A Monster Buck, Haunted Dreams and Final Redemption

Dusty Smart’s plan worked well for his quest to arrow a massive buck during the 2012 season and he watched as his shot found its mark on a true giant.

Dusty Smart with his giant Kansas buck.

Dusty Smart with his giant Kansas buck.

The day before gun season was set to open in Kansas, Smart did all the right things to ensure he’d get a shot at a giant he’d been watching on game camera photos. The brute was hanging around with a harem of does and when the final moment came, Smart was ready.

His arrow’s flight was true. But then everything went sour. Smart couldn’t locate the buck and, finally, gave up hope of finding his once-in-a-lifetime buck. He was set on having the memory, if not the trophy on his wall, but that wouldn’t be enough. For any true hunter, finding the buck is a key component of the ethical nature we demand of ourselves. Not to mention, of course, wanting the buck to hang on the wall.

“I would tell my friends about how big this buck was and that he had gotten away, and I could tell they thought I was making up stories” Smart said in this Kansas City Star report. “They were getting tired of hearing me talk about it.”

Fast forward to 2014 when he got a call from a friend. A boy had found a massive skull and antlers while scouting property. It turned out to be Smart’s buck, and after going through some paperwork with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Tourism and Parks, he secured the buck.

Final score on the 28-point brute? Estimated to be about 235, a true giant and one he’ll remember forever.

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