Our Week 4 HIT LIST contest winner continues his roll, with an amazing tale of a stunning KS monarch.


Imagine locating a huge trophy buck on land you don’t have permission to hunt. That was the dilemma of Kansas resident Cody Larrimore, who used game cams to find an outsized buck on a neighbor’s property back in 2018. But fate sometimes has a way of intervening in such matters, and Larrimore’s fortunes changed in 2020—first when he used photos of the buck to become the Week 4 winner in our preseason Big Buck HIT LIST contest, and then, the capper: The landowner suddenly accepted an offer to hunt the massive monarch this past October. For sending in photos and story of a truly amazing HuntStand success story, Larrimore is the Week 9 winner in our 2020 HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest that earns him a sweet pack from ALPS OutdoorZ: The Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (see below). The weekly win also makes Larrimore eligible for our Grand Prize drawing in late November (more on that below). We’re still looking for one more weekly winner so enter today!

“I moved to Kansas in 2017 specifically to pursue whitetails and follow a dream I’d had since I started bowhunting at 12 years old,” Larrimore wrote. “In less than a year, I was fortunate enough to be managing roughly 2,000 acres of prime Kansas hunting land, split between several properties.

“In July of 2018, I was able to persuade a neighboring farmer to let me hang some cameras on his land. After receiving permission to hang cameras—but not to hunt—I studied the property using the HuntStand app, allowing me to identify pinch points, measure and identify travel corridors, pick locations to hang cameras, and to share the property details with my friends in the group. As it turns out, the first photo I got was a deer we would later name ‘Athos’—the giant from Greek mythology.

Week4(2018)2 900“The first year the farmer was only able to hunt him one time due to his busy schedule. No luck. He was too busy the rest of the year. Throughout the remainder of the year, I received thousands of photos of Athos, again, mostly in daylight, so I was eager to search for his sheds the following spring.Week4(2019) 900“Fast-forward three months to the Shed Rally 2019 (a contest hosted by Whitetail Properties). Only because I wanted to find Athos’ antlers, me and my friend Craig walked over 20-plus miles in two days, and Craig finally found the matched set of antlers we were after. They scored 191 inches (with an estimated 17.5-inch spread) and Craig was selected as the overall Shed Rally 2019 Grand Prize Winner!Week4(2019)2 900“I didn’t get Athos on camera until mid-October that fall—the same as the year before—because of the cattle. As you can see in the November 2019 Browning photo above, he lost some width, but put on significant mass. And, just like the year before, the landowner was too busy to hunt.

“Despite a larger crew searching, we did not find his sheds during the spring of 2020, and we questioned if Athos was still around.0944:070420:83F:0000:DEREK 1:3E[193:0007]G[008:0x0006]“But on July 4th, 2020, my Browning camera caught the first glimpse of Athos in the new year. Not only was he alive, he was shaping up to be larger than ever before! With the excitement of knowing he’s still alive and having him back on camera, the farmer and I both agreed that this was the year; that we had to go after him once the season opened.

“My friends and I watched him grow week after week. It became an addiction (more so than years in the past, believe it or not), and I became obsessed. His antler growth was astonishing. His dominance over the others in his bachelor group was clear, and he dwarfed every other buck in sight.Week9Cody“Although his core area is relatively small, we were told this past summer that a neighbor had found one of his sheds during planting season this past spring, and had shared photos with many others. I had done my best to keep this deer a secret for several years, but ultimately knew it was just a matter of time before others in the area would know about him.

“After talking to my friends, we decided that if the landowner hadn’t harvested this deer by the time they all came out for our annual, ‘Deer Camp Week,’ we would approach him with an offer for one of us to hunt him.

“At the start of the youth rifle season, Athos disappeared but showed back up about 10 days later with his velvet gone. Athos went from being a giant whitetail, to an absolute once-in-a-lifetime deer, a dream—a legend. As promised, I alerted the landowner when I received the first photo of him in daylight, during the regular archery season. Once he pulled his cattle, I went in and adjusted the Muddy blind setup, and the chase was on! The plan was to wait for my first daylight photo of him, back near his ‘usual’ bedroom. Once this happened, we would hunt him the first available cold front, or right wind direction. The photo came, HuntStand showed a cold front had moved in, but the landowner simply couldn’t find the time. I checked the card days later, and Athos had been there in daylight. I wasn’t devastated, but it was close. Everything we needed to happen had happened. A week later, I reached out to the landowner again, as HuntStand showed there was another cold front in the forecast. He replied, saying, “If you can make me a good enough offer, he’s yours. I’m going to be too busy with the harvest.”Week9two 900“The next morning we agreed on a deal, and my generous friends agreed I would be the one to hunt him. Emotions aside, it was go time! Except, there was a problem; I hadn’t actually hunted whitetails in two years! After I saw the satisfaction of putting a youth hunter on a giant, 160-inch whitetail while capturing every moment of the hunt on camera, I’ve been more excited about filming, so much so that I sold my bow seasons ago. In fact, I tried picking up a bow this past turkey season and I ended up shooting a barbwire fence no more than 5 feet away. Welcome back to bowhunting, Cody!

“This is where the story really begins to come full circle. My buddy Craig won several prizes for his Shed Rally victory, and being the generous person that he is, he overnighted the Mathews bow, along with camouflage from Sitka, and one of the two pairs of boots that he got in my size as prizes from Lacrosse. This is one of the wildest parts to this whole story; I would be hunting Athos in the gear Craig won from finding his sheds two years earlier. After a quick trip to an archery shop, the bow was set up and after several evenings of practice, I was ready.Week9one 900“Another one of my best friends who lives here in Kansas, Marc, agreed to film for me so I could focus on the hunt. After two unsuccessful trips, HuntStand showed another large cold front was in the forecast and I knew I needed to take advantage of it, even though Marc wasn’t available that evening.

“The cold front took affect and deer were on their feet early on October 23rd. While walking to the elevated Muddy soft-sided blind, I watched as two smaller bucks moved across the field in front of me. Fortunately, when they spooked off, they ran in the best direction possible. Unfortunately, after I took a few more steps, I noticed a giant rack staring right at me 15 yards from the blind. I was able to grab my binoculars and identify the buck—not Athos, but a solid 165-inch-class buck. The 5-minute staring contest eventually ended with his white tail raised, then snorting, as he took off in the direction I was expecting Athos to come from. Needless to say, I thought the hunt was over before it began.Week9four 900“There was plenty more action with smaller bucks and does that evening, despite my pessimism. While it was still an enjoyable hunt, the buck I was after continued to elude me. So I decided to pack up my equipment, load my bag, and began to close windows so I could slip out before anything else showed. Midway through closing the last window, I noticed movement from the direction I had spooked the large buck toward earlier; the direction where I had always assumed Athos would emerge.Week10last 900“I caught a glimpse of antlers and within a true millisecond, I knew without a doubt which deer it was. I didn’t have the luxury of admiring him, I didn’t try to get my binoculars back out of my bag to double check—there was no doubt in my mind which deer was working its way toward me; I had no time to think, only react. I pulled the bag off my back, sat down, and quickly unpacked my camera gear. Tripod up, camera out; opened—press on; facing the direction I knew he would pass through—press record. I grabbed the Mathews bow, loaded an arrow, got the release out of my pocket and hooked onto the d-loop.

“At 27 yards, Athos heard me draw and picked his head up—looking toward my blind. For the first time in three years, I was able to finally lay my eyes on Athos. With the light fading fast, I took an extra second to confirm that my peep sight and anchor point were in position. I squeezed off the shot and saw the red lighted nock hit home.Week9three 900“I’ve seen numerous TV shows where the hunter speaks of how bittersweet it is when you finally catch up to a deer you’ve been chasing for so long. I can now say it’s a feeling that is both one of happiness and sadness. ‘Bittersweet’ might actually be the perfect word to describe the feeling.

“I was able to catch up to Athos on the evening of October 23rd, 2020, laying my eyes on him for the first time in person—but also, the last. Bittersweet, for sure.”

To enter the HuntStand 2020 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2020 buck bagged after Aug. 20 (Entries accepted NOW THROUGH NOV. 26) along with a brief story of your hunt that explains how the HuntStand app played a part. Be sure to tell us if your buck was known to you or a newcomer, then describe the area where your stand sits, or where the encounter took place, as well as the fateful day’s wind and weather conditions, and of course, the blow-by-blow account of the exciting action as it unfolded. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, weapon used, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]ALPSQuickdraw-Edge 900Team HuntStand will choose 10 weekly winners that we began sharing with the extensive HuntStand community Sept. 25; EACH weekly winner will receive the Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (valued at $79.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above). This unique single-sling daypack offers quick and easy swing-around access to gear compartments. Unlike traditional shoulder straps, the single sling allows free range of motion. You’ll also find a drop-down pocket that securely carries a bow or gun, MOLLE webbing with bungee system for toting a quiver or extra gear, and a 2L water reservoir to keep you hydrated. ALPSContenderX 900In addition, at the end of the 10 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize: an ALPS OutdoorZ Contender X pack (valued at $229.99; image above). Pack specialist ALPS is calling this feature-packed design the ultimate whitetail day pack; the coolness of the Contender X begins with its innovative self-standing L-shape frame, which allows you to set your pack on any flat surface. The unique U-shaped zipper provides extra-large, flip-down top access to the main compartment—ideal for easy gear access while hanging in your stand or sitting on the ground, without losing precious pack contents. The Lycra covered molded foam suspension ensures carrying comfort even when fully loaded with hunting necessities.

Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand and let us know when (and how) you score with HuntStand!



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