KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MCT) — For two years, P.J. Cheney dreamed about the big buck he nicknamed “11-11.”
He and his dad, Paul, had seen the trophy whitetail several times on the land they hunt in Wyandotte County, always at about 11 a.m. Since the buck was an 11-pointer, they decided on an appropriate name.
That deer became P.J.’s obsession, a trophy animal he had studied through scouting, photos from trail cameras and deer signs in the woods. He thought about it nearly every day and couldn’t wait for his first chance to hunt the big buck.
By the time the recent Kansas youth season rolled around, P.J., 16, was ready. He knew where the big buck lived, how it traveled and where it fed.
He set up a tree stand on the land where he and his dad have permission to hunt, and waited for the deer to come by. It did, right on schedule. Cheney drew his bow and connected.
The clean shot dropped the buck and Cheney found himself standing over his dream deer. There was only one problem: He had to change the nickname for the buck.
The whitetail now had 17 points on his rack, which was later green-scored at 167 on the Boone and Crockett scale of measuring antlers. Paul Cheney, an experienced bow hunter, guesses the buck will have a final score of around 160 when the mandatory drying period for the antlers is done.
“We watched him develop his antlers for two years,” said Cheney, who lives in Kansas City, Kan., and is a junior at Turner High School. “They kept getting more impressive.”
Before his latest kill, he had taken four deer — three does and an 8-point buck. He is on the Internet constantly, studying everything from antler development to hunting strategies.