Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

201-inch "Prairie Ghost"
By Owen Kimberling

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This year started off just like any other. A lot of scouting, setting up trail cams and glassing. I love archery hunting, but unfortunately I was disabled a few years back, so drawing a bow is not possible. Thank goodness for Wyoming and my disability crossbow!

After a month or so of scouting and checking cameras, nothing was really looking good. About three weeks before the archery opener, I moved a camera to a heavily used water source. After leaving it for a few days, I decided to check it out and see what it would show. What I discovered on the camera about gave me a heart attack! It was one of the biggest bucks I have ever seen alive. I observed this buck for a few days on camera and I knew my goal was to find out where he was living. I used my experience of hunting these "prairie ghosts" and made a search area and began my search. After just a few days, I had found him, and in the daylight he looked even bigger. I let him remain uninterrupted in his home as the season opener quickly approached.

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On opening morning, my cousin, Scott Kimberling, and I sat 2 miles away from this toads home and glassed using my Zeiss spotting scope and my PhoneSkope. At daylight, he was there and even at 2 miles he looked huge. We watched him and another huge buck feed on an open hillside for approximately 2-1/2 hours. As the sun rose over a hill, the buck retreated a mile and laid down. We carefully made a plan and decided it was now or never. We knew that a buck of this caliber, size and age would only give us one chance!

After an hour stalk and crawl, I placed myself 36 yards from the other buck. As we waited for 45 minutes or so, I strategized and thought carefully about what could happen and what couldn't. Suddenly, the buck exploded from behind a tree and ran out to 55 yards. I had just a split second as he turned back and looked. That was all I needed as the bolt with the 150 grain tip sank into his shoulder and did its job. I remember jumping up and down with joy and amazement that we had just accomplished something so hard to do. As we walked up, he looked like an elk and I was just astonished at his size. This is my best mule deer ever. He is a 6x6, with 7" bases and gross scores 201"! This is a beast and he was well earned, especially on public land.

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