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Bowhunting Kansas Live - 2005








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Wednesday All-Day Hunt

I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier and slipped into a stand named "The Box" well before first light. It was 45 minutes before the first deer came in from the fields to the North. As he approached the stand, I could see a huge horn (note the singular). The deer was the same buck I had seen back in November, he was a mainframe 8 with his right beam snapped off. He fed under my stand for a few minutes before feeding off into the trees.

Thirty minutes later, another buck came off the wheat fields. It was another buck with half his rack snapped off - this time it was the big 9 that I had video 'd on Sunday. Two more bucks walked in and the second was a nice 10 - a shooter! The 9, who was still feeding under me, had me pinned down. I let the two bucks come in without so much as moving my video camera. As they fed, I looked for the opportunity to grab my bow. When the time was right, I slowly moved my arm and took my bow off the holder. At that moment a deer blew and the 3 bucks ran off. (Insert expletive here)! A raghorn buck had slipped across the hill to my right and watched my every move. A rookie mistake for sure, and one cost me a great buck. But the deer moved off unalarmed and bedded within site of my stand! To add insult to injury, the little raghorn came in and fed. I wanted to blow an arrow through his lungs just for spite - but I held it together.

The bucks were bedded for over an hour. They eventually fed away deeper into the trees. I made the decision to pull an all-day hunt at this stand. I had a feeling these deer would come back. I had not planned on an all-day hunt. I had no food and no water. Staying here was a gamble. If you recall, I did the same thing in November and after 13 hours I saw nothing.

As the hours clicked by, only a couple of scrub bucks appeared. I wondered if I hadn't made another mistake - sitting here all day long. But, at 3:07, as I was watching some squirrels flirt with each other, a nice 10 had appeared out of nowhere. He was coming across the sage hill directly opposite my position, and eye-level. Unfortunately, we both looked up at the same time and he bolted. He was a shooter.

But as a he moved off to the West, I saw a small buck heading in. It was one of the morning bucks! As he approached my stand, I saw two more deer following. The second deer was that big 8 with half a rack. The third deer was the 10 I was waiting for. I slipped my bow off the holder and got ready.

The deer started to feed as I rolled tape on my video camera. I was really calm and simply waiting for the right opportunity. Finally, he moved into a great angle and I drew back my arrow. The deer never spotted me, and that gave me plenty of time to place the pin, get everything centered, and start to squeeze my release. At the shot, I felt a sharp blow to my knee. All 3 deer ran 100 yards, then stopped? Not good. I looked at the ground and my arrow was laying "in front" of where the deer was standing. I put it together quickly. The bottom cam of my bow hit my left knee, that forced the arrow low and off-course. The deer was unscathed - but alarmed. This time, they weren't coming back.

I mentally kicked myself for 20 minutes. I would have kicked myself longer, but heading toward my stand was 4 does, followed by a great 10 point! The does ran in so fast that I never had an opportunity to get my bow. The buck was only 75 yards away and it was going to be tough to get my bow with all those eyeballs. The opportunity came when the does began battling each other. With all the commotion, I quickly snatched my bow from the holder. Now I simply waited for the right shot.

A few minutes went by and I still had not shot. Then, I watched the buck walk over to the arrow that I had shot at the previous buck. I knew he wasn't going to like it. Immediately the buck lifted his head and pegged me. But bad for him, I was already at full draw! I picked a spot and shot. My arrow hit with a loud crack. The buck jumped into the air finishing the leap off with a bronco kick! I was confident about the hit - and played back the video just to be sure.

Watch the video of this shot (2.6mb) -

The shot looked good, but the angle may have been a little off. The arrow and the bloodtrail would determine next steps- but I'll save that for a future Interactive Bloodtrail Competition.

I did not track the buck right away. I drove back to the house and called Kent. He invited me to have dinner with his folks in town and after a nice time we headed back to look for my buck. Before long we found him. He had not gone very far.

Today was just one of those days. I had 5 PY bucks under my stand today alone. On a whim I had opted to sit all day. I got a 2nd chance at the buck I wanted and screwed it up - twice! But I ended up shooting a better buck 35 minutes later! What a day!

This hunt started in November. It should have been over on the first day, but I opted for the experience instead. I'd say I got my wish.


This bowhunt was different

When I had returned home from my November Kansas hunt with Cimarron I started to think about doing a live hunt somewhere in the post-rifle, late winter archery season. But rather than go somewhere new, I figured - why not head back to Kansas? After all, I had the tag and there was no doubt there were good bucks here. So I contacted Kent and asked him what he thought about the idea?

Kent thought it would be a great idea. He told me the late-season can be difficult, but it can also be productive. The bucks are not "Cruising" like they do in November and food is the key. But the problem with the only dates that worked for me (week before Christmas) was that both Kent Jarnagin and Kent Woolfolk were tied up and not available to provide the high level of service as in November. This was not a problem for me. I had hunted here for 5 years now and knew the area pretty well. In fact, I told them that I would be more than happy to be self-sufficient. So we agreed to give it a shot.

So you could say this was an "outfitted" hunt rather than fully guided. I had my own 4x4 and after GPS'ing the routes to and from the stands I was on my own. This made my PY buck all the more sweeter. I can't thank Kent and Kent from Cimarron enough for their willingness to work with me on this late hunt.


Gear Used during this Bowhunt

Bowtech Allegiance

Muzzy 90 Grain 4-blade Broadhead

King of the Mountain Wool Shirt, Pants, and Beavertail Vest for the cold days

Summit SOP Harness

Realtree Fleece for the warmer days

Camera gear - Hunter Cam Cradle HD video arm, and a Sony VX2100 3CCD video camera.


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Our Kansas bowhunt takes place in Southwest Kansas with Cimarron River Outfitters.

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