Some of the most eye-catching perspectives on the outdoors come from Field & Stream readers. That’s why we’re kickstarting a new series that features your photos, videos, and stories.
Share your most interesting photos or videos, and the stories behind them, on the Field & Stream Facebook page. Each week, we’ll review every submission and reach out for the scoop on whatever grabs our attention. Then we’ll post the story right here on our website__. We hope this new series will both educate and entertain, and give more readers the chance to share what you’re experiencing in the woods and on the water.
This week’s top entry is a 15-second trail-cam video, captured on September 14, of an impressive deer that 38-year-old Buddy Craig, of Argonia, Kansas, has been observing for a few years.
Craig says he started hunting when he was just 6 years old, chasing upland birds in his native Kansas. When he was in grade school, his family moved to Texas and he took up archery hunting for whitetail deer. After serving in the U.S. Army, he went back to Texas, but ultimately moved to Kansas for what he calls a “slower life” with his wife and children.
That’s where he encountered a main frame 10-point whitetail buck that he’s nicknamed Sidekick. “I hunt in south-central Kansas and have watched this particular buck since 2012. I nicknamed him Sidekick because he kept hanging around with another buck when the two were still in velvet,” says Craig, who guesses the buck would’ve scored 130 back then. In 2013, he thinks it might’ve scored 140. But this year, he’s pretty sure Sidekick has 15 scoreable points and could be pushing a gross score near 170. “I think the deer remains here because of the habitat—the CRP, pond, river, and crop fields. Also, Kansas is a one-buck state and hunting pressure is very low and I hunt archery only,” Craig says. “That’s probably the main key to why he is still here. No bullets are flying his way.”
Even if Sidekick comes into range, Craig says he’ll probably let him go at least another season to reach his full potential. He already passed up one chance last year. “I think Sidekick is about 4 ½ years old, and after seeing how much growth this deer put on since last year, I won’t shoot if the opportunity comes up,” Craig says. “A decision like that could come back and haunt me later, but I am willing to chance it. Besides, I have four other bucks that are on my hit list for this year that are between 6 ½ and 8 ½ years old.” Thanks for sharing your story and video, Buddy!