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White-tailed deer near Junction City, Kansas. Several in the regal category were spotted.

I have always wanted to capture an image of one of those trophy white-tailed deer for which Kansas is famous.

Rick Dykstra of Junction City, Kansas, is with the Geary County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and his job enables him to feed his love of wildlife photography. He knows quite a few secret locations favored by wildlife and has shepherded me around on several occasions.

 The rut was in full swing one fall and, after Rick called with an invitation, thoughts of huge bucks swirled in my mind during the drive to Junction City.

We set up our cameras, and there was a constant parade of bucks. I never saw a monster buck, but several were adorned with racks that put them in the “regal” category.

Then out of the woods stepped the Emmett Kelly of the whitetail world. Emmett Kelly, of course, was among the circus world’s most recognized clowns. This buck also had a clown-like appearance. Instead of having two antlers protruding from his head, he had at least eight. Some were nubbins, and others were spikes.

I still thank Rick for the opportunity to photograph the weirdest whitetail I’ve ever seen.

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