By: John E. Phillips

Even if you put out trail cameras to try and capture all the deer on your property in photos, you never know when a monster buck will seem to fall from the sky. That’s exactly what happened to 70-year-old Charles Wilde from Quenemo, Kansas. Wilde, who has bowhunted for over 50 years, owns a 160 acre farm in Osage County, Kansas, with one stand where he historically has taken bucks scoring 110 – 150 on Pope & Young the past 30 years. The little bottleneck that he hunts proves you can take older-age-class bucks year after year, at the same place, if you don’t put too much hunting pressure on them. In 2012, Wilde consistently had spotted a 10-point buck on his property and named him Big 10.

Wilde explains, “My wife literally pushed me out the door of the house one afternoon, saying I needed some time away from the house hunting, since I hadn’t gotten to hunt much during the 2012 Kansas bow season due to family health problems.”

The weather was nice, and Wilde enjoyed sitting in his tree stand that afternoon and relaxing – knowing a great day of deer hunting didn’t have to end with a deer being harvested. The rut had started. Wilde decided his tree stand wasn’t set-up right for him to take Big 10. So, he built a natural ground blind near his tree stand to bring him closer to Big 10. He had patterned the buck for 2 days and decided if Big 10 came out where he should, he’d let the buck walk past him in the blind before taking the shot the next morning.

“I got into my ground blind before daylight and spotted Big 10 behind a large cedar tree,” Wilde recalls. “But when I picked my bow up, the buck saw me move and took off.” After a close encounter like Wilde’s without an opportunity to make the shot on a monster buck, the image of that big deer seemed to be painted on the backs of his eyelids. Then at 5:00 pm on October 4, 2012, Wilde put on his safety harness, climbed into his tree stand and spotted a nice buck – but not Big 10 – at 100 yards, walking down the path toward his stand.

“Since I’d been hunting from this stand for 30 years, I knew when a buck was within range,” Wilde says. When the buck was at about 50 yards, Wilde decided he would take him. Wilde drew his 60 pound Mathews  bow, aimed low for a heart shot and released the arrow and his 125 grain NAP Thunderhead  broadhead. The buck took the arrow, shifted into high gear, ran back about 100 yards on the same trail from where he’d come, stopped at the edge of the woods and started walking sideways and stumbling. After sitting in his tree stand for a while, Wilde walked down the trail the buck had traveled. Then the buck stood up and took a couple steps away.

“Immediately, I backed up and went to find my friend, Steve Otradovec,” Wilde says.

When Wilde met up with Otradovec, he asked Wilde, “How big was the deer you shot?” Wilde told him the buck had an 18-inch-wide rack, probably 10 points and some good length in his tines. Wilde didn’t want his friend to really know how big the deer’s rack was until they found him. Wilde’s stepson, Kevin Herdman, and Kevin’s 17-year old, Ryan, met them to help search for the buck.

“Once we reached the edge of the woods, we only walked 10 yards past the spot where I’d seen the buck stand up and found my deer,” Wilde explains. Once Otradovec put his hands on the buck’s antlers, he turned to Wilde and announced, “This isn’t your deer. The buck you described was much smaller than this one.” Wilde’s mainframe 10-point buck had 19-scorable points with numbers of extra points. The three searchers asked Wilde about having the deer that found Wilde mounted, and he answered, “No, I don’t think so. I’ll just do a European mount with this buck, since I’ve got several bucks mounted already.”

However, they told Wilde they were mounting the buck for him. “So, Kevin had the buck mounted, and he now resides at my house,” Wilde says. “I’m pretty sure this buck was living on one of my neighbor’s properties and was expanding his range during the rut in hopes of finding a doe.” 

* BTR Score – Buckmasters’ Composite Score – Number of Inches: 192-6/8

* Official Buckmasters’ Score: 176-6/8 (doesn’t include inside spread of main beams)


This is an excerpt from John E. Phillips newest book “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks”. Click here to get more info about this deer hunting book and other deer hunting books by John E. Phillips


For more please go to: John Phillips