Bowhunting Kansas Live - 2005










2005 Winter Hunt

2005 Hunt

2004 Hunt
2003 Hunt
2002 Hunt
2001 Hunt
Untitled Document


Before we get into my recovery outcome I need to congratulate Ron Baxley who "got it done" this morning on an absolute bruiser buck. It had taken him forever to come by the stand. He had stood just out of range and was snort-wheezing for no apparent reason. He finally came by after a doe and Ron made a great shot. The buck dropped in 100 yards.

My Recovery Attempt

We hit the trail at 8:30AM and after two hours found not a single drop of blood. From then until 1:30 PM it was three guys walking grids and checking every plumb thicket and brush pile within a thousand yard radius. We walked every inch of the tree belt and every hayfield. Without blood it was a pure crap shoot. The one place we had not checked was Northeast of the stand since the deer ran West. We were wore out by afternoon. There was almost no wind and temps in the seventies. I was really discouraged and just plain mad at myself for losing such a great buck.

But we weren't done quite yet. We had the most magnificent tracking tool ever invented. Kent and I discussed options after we found zero blood and had simply no idea where the buck may have headed. He knew a man with a Para plane and he was available to help us search from the air. I jumped at the chance. So at 4:00 PM we lifted off for what would be the most amazing opportunity I've ever experienced when searching for a wounded buck.

Kirk Kissel lives in Protection Kansas and is a hunter himself. He's assisted several hunters with finding wounded deer and today was my turn. The plane is neat. The best way to describe it is a go cart with a bowfishing fan mounted on the back of it and suspended on a parachute. It can cover a ton of ground and can turn on a dime. From the air we saw all sorts of deer including at least 15 PY bucks in a 3 square mile area. But no dead deer anyway. As soon as I was airborne, I knew why Kent Jarnigin was so optimistic that I'd find my deer. But as we continued searching for darn near 90 minutes, my optimism was running low.

With the sun fading fast Kirk asked me through the headphones if I wanted to look anywhere else. I asked him how much time we had left and he replied, 10 minutes. I asked him to search the Northeast thickets one more time. We had not searched there from the ground but we had flown over it twice with no luck. Well, the third time was a charm as Kirk spotted a buck and we got closer to take a look. I knew him instantly. It was my deer. He was on his feet and staring at us. We had a very tough time spotting any wound at all, but I can make out a spot on the video.

The deer jumped and ran out into the open. We headed him off to gauge just how hurt he was. He was favoring his left side, slightly, but he ran with no problem at all. In fact, we started to wonder whether it was really the same buck or just his identical twin? But it was him. The shot was far less traumatic than any of us thought. The arrow had flipped out of him and he probably laid up last night before heading back to the same bedding area he approached me from when I shot him. After looking closely at the photo, there is no doubt.

I could not be happier. It's a terrible feeling when you wound and lose a magnificent buck. But when you are able to positively identify a hit as superficial and the deer is perfectly healthy 24 hours later - now that is about the 2nd best outcome from a recovery attempt.


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Next - Day 5

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

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