After Heartbreaking Miss, Bowhunter Evens Score with Giant Buck


Consider all of the stories you’ve heard about deer hunters killing giant, mature white-tailed bucks. These success stories typically involve surprise encounters with deer that had never been seen before, or monarchs with generally unpredictable movements.

Kevin Krebbs defied these odds when he got a rock-solid pattern on a 200-class whitetail that he would later put on his wall.

Kevin Krebs with his second chance buck, a beauty!

Kevin Krebs with his second chance buck, a beauty!

It all started when Krebbs captured a fuzzy trail camera image of a massive buck in 2013, during the November rifle season in Kansas. He never saw the buck again that fall, but the jaw-dropping image wasn’t something he’d easily forget.

As a hardworking guy with a full- time job at Kansas Gas Service, plus a side gig shoeing horses, 34-year-old Krebbs decided to opt for an archery tag in 2014. With archery season more spread out than gun season, this would give him more flexibility to hunt in-between his busy schedule. This wise decision would eventually bring him face to face with the buck of a lifetime.

“It was hot that time of year, so it was hard for me to get motivated,” Krebbs said. “But I went out and hung my stand to see what was coming out.”

First Encounter
Krebbs uses an observation stand — or “sight stand,” as he calls it — to identify shooter bucks and calculate a game plan for killing them. For his first evening scouting mission of 2014, he chose to watch a hidden food plot that’s completely surrounded by woods. Thirty minutes after climbing into his sight stand, Krebbs watched a giant buck burst out of the timber and into the open field.

“I’d never seen a buck like that in my life,” he said. It was the same incredible deer from the unfor- gettable 2013 trail cam image.

Kevin Krebs got this grainy image of his giant buck and then watched it before making a decision about when to hunt it.

Kevin Krebs got this grainy image of his giant buck and then watched it before making a decision about when to hunt it.

He watched the buck for two weeks and patterned his movements. The mature bruiser would follow a pile of does onto the field from the same trail at dusk every night. Finally, the wind was right for Krebbs to move in for a shot on Friday, Oct. 3. The buck stepped out like clockwork that evening. Krebbs drew his bow from a natural ground blind.

“The trail ended up being 20 yards farther than I expected,” he lamented. “He stepped out behind the does and he got real nervous.” Krebbs launched his arrow and missed the buck at 45 yards. “It just made me sick, but luck- ily I didn’t make a bad shot on him. I didn’t sleep that night or the next.”

After letting the area rest for a full day, Krebbs returned that Sunday with a Summit climbing treestand to get closer to the deer’s entry trail.

“I stood up in the stand 15 minutes before I expected him to step out,” Krebbs said. Eventually, he heard a deer moving up the trail toward the field. “I could just tell it was him by the sound of his steps.”

The buck was right on time. He paused and looked around when he got to the field edge.

“I just looked at him through my peripheral vision — I didn’t want to get too worked up,” Krebbs said. “Normally he would’ve stepped out broadside, but of course this time he didn’t. He stepped out quartering away from me.”

At just 10 yards with a steep angle, Krebbs tried aligning his shot to catch the buck’s lungs. Instead, the arrow spined the beast and he dropped on the spot.

“I struggled to get a second arrow nocked. I was shaking so bad,” he said. But moments later, a finishing shot put the deer to rest and awakened long-sought glory in a dedicated deer hunter.

This Greenwood County giant grossed 206-7/8 with a net score of 199-2/8.