Our annual trip to Kansas was already a success with Kim taking a great 10 point, even though we were caught off guard. It was now my turn and our hopes were high that I would also be able to put a Kansas tag on a great buck.
December 5, 2009
Our morning hunt was exciting. We hunted a stand between a large field and a cedar thicket. We climbed into our Ameristep stands at daylight and soon after, we began to rattle. Just after my first rattling sequence, we had a good 2-½ year old 8 point come in to 30 yards before working down wind and catching our scent. Shortly after, he had left the scene. I rattled again and moments later another 2-½ year old 8 point came in on the same trail, again walking by us at 30 yards before eventually getting down wind and leaving. Two bucks rattled into bow range, but they were just not quite what I was looking for, but it was a great morning. The evening hunt was on a field edge watching some standing beans. We had a great encounter with an old 9 point but he never gave us the opportunity for a good shot.
We awoke to an east wind which is the worst possible wind for this farm in the morning. I tried to think of a good place to go but there just wasn’t one. We almost went back to bed instead of hunting with this east wind but decided to give a stand on the west side of a field a try where at least we could see the deer leaving the field and make a plan for the evening hunt.
We climbed into the stand just about daylight, set up the camera equipment and began watching the field. It wasn’t long before we saw some does feeding into the east wind and away from us. We had such good luck rattling the last couple of days, I decided to give it another try; but really didn’t expect anything to happen. I had just finished the first rattling sequence when Kim said “You need to take a look at this deer, it’s walking straight toward us.” I quickly raised my Nikon binoculars and couldn’t believe my eyes.
There was a good buck locked in on the sound of my HS Rattle Bag and coming straight at us from 600 yards away. The buck continued across the field and the closer he got the better he looked. I quietly told Kim to keep the camera rolling; this was a shooter and I was going to take him. It seemed to take forever for him to cross the field but he was walking straight to us and I didn’t have a good shot. I kept watching as he kept coming, and soon he was only 35 yards away at the edge of the field, staring into the trees and I still had no shot.
After a few moments he didn’t see anything and lost interest. He turned walking the field edge but I still couldn’t shoot because of brush. I grunted a few times which got his attention and made him turn his head and look, but still no shot. The buck was heading away from us now—it was time to try something else. I grabbed my HS Easy Wheeze and that did the trick. He turned slightly quartering to us and I found a small hole to shoot through.
I asked Kim if she was ready and settled the cross hairs of the Nikon Monarch on his shoulder. Kim gave me the ok, so I squeezed the trigger of the TC Pro Hunter and the Hornady 25-06 bullet found its mark. The buck ran only 40 yards and piled up in the field.
I could hardly believe what had just happened. We had rattled in a mature buck from 600 yards and filled my Kansas tag. At that moment, I could not have been happier and couldn’t wait to get my hands on him. We celebrated and discussed what had just happened and then went to recover my buck. After an extended photo session we loaded him up for a ride in the truck. This was our best trip to Kansas, not only because we had taken two great bucks but also because of the friends we’ve made there over the years.