My buddy Matt Arkins, who was in the blind with me filming, clapped me on the back, and we had a quiet moment of celebration. The shot felt good, but we watched the footage just to be sure. In Arkins’ viewfinder, we could see the arrow hit tight behind the buck’s shoulder, maybe just a tad high. I called the landowner, Brett Courson, to relay the news: “We got the 18-pointer.”
I had pulled into Courson’s farm town of about 1,000 people with the thermometer on my truck dashboard reading 98 degrees—a scorcher of a September evening, even for southern Kansas. I met up with Courson and his wife, Heidi, at a lively little bar on the edge of town, and we drank Long Island iced teas (it was that night’s special, so what the hell) and talked about the upcoming hunt.
Arkins and I had been down earlier in the summer to set trail cameras, hang stands, and brush in ground blinds with Courson (who Arkins had met previously on a video shoot). So for the last two months, he had been sending us updates and photos of shooter bucks slinking by our setups.