For five years, Jordy Crimmins obsessed over killing the big buck he spotted on his family farm in north-central Kansas.
He had a close encounter in 2011, when the buck responded to the rattling Crimmins made from his tree stand. But at the last minute, “he busted me and ran off,” Crimmins said.
But the big whitetail stayed around. Crimmins spotted him on tree-cam images in later years and he even collected sets of sheds three years.
“For a while, he was pretty nocturnal,” said Crimmins, 32, who lives in Clay County. “I would only get pictures of him at night.
“But then he started showing up at daylight and toward dusk, and I knew I might have a shot at getting him.”
Last fall, Crimmins spotted the buck, fueling his fever even more. Then on an early-November day, the big whitetail appeared out of nowhere and Crimmins got off a long shot. The arrow soared just a couple inches over the deer and Crimmins thought he would never get another chance.
“I thought that was it,” he said. “I thought I had blown my one chance.”
But the story continued. A little over a week later, Crimmins’s spirit soared when he spotted the trophy buck with a doe across the road from where he had hunted the first time. On the evening of Nov. 13, he climbed into a tree stand overlooking a thick funnel in the woods and waited.
Crimmins blew into a grunt call, and it wasn’t long before the buck appeared – this time much closer than he was in the first encounter.
Crimmins drew back on his bow and let an arrow fly. It hit the target and the bow hunter had the deer he had obsessed over for five years.
“I was really only hunting that specific buck last season,” Crimmins said. “I have been bow hunting since I was 14, but I had never seen a buck like that one.”
Crimmins had the rack of his 35-point giant at the Kansas Monster Buck Classic over the weekend to have it officially scored. It measured 239 1/8 points, and commanded attention at the annual deer-hunting show.
That score earned King of Kansas honors, meaning it was the biggest buck ever scored in the history of the Kansas show. It wasn’t a state record; the mark for archery non-typical still belongs to Dale Larson, who shot a buck that scored 264 1/8 in 1998.
Nonetheless, Crimmins figures his buck will make the top 12 in the list of all-time biggest non-typical whitetails taken with a bow in Kansas. After his honor was announced at the Monster Buck Classic, Crimmins laughed as his young son, Grady (shown here), posed with the antlers that created so much attention.
“I’ve taken about 10 bucks with a bow in Clay County,” Crimmins said. “And I’ve taken some other big ones.
“But never anything close to this. This one was a monster.”