tremendously.
On Oct. 23, the two hopped on a flight to Kansas for some last-minute scouting before they’d begin hunting the following week. A new 80-acre piece that Joshua was going to be hunting was their main focus for this scouting trip. CRP covered most of the property, but a long draw full of cottonwoods would be the area for the pair’s stand sites. The larger portion of their lease, which is where the hunting cabin sits, is where the big non-typical was calling home.
“We didn’t scout that area much, because we knew from past intel the bucks should be doing the same things as prior seasons,” the pair claims.
With a cold front on the way, Joshua packed up and made the 1,300-mile trek from eastern North Carolina to their lease in Kansas. Arriving in time for an evening hunt, Joshua climbed into his stand around 3:00 p.m. He was joined by his cameraman, Hunter. It wasn't long until deer began showing up, with one good buck heading his way.
“I was going to shoot this 160-class buck that was heading right for us,” Joshua says. “But I looked back behind him, and my target buck was in tow. As the bigger buck made his way to the corn pile, a squirrel kept pestering the buck. The two actually had a standoff.”
With the buck now in range but no good shot present, Joshua had to wait for the right opportunity.
“He eventually turned just enough, though it was quartering to me slightly,” Joshua recalls. “I drew my Hoyt bow, took careful aim and released an arrow.”
The shot dropped the buck in its tracks. The elated bowhunter was overwhelmed with emotion, having just taken his largest buck ever (176 6/8 gross).
After a 10-hour drive from Indiana, Casey arrived in Kansas around 3:00 p.m that same day. Wasting no time, Casey readied his gear and headed for the stand only 500 yards from the cabin. He was on-stand by 4:00 p.m.
Casey saw the massive buck from their trail cameras pushing does around within range, but he never offered Casey a shot. Moments later, the buck came back through and gave him a good shot. At 26 yards, Casey made a lethal hit on the buck, and he fell in sight of Casey’s stand. Unbelievably, Casey took this 189-incher from the same tree Joshua shot a 160 from last year.
Joshua and Casey’s hunt is one that will go down as one of their most memorable of all-time. To take one buck of that caliber is a major feat, but to take two in one evening with bows is almost unheard of.