Nick Dosch hoped to harvest a Kansas mule deer this season, but he was anything but disappointed when he felled a gnarly 36-point nontypical whitetail instead. The giant buck could end up as one of the state’s top-10 archery bucks of all time.

Dosch, of Hutchinson, started the season hunting the western third of The Sunflower State, where the mule deer herd is concentrated. When that didn’t pan out, he headed home to chase whitetails instead. By then, it was Nov. 14, just past the peak of the rut in Kansas, but still a good time to see mature bucks on their feet in daylight. Dosch also had an ace up his sleeve: Permission on a parcel of land that hadn’t been hunted for 10 years. He and his brother set up a stand and placed a mineral block nearby, then hung a cellular trail cam.

Trail camera photo of a huge whitetail buck in a field at night.
A cell-cam photo of the giant buck on the same morning Dosch put a tag on him. Nick Dosch

Two days later, he got his first picture of a shooter—a massive nontypical making the rounds in broad daylight. Though he hustled to his stand that afternoon, Dosch saw no deer. But that night he got another picture, and the next morning, Nov. 17, he was in his stand at 6:15.

Around 7 a.m., Dosch looked up and spotted the giant buck just 40 yards off and heading his way. By the time the buck closed to 15 yards, the hunter was at full draw and ready to shoot. The arrow hit a little far back, so Dosch left and returned that afternoon with family and friends. After a long search for blood turned up nothing, they spread out and started walking. Five minutes later, it was Dosch himself who spotted the buck—a massive 36-pointer with bladed brow tines, crab-claw main beams, and palmation galore. With an unofficial green score of 255 7/8 gross, 247 net, it should end up on the state’s Top 10 list for nontypical whitetails taken with a bow.

Hunter sitting on ground showing of huge whitetail buck, left; same buck on the ground with bow, right
Two more looks at Dosch’s huge nontypical buck. Nick Dosch

“It’s kind of crazy how it all played out,” Dosch told Field & Stream. “Your first instinct is to look at the rack, which I did for a split second, and just seeing how abnormal it was, I could tell this was a big deer. But from then clear up to the shot, I never looked at the rack again. So, all day while we were waiting to go look for him, I was sitting there playing games in my head: Am I sure that was the right buck? When we finally found him, it was a huge, huge relief.”