The Can Can

It's 800 miles from north-central Wisconsin to Kansas, but bowhunter Justin Steinke says it was worth the long drive and hard work he put in getting permission for hunting access and hanging tree stands. The eighth day of his Kansas deer hunt was one to remember for the archer when he took this giant whitetail. The 16-point, 225-pound monster Kansas buck is his best by far, and that's especially impressive considering Wisconsin is no slouch in giving up giant whitetails. A week into his Kansas hunt, Justin had seen plenty of deer, and had passed a number of younger, smaller bucks. But he was looking for a much bigger and better Kansas animal, when he got a phone call from a landowner buddy who reported spotting a pair of large bucks chasing does in a hay field one evening. Justin arrived at the hay field around noon the next day (November 9), and had a tree stand set by 2 p.m. The spot he chose was near a creek running through a 40-yard wide timber strip bordering the hay field. On the opposite side of the creek was a cut soybean field. His tree stand was positioned near a deer trail running between the beans and hay, across the creek in the timber, and through a gap in a fence line. It was a perfect funnel to concentrate deer. Outdoor Life Online Editor

Whitetail activity was slow until the last hour before sunset, then Justin had several yearlings and a large 6-point buck cruise by his stand. Suddenly he spotted a 130-inch, 9-pointer in the soybean field 60 yards out. Justin called with a grunt tube, and a Primos bleat can call, but while the buck was interested in the sounds, it wouldn't cross the creek toward Justin and stayed out of bow range. The buck slipped silently away. That's when Justin looked up along the hay field edge and 300 yards away spotted a huge buck. There was no wind, so when Justin worked his can call, it immediately got the bruiser's attention, and he started toward Justin. Behind the big buck was a smaller one, and they took their time ambling along the hay field edge toward Justin. Outdoor Life Online Editor
When the buck stopped to feed, Justin worked the can call, and the deer moved closer along the hay field edge. At 75 yards the buck stopped, and Justin grunted at him. That sealed the deal, and the whitetail entered the woods toward the creek, got to the fence line, and moved along it toward Justin. At 17 yards, Justin came to full draw, made a soft voice grunt to stop the buck, and sent a 3-blade NAP Rage broadhead through the deer's chest. The buck spun and ran, but folded up 75 yards away. The size of the 8×8 buck awed Justin. With an inside rack spread of 19 inches, and a gross green score of about 160-inches, the deer is a giant by any measure. "I spent a lot of time in Kansas during spring and summer scouting for hunting spots, and knocking on a lot of farm house doors asking for hunting permission," Justin says happily. "It was all worth it though, because that buck is a lifetime animal for me." Outdoor Life Online Editor

Sometimes, the simplest call of all is also the best.