2014 Kansas bowhunt

Day 5, Saturday, Nov 15, 2014

Kansas-Whitetail Deer

Kansas-Whitetail Deer

AM – Walked up to and passed a nice buck as he raked his antlers on a cedar bush before sunrise. Close – about 20 yards – he had no clue. Yearling buck walked by at 15 yards. Rattled in a 160 class buck but he held up at 100 yards, then circled downwind and left. Two 2 1/2-year-old bucks chased a doe right under my tree. Lots of buck grunts, doe bleats, and brush crashing as they chased around my stand and eventually out of hearing distance. Nice medium-size buck crossed downwind and met two bucks in the woods west of my stand, probably the 2 1/2-year-olds. They all confronted and postured but the first buck was much bigger and older and the smaller bucks backed off. I gave a couple buck grunts and a loud estrous doe bleat and immediately all three headed my way.

The biggest one came on fast and stopped in front of my stand at about 15 yards. Lots of brush in the way. When he continued on walking forward, I shot but hit a branch a couple feet in front of my arrow. The buck walked away and disappeared into the brush. I waited a while, then got down to retrieve my arrow. It was clean, no hair or blood. Then I walked over to where the deer stood and there was blood there. As it turned out I had hit a close branch and deflected the arrow and it grazed the back leg of the deer. The fresh snow was ideal for tracking and I followed him for over a mile and for 4 hours. There were occasional blood droplets but I feel confident that he would be okay. By his tracks I found where he had even chased some does and fed in a bean field late in the day.

I considered this to be my Kansas deer for the year, and the end of my Kansas hunt for 2014. I don’t think it would be right for me to continue hunting having wounded a deer.

Day 4, Friday, November 14, 2014

Cold again today but only a slight breeze from the SE.

AM – Lots of does were around today. This morning I saw about 15 does and only one buck, a yearling chasing one of the does.

PM – Saw 2 bucks and 2 does. None close. One of the bucks was a 3-year-old, perhaps the same one I saw a couple of days ago, on the same path.

Day 3, Thursday, November 13, 2014

12 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, but there was less wind, so it was better than yesterday. I passed two small bucks this morning,  and almost got shots at a pair of coyotes at close range,  but they are so sharp. No chance. Evening was quiet,  saw only a doe and her fawn. After dark Bill and  I went to a neighbor’s deer camp for supper and a few beers. They are serious and good deer hunters and have taken two real nice bucks so far. It’s going to get real cold tonight. More tomorrow.

Day 2, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It was unusually cold with strong winds. I about froze to death and saw little. There was a nice buck chasing a doe near the cabin at dawn. I stalked them and almost got a shot but the day busted me. Passed two bucks in the afternoon. Bill and his son-in-law Tom stopped by to visit in the evening.

Day 1, Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I am on my way to Kansas to bow hunt deer. In 2008 I met Bill Brannan at the SCI show in Reno, Nevada, and he invited me to bowhunt his land in NE Kansas. A year later I hunted his land for the first time. I saw a few OK bucks on that hunt,  but nothing really big. The day after I left however, a monster non-medical got his picture taken under the tree that I had a stand in that morning. The next spring Bill found his sheds, they were massive and had 5 broken points. We estimate that he would have scored around 230 NT. A year later I hunted there again and took a 12 point typical that grossed 185 on the first morning of my hunt. Because of the building project, and a host of other challenges I have not been able to hunt there since. Bill and I have a great many interests in common, and our friendship has grown over the past few years,  and so I will be staying in his cabin at the farm. I have high hopes for this next week, and I’ll keep you updated.

A story about luck

Backyard Buck-Whitetail Deer

Backyard Buck-Whitetail Deer

I have hunted deer for more than 45 years and have read countless deer hunting stories in magazines like ‘Big Buck’ for even more than that. Perhaps it’s an ego thing, but like a lot of guys, I have always wanted to hunt and take a buck that would be worthy of one of these articles. I always assumed the story would highlight my skills as a hunter, or my understanding of deer behavior, or possibly my accuracy with a bow. But like many things in life, it didn’t go as planned. And so I am writing a story about luck.

My story begins on the deck of our home in rural Minnesota three days before the opening day of Minnesota’s bow season. My wife Juli and I were having supper on our backyard deck where we could watch a foodplot to see what deer would arrive at sundown. Several does and yearling bucks were regular visitors and provided constant entertainment as we ate. But the one I was interested in was a 3 ½ year old 8 point. He would score around 150 and was a rare deer in the heavily hunted area where I live. These deer would usually appear on the far end of the foodplot and slowly work their way towards the house as the sun set and darkness settled in. But on this evening, a new buck arrived. Continue reading