Avid bowhunter Krysten McDaniel was in a treestand in 2014 when a 200-class Kansas whitetail suddenly appears. Her husband, Josh, is running the camera.

As you’ll see in the video below, once the buck decides to walk the wood edge, he covers ground at a decent pace. Turn up the volume and listen closely and you’ll hear Josh offering advice. First he whisper-shouts “pull back, pull back, draw, draw, draw, draw!” then “aim at his heart, aim at his heart!”

With a bleat, Josh stops the broadside buck in the shooting lane. Unfortunately, the buck’s near front leg is back, which reduces the size of the heart/lung target area. In addition, the buck is now alert, meaning the chance of him jumping the string has increased dramatically.

Krysten’s shot appears to hit a bit high; in fact, much of the in-the-stand after-shot discussion centers around her blown opportunity.

200-Class Kansas Whitetail Takeaways

Two things I like about this video:

First, I’m tired of TV archers celebrating like they just won the World Cup when their bow shot looks to me to be marginal — at best. After my own shots on animals, I’m always at least a little worried something might go wrong unless I see a deer fall within sight of my treestand or ground blind. I like that Krysten is concerned after the lack of arrow penetration.

Second, I have no idea if Krysten needed the coaching from her husband during the moment of truth (I’m guessing not), but the video is more authentic when you hear this dialogue. I know I sound much the same when sitting beside one of my sons as they aim at a whitetail. Josh realizes that Krysten’s best chance to draw her bow undetected is when the buck walks behind the large tree and he doesn’t want her to wait too long. Then, he reminds her to aim low, knowing that at close range the most common mistake is a shoulder shot, especially on a buck that has been stopped with a bleat. And this is before Josh stops the buck with a bleat … good stuff. Click here for more on string-jumping and shot distance.

Of course, as viewers we have no real idea of the timeline after the shot, the length of the blood trail, etc. We simply have to trust that the hunt hosts are telling the truth. And I see nothing here to make me think that the events unfolded in any way other than what we see on camera.

Kudos to Krysten and Josh on a fantastic Kansas buck. It was a tag-team effort with an outstanding outcome.

 


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