I wanted to share a story my friend DHBB Pro-Staffer Jake sent me about a great buck. He took deer hunting Kansas with his friend Marc this past season. You just got to love deer hunting Kansas bucks. A well placed 40 yard shot from Jake’s Mathews Drenalin resulted in a great buck for him. I’m sure it is a memory that they won’t ever forget. That’s what makes being in the great outdoors with family and friends so special. You make so many great memories that you remember forever.
Deer Hunting Kansas
A Good Friend, Hard Work, the Reward
By: Jake Artzer
In late May 2011 I received a phone call from a friend of mine. The purpose of that phone call was to invite me down to hunt his 3500 acre farm with him. Marc and I met about three years prior, through my fiance who is friends with Marc ‘s sister. After meeting him I quickly learned he had a passion for hunting whitetails. Needless to say, we hit it off and always kept in touch about how our seasons were going. This year Marc really wanted to learn more about his property and invited me to come down and hunt with him. I had been struggling to find land to hunt on that wasn’t overrun with other people always messing with the way I hunted it. So I jumped at the opportunity!
In June of 2011 our first priority on this particular land was to establish a clover food plot adjacent to the bean field that we would be hunting. We believed there were good bucks in the area. After running trail cameras for a few weeks our suspicion of the area was revealed to be true. A siting of a true world class white-tail buck. At that point we knew we were in the right area to begin our search for a deer that was worthy of our Kansas tags. Unable to seal the deal during muzzle-loader season on that particular buck, it was time to change strategies for bow season.
Change of Strategies
During the next month and a half we had multiple encounters with some really great deer. Just never within bow range, until…….
The morning of November 20th, 2011, was a cold, crisp morning with a strong north wind. My hunting partner Marc and I were contemplating which stands to hunt. After observing the latest sign and going through trail camera pictures, we both agreed that our corner stand and our food plot stand needed to be hunted. As we quietly exited the truck we sprayed down with our evolved 3D scent eliminating spray and made our way to our respective stand locations.
The plan we imposed was that Marc would hunt the corner stand guarding the freshest scrapes in the feed field the deer were frequenting. I would be perched 15 feet high in a ladder stand that was along an inner property fence line, which the deer used to cruise and look for doe’s. Right before we went our separate ways, I looked at Marc and said, “It’s time we get rewarded for all of our hard work.” After we exchanged a fist bump and a good luck.
I climbed into my stand and settled in for the mornings hunt and Marc made his way into his stand site and got set up.
Only an hour had passed before I witnessed a broken-up buck with a big body making his way toward Marc’s location. I observed the buck make two scrapes and then exit the field. Only a short time later, my back was beginning to ache a little bit so I decided to stretch.
I started to stand up in my stand and in mid-stretch, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a heavy, tall rack not 50 yards from my location coming through the plumb thicket. Immediately, I knew he was a shooter. Keeping my eyes on the buck at all times, I slowly reached for my bow. As I got the bow in my hands, the buck moved into a clearing and turned broadside. I almost had the bow in firing position when the buck became nervous, so I stopped and waited for him to relax. Just as he looked away for a split second, I was able to get my bow into position and clip my Scott release onto my D loop of my Matthews Drenalin and came to full draw.
Knowing the buck was standing near one of my pre-ranged locations, I knew he was at 40 yards. As I settled the pin on his heart I squeezed off my 382 grain gold tip XT hunter arrow, tipped with a 100 grain thunderhead broadhead. The arrow buried into the buck right behind the shoulder. The buck made a mad dash directly down the fence line from where he had approached.
The Best Phone Call
After a few minutes passed, I decided it was time to give Marc a call and give him the news we both had been anticipating the whole season. When he answered the phone he knew something had to be up because little did I know, Marc had seen the buck I just ran an arrow through, walking down a fence line toward my location, but it was too far for him to get a shot. I told Marc I had shot a good one.
We decided to rendezvous back at the truck and make our next move from there. After speaking with Marc we concluded that after I had shot the deer, he saw a heavy body walking really slow back down the fence line from where the deer was shot. I immediately I got a sick feeling in my stomach. In my mind I felt like the deer should have ran until he fell. Knowing I made a good shot relieved my stress a little bit. But as any hunter knows, I began to second guess myself.
We decided to give the buck an hour or two before tracking. After about an hour the anticipation was killing both of us so we picked up the blood trail. After picking up the blood trail for just a few short yards, I knew the buck had to be down because there was a significant amount of pink frothy blood. We had been tracking for about 60 yards when Marc grabbed me by the jacket and said “Dude, there’s your buck.” What relief those words brought to me!! I took my eyes off the blood trail and looked up in the direction he was pointing and saw a massive body with a huge rack on the ground. As we approached the downed buck I realized he was a much bigger deer than I had initially thought.
As I stood humbled at the sheer size of this majestic creature, I couldn’t do anything but stare at it. Finally, after about 30 seconds of silence, I let out a whoo-hoo that shook the timber around us. Marc encouraged me to grab my trophy and claim him. The first thing I did was thank Marc for allowing me to hunt with him. We took a few quick pictures on our cell phones and began to send them to everyone we knew. Then the grueling job of dragging this beast out of the deep creek bottom, in which the buck had made his final resting place, began. After about a half hour of dragging this buck around trees and plumb thickets we finally got him in the back of the truck.
After exchanging I don’t know how many high fives, we began making our rounds to show off my trophy. We both guessed the main framed nine-point buck to gross in the 150’s.
Tale of the Tape
When we finally got to caping him out, my cousin who is my taxidermist. He put a tape to him to try to confirm of all our guesses of the size of this brute. He ended scoring bigger than any of us had expected him to. His gross score was 162 6/8″ and netted 151 3/8″. He tipped the scales right at 200 pounds field dressed and was aged at 5 1/2 years old.
As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but feel anxious about next season. Marc wasn’t able to notch his buck tag this year, but he did have plenty of encounters. That makes the anticipation for next year that much greater.
We have already started planning for next season. We are in the process of building and setting up more stand sites. Even though we didn’t get our huge non-typical that we had on trail cam, we both deemed this season a success. With any luck the buck will be there next year. This was a season I will never forget. It all started with good friends. Along with a lot of hard work in the Kansas summer heat. The reward was all worth it!! Good luck to all you whitetail enthusiasts next season!
Thanks for letting me share your story Jake, and congratulations on a fine buck.