Hi Mike: My name is Russ Van Zoeren and I live in Michigan. I was looking at your ZONE and really liked the section on Big Buck Tales. I thought you might be interested in the nice buck I got on November 10, 2006.
My partner and I (both retired railroad conductors) have been going to Kansas for about 8 years now. We bowhunt public land in the western part of the state. This was the first time I took a shot.
After a heatwave with temps in the 80s for several days, that Friday morning it was in the 30s with a NW wind of 25-30 MPH. At 8:15 A.M. this buck stepped out of a tree-lined fence row 80 yards away, walked down the same trail I came in on (I wear Scent-Lok, Lacrosse boots, cover scent, I do it all!). At 13 yards he stopped to smell a scrape I had doctored with Tink's 69.
I shot him behind the left shoulder and he went about 60 yards. BTW, I shoot a LH Mathews SQ-2, Easton Carbon Extreme arrows and Steelforce 100-grain broadheads.
This buck was 6 1/2 years old and dressed out at 200 lbs., which is not very big for a Kansas buck. He was officially scored at 238 6/8 gross, with a final net score of 229 1/8 non-typical. What really makes this rack awesome is that it has 27 scorable points and over 48" of mass, with circumference measurements going from 5 4/8" to over 7" on each side. Thank you for your time.
Russ, thanks for the story! No doubt one of the best public-land giants of 2006, way to go! In addition to all that mass, my gosh check out those brow tines!
ZONERS, 5 lessons here:
1) you can kill a monster on public land with your bow, you just have to do your research, pick a good out-of-the-way tract with light pressure, scout and have patience; Russ waited 8 years to fire an arrow, but damn was it worth it!
2) as I have written many times on the ZONE and in Outdoor Life, the day after a cold fronts blows through and drops the temp 30 to 50 degrees is one of the best days of the year to hunt; you'll have to put up with high winds on the backside of the front like Russ did, but do it because the big boys will move, especially when they're rutting in Nov.
3) as I have written many times, year in and year out, Nov. 10 is one of the best days of the season to shoot a giant in the northern two-thirds of the U.S.--be out there
4) it never hurts to put out scent like 69 and once in a while it will pay off big time like it did for Russ
5) to kill a giant anytime and anywhere, sweat the details; had Russ not been vigilant about his scent control, this monster would likely have smelled his lingering odor on the trail and melted off into the brush before Russ ever got to see him.
Again, awesome Russ for doing it right with a bow and on your own!