Taking a bow buck that breaks the 200-inch mark is one of whitetail hunting’s ultimate challenges. On October 3rd, 25-year-old Kansas archer Evan Theis, an archery department manager at Heartland Outdoor, cleared the hurdle with room to spare, arrowing this incredible non-typical buck that green-scored 222-7/8.
Trail-cam pictures tipped Theis off to the buck about a month before the Kansas archery opener. “I’m pretty sure we had pics of him in 2016,” he says. “Back then, the buck was a main-frame 10-point with a kicker. But when he showed up this fall was something else. His left side was a clean 5-point typical, but his right was a mess. It was kind of hard to tell exactly what was going on there. But there was no doubt he was huge, and I wanted him pretty bad.”
Theis wasn’t the only bowhunter after the giant southern Kansas nontyp. “My family started farming here in the 1960’s,” he explains. “Our farm butts up to a big lake, and a lot of the ground surrounding that lake is a public park that can’t be hunted. The buck was bedding in that park, then moving out to private land to feed in the evening.”
Theis not only knew the other guys who were after the freaky non-typ; they were his friends. “One owns a little piece that the buck was moving through when he left the park,” he says. “The other hunted some of our ground. Even though I wanted the buck, I told my friend that it was fine if he went in there. I told him, ‘I want you to get him if I can’t.’”
When the huge buck left the park to feed, he usually moved north toward Theis’ farm. “I knew I needed a wind with some south in it to hunt him,” he says. On the evening of September 30th, he got that wind, hit the woods, and saw the buck coming toward him just before 7 p.m. “The deer turned broadside at 38 yards,” says Theis. “I shoot a single-pin slider sight, and for some reason I had it dialed in to 50 yards. When…