Greg Sims has been on a roll lately. Over the last two seasons he’s taken a handful of deer that have topped 150 inches, including this beautiful 11-point main frame buck that gross scored 194 inches. He shot this incredible deer last month while bowhunting in Kansas. Here’s how the hunt unfolded and a little more about Sims, a man totally obsessed with bowhunting for trophy whitetails.
Sims had never seen the 194-inch buck he shot before it showed up beneath his stand. He was originally targeting two other bucks that he had caught on trail cameras. Including the deer pictured here.
Sims was also hoping to get close to this buck, a 180-inch 10 pointer that he had spotted earlier in the week. When the wind was right, he crept up into his stand at a fence crossing that overlooked a cut cornfield.
His stand was tucked back inside the timberline and he was watching deer meander through the cornfield when the big 194-inch buck crept in on him. Out of the corner of his eye Sims spotted the deer walking down the fenceline at just 12 yards. But the buck stopped behind a bush on the hedge row. There was a clear shooting lane on both sides and Sims knew he had the buck dead to rights. All the buck had to do was step out and Sims would have a chip shot. But nothing is that easy in trophy deer hunting. While Sims was waiting for the buck to step clear, a pack of coyotes ran out into the cut cornfield. The coyotes herded up the deer and started chasing them toward Sims’ stand. Even though they were about a quarter mile away, the big buck was starting to get nervous.
So Sims took a gamble. There was a volleyball-sized gap in the bush and Sims could clearly see the buck’s vitals. He drew and shot, but didn’t account for the fact that his line of sight was a good six inches higher than the path of his arrow. The arrow deflected off a branch and then hit the buck. The deer ran off, hoped a fence and then disappeared from sight. “I knew I had hit him pretty good,” Sims said. “But I also had to throw up.”
Sims waited until dark to look for blood, but he soon found out that his flashlight had fallen out of his pack. He climbed out of his treestand and began to scan the immediate area with his iPhone light. He didn’t find a single drop of blood or his arrow. “At this point I’m freaking out,” Sims says. Not wanting to push the buck, he decided to head back to camp and wait until morning. But Sims couldn’t stand the anticipation. At 10 p.m. he went back out to look for blood, this time armed with a flashlight. But again he came up empty handed. “At this point I’m sick,” he said. So he headed back to camp again. But at 1:30 a.m. he hadn’t got a minute of sleep, so he set out one more time, desperate to find even the smallest drop of blood. Finally he found a single drop where the buck had jumped the fence. The blood was black and had a fetid smell. A liver shot? Slightly encouraged to at least have found some blood, Sims finally retired for a restless night.
In the morning he got on the buck’s blood trail and followed it 600 yards over two fences. In a small patch of timber he found his deer laying dead. “I did the Tiger Woods fist pump and screamed like a little girl,” Sims said. “I was like ‘Oh man, what did I shoot!?” Amazingly, the coyotes hadn’t touched the buck. As you can see from Sims’ score sheet, it put up some impressive figures.
But this isn’t Sims’ first trophy deer. For years he’s bowhunted Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas. He never hunts high fenced property or goes with an outfitter. “I wouldn’t kill one of those [high-fence deer] if you stacked them up in front of me for a week,” he says. He gets his trophy deer by pouring over topo maps, obsessing over trail cameras and leasing the right properties. Pictured: 197-inch deer taken in Iowa.
“If I do something I try to be as good as I can at it,” Sims said. “I study hard … I look at aerial photos … I’m a freak about trail cameras. I like running trail cameras almost as much as I like the hunting.” Over a 10-day period it’s not uncommon for him to go over 25,000 trail camera photos. Before the season he makes spread sheets of property owners ranking the properties in order from best to worst. The he goes out knocking on doors, shaking hands and hunting for leases starting with those at the top of his list. Pictured: 173-inch buck from Kansas.
Sims pays careful attention to wind and carefully chooses when to hunt his stands. He typically only hunts three times a week in order to rest his stands and minimize scent. He says the first time he sits in a stand is usually his best chance at killing a mature buck. Pictured: 155-inch buck from Kansas.
He’s made a name for himself in the trophy whitetail circles he runs in. All fall Sims and his buddies send each other trail cam photos of deer. “Now when I get a picture of a big deer my wife just goes ‘Oh God!'” he says. Pictured: 163-inch buck from Kansas
“I never quit thinking about which deer I’m going to hunt or which way the wind is blowing,” Sims says. In fact, Sims had to jump off the phone early during this interview. The wind was right and he had set up an ambush on a big buck in Arkansas. Pictured: 179-inch buck from Kansas.
Greg Sims took this huge 194-inch buck while bowhunting in Kansas last month. Find the photos and details of his hunt here.