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22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kansas continues to add Big Deer to the record book and this year is no different. I have talked about the early season there, and hunted it, and will say it is one of the best times to go. Low hunting pressure-I heard one shot the 1st week the 1st year I hunted there in early muzzleloader, and lots of un hunted and unpressured deer. The September early Muzzleloader season in Kansas is well worth the time and effort to hunt.

Here is this years 194 5/8" Early Muzzleloader trophy and another nice Buck a few hunters have harvested.

and a nice 170" plus drop tine Buck with Muzzleloader.....


22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes it is a little warm, but as we age, it's better than the bitter cold. ;) the only issues with that is the ticks, which I hate, but it was well worth it for me as well-

and another stud of a buck killed in Kansas in early season......223"+

Evan Theis admits that he wouldn't have known about this buck if it hadn't been for a neighbor. About a month before season, Evan got word that a massive buck had been seen near his hunting spot.

"I was a little lazy getting cameras out this year," Theis said. "I didn't have any idea what bucks were in the area."

The 2017 archery season opened on September 11 this year. Early hunts proved unproductive, with no sightings of the huge buck. Then, on the evening of September 30, it happened. As Theis sat in his stand, the monster deer walked into view. As the deer drew closer, Evan reached down to adjust his single-pin sight. He released the arrow when the buck stopped broadside at 29 yards. It sailed harmlessly over the buck's back.

In the excitement of the moment, Theis set his pin for 50 yards instead of 30. Luckily, the wind was strong that evening and the buck wasn't terribly spooked. At the shot, the deer ran about 20 yards, then slowed to a walk and continued down the trail until it was out of sight. Evan was devastated.

"I knew I had just blown the only chance I would get at one of the biggest bucks I'd ever seen," Theis said.

A trail camera photo of Theis' giant Kansas whitetail. (Evan Theis photo)

He stayed home for a few days after the miss. On October 3, he realized conditions were right for hunting the stand again, but obligations kept him out of the stand until late in the evening.

"It was 5:45 P.M. when I walked to my stand," Theis said. "I bumped three does on the way in, so I didn't have high hopes for the hunt."

Even after spooking the does on the way to his stand, he began to see deer movement almost immediately. At 6:30, a group of does wandered by and hung around about 30 or 40 yards from his stand.

Soon, a buck emerged from the timber. Followed by another. Then another. It wasn't long before five bucks stood in front of him. The largest was a beautiful 160-inch 10-point that would definitely have caught his attention if he hadn't already seen the larger buck. A few moments later, a sixth buck made its way into Theis' view.

Much to his surprise, it was the same buck he'd missed just day's earlier. The two largest bucks separated themselves from the rest of the group and fed off away from the other deer. After what seemed like forever, the 10-pointer turned to walk away and the buck he was after began to move toward him.

The big deer stopped and stood broadside 21 yards away. He knew that, between the does and the other bucks, there were a ton of wary eyes scanning the area for danger. As slowly as he possibly could, Theis came to full draw with his Xpedition bow.

He heard the arrow impact the deer. The deer spun and ran straight away from the stand. He was able to watch the buck until he made it off the property, about 130 yards from the spot of the shot. After calming down, Evan descended the tree and looked for his arrow. When he found it, he was relieved to see it covered in pink blood and bubbles, assuring he'd hit at least one of the buck's lungs.

Theis immediately called three of his buddies, then called the neighboring land manager and the game warden to get permission to retrieve his buck from the next-door property. After receiving permission, they made their way back to the farm to search for the buck.

Evan and his friends got on the blood trail near where he had last seen the buck. The trail wasn't heavy, but they were able to find enough blood to follow. Soon, Theis heard one of his friends shout out. He found the buck 25 yards beyond where Evan had lost sight of him.

"When we got to the deer and saw just how big it was, I was in total shock," Theis said.

The buck has a gnarled mass of antler on its right side. Interestingly, Theis and other neighbors feel they had the same buck on camera last year as 160-class, clean typical without all the abnormal antler growth. Although it may or may not account for the non-typical growth this year, they discovered a .38-caliber bullet in a healed and scarred over wound high on the buck's shoulder, just under the spine.

Evan's buck was conservatively green scored at 222 7/8 inches, making it possibly the largest archery buck ever taken in Reno County. After word got out that the buck had been killed, four different landowners spread over a fairly large range told Theis they'd either seen or also had photos of the buck on their cameras.

22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
and another September muzzleloader buck- If pics don't come out, I have linked the article below.

189 4/8 (gross) inches
Time of Year: September 20, 2017
Place: Comanche County, Kansas
Weapon: .45-caliber muzzleloader

Paul Sawyer of Whitetail Properties was recently hunting some rolling Kansas terrain when he laid eyes on a giant midwestern whitetail. This buck had its own route to and from bedding. It never used the landscape like the rest of the deer.

"We spent a lot of time scouting," Sawyer said. "We were trying to figure out its travel routes. We only moved into hunt on the best weather days. The evening we killed was a 15-degree swing in the high temperatures. I felt like if we didn't kill that evening it would be three more days before I could hunt him again based on the high temperatures and wind speeds."

Sawyer killed this buck during Kansas' September muzzleloader season. (Paul Sawyer photo)

The conditions were average on the day of the hunt. But as Sawyer said, the swing was all he needed. The high for the day was 79 degrees, but calm south winds with clear skies.

He was set up in some sage brush and Indian grass adjacent to a large alfalfa field. A camouflaged blind, tucked into the sage brush overlooking a 20-acre field of alfalfa was the view. It also had a large grass and timber draw on three sides of the field.

A 2017 trail camera photo of the Kansas giant. (Paul Sawyer photo)

"We saw approximately 25 deer before we encountered the buck," Sawyer said. "The vast majority were does and younger bucks. Closer to dark, we saw a couple of 3-year-old bucks.

"Then, 10 minutes before I killed the buck I was after, I passed what would have been the biggest buck of my life which was a 5-year-old 10-pointer with a split G2. We believed it would score in the high 150s."

When the buck stepped out, Sawyer's .45-caliber muzzleloader took care of the rest.

"I have never hunted only one specific deer," Sawyer said. "Usually, we're working off of the hit list of mature bucks. Although, the ranch had a couple other high-end, 5-year-old-plus bucks on it, when we first got pictures of this buck in velvet, we crumpled up the hit list and threw it in the garbage. We were focusing 100 percent on killing this deer.

"That said, I was very excited to watch them hit the ground; [but] at the same time, I was a little sad because he certainly was a worthy adversary. The pursuit of an animal of that caliber is quite an extraordinary experience. Knowing I wouldn't be able to pull a trail camera card to see its pictures on it, or have that level of anticipation again, was bitter sweet."

Based on its jawbone, the buck aged out at 6.5 years old. A mature buck no doubt. The giant deer sported 14 points with a score of 189 4/8 inches.

"It was the highest scoring buck of my life," Sawyer said. "Hunting a high-end mature buck is something very special. It haunted my dreams every single night from velvet on. My strongest emotion was the sense of loss. I wished it wasn't over, but was so happy to finally lay my hands on this buck of my dreams."

That is an incredible buck, no doubt. It's bucks like these that keep many hunters awake at night. Not just Sawyer. Hunts with the likes of this one is what dreams are made of.

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22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another Kansas Bruiser-and double beams as a bonus.

204 Inches
Time of Year: October 16, 2017
Place: Northeast Kansas
Weapon: Hoyt Faktor bow

In January 2015 while walking a Kansas property to determine if it was worth leasing for deer hunting, Scott Burton and a couple of friends neared the middle of the 500-acre property in question when one in the group took off running while shouting, "It's mine! It's mine! It's mine!"

The rest soon saw what instigated the commotion - the skull of a dead whitetail buck sporting huge antlers with a double beam on one side.

Of course, that find stirred the unanimous vote to lease the property. At the time, the property had zero agriculture because the landowner enrolled it into CRP.

This impressive buck started frequenting one of Scott Burton's trail-camera locations in mid-October last fall. Burton tagged the buck on October 16. (Photo courtesy of Scott Burton)

"Deer were spending time on the property, but they'd feed on neighboring properties, so we improved the habitat by cultivating three food plots," Burton said.

Leading into the 2017 Kansas deer season, Burton had a few bucks in mind that were at least 5½ years old. However, he kept his options open in case a buck with larger antlers showed up on one of the many trail cameras he and his buddies run on two Sunflower State properties.

Burton went to check on a specific trail camera in mid-October, all while knowing that he was going to hunt for a 170-class buck that had appeared once during daylight on a trail camera at the other property.

"Lo and behold, when I checked the camera, I got a giant surprise," Burton said. "A huge buck was on the trail camera multiple times over the previous week, and about 25 percent of its images were during daytime. I changed my mind [on hunting] the 170-class buck on the other property right then and there."

Even though the area is secluded and unpressured, Burton said that deer tend to be fairly nocturnal there, so he was elated to see daytime pictures of the 200-class buck, especially in the middle of October. Stranger yet, the buck sported the same double-beamed characteristics of the skull Burton's buddy had found three years earlier.

A ground blind was Burton's only hope to hunt the area, so he took his time to engulf it with cedar boughs, which made it virtually disappear. (Photo courtesy of Scott Burton)

The trail camera on which the buck appeared is located in a thick bedding area of tall weeds, and Burton surmised that the buck was bedding not far away to the southeast of the camera location.

After studying the images back at home, Burton returned the following day to position a ground blind.

"I cut down an entire cedar tree with my chainsaw, and I brushed the blind in so well that it practically disappeared," he said. "I didn't want to leave anything to chance."

Burton had also brought his Hoyt bow, and despite the temptation to hunt immediately, he identified that, approximately every 10 minutes, the wind was gusting toward the location he expected the buck to approach from. He wisely backed out.

The following afternoon, he slipped away from work early and headed for the blind.

"I'd never hunted this part of the property before, so everything was new to me, including accessing the blind," Burton said. "In fact, I bumped a couple of deer on my way in. Nonetheless, I reached the blind and got settled in.

"Interestingly, the property has wild horses roaming around on it," Burton continued. "The landowner put out horses back in the '70s and never fenced them in. At 4 p.m., some does were milling around the blind when I heard some commotion behind me. It was the horses, and the does quickly moved off. One of the horses had me pegged and came right up to the blind. The horses soon scattered, and 10 minutes later, another doe appeared.

"Then, I heard a sound where the horses had come from," Burton said. "It sounded like a buck grunt, but it also sounded like it could be a horse. I honestly wasn't sure."

A couple of minutes passed, and the source of the noise suddenly revealed itself - the giant buck from Burton's trail camera.

"I drew back and almost punched the trigger twice, but I was able to refrain and calm myself so that I didn't rush it and miss or make a poor hit," Burton said. "The buck stopped in front of the blind, and I made the shot."

Burton started calling his buddies to inform them that he'd nailed the buck.

"I sat there for 20 minutes, and then I started getting nervous and went out to inspect the arrow," he shared. "I'm colorblind, but I could tell the arrow was soaked. I started to track the deer, but I just couldn't see blood on the weeds."

To play it safe, Burton backed out and waited for a buddy to arrive to assist with tracking. "Once he got on the trail, we found the deer only 70 yards from where he'd been hit," Burton said. "Remarkably, he'd gone the opposite way I thought he had.

"I've shot a pile of deer over the years, including some 150- and 160-class bucks, but to take a deer of this caliber had me speechless," he concluded. "I realize that I might not top this one."

22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
and another------interesting to see multiple big early season deer taken in Kansas.

Buck: 191 Inches
Time of Year: October 1, 2017
Place: Greenwood County, Kansas
Weapon: Bow

Arkansas' Barry Greenhaw helps friend Cody Rolph manage his 5,000 acres in southeastern Kansas for trophy whitetails. Between drought and EHD, the farm struggled to produce quality shooter bucks for several seasons, including 2014 when Greenhaw and Rolph finally spotted a giant buck while scouting a soybean field one summer evening.

Greenhaw and Rolph set scouting cameras in the immediate area where the buck was seen, and eventually captured images of the deer.

Cody Rolph and Barry Greenhaw first learned of a buck they nicknamed Jesús back in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Barry Greenhaw)

"We'd been struggling so hard to find a high-quality buck, so we literally said, 'Thank you, Jesus,'" Greenhaw chuckled. "That's how we ended up naming the buck Jesús."

Still, Greenhaw and Rolph elected not to hunt Jesús.

"We really felt like it could crack 200 inches if given one more year," he said. "One gentleman in our group had it at 20 to 25 yards three different times one evening. It must have been so hard to pass it up."

In 2015, the crew again got trail camera pictures of the buck, only to find that its rack and body had shrunk. Then, the buck vanished for the remainder of 2015.

"The neighbor was growing soybeans that year, so we figured the buck had moved to his property," Greenhaw assumed.

In 2016, Greenhaw captured this buck on trail camera, which has basically the same rack as the buck from 2014, but with less mass and a tiny body. Unsure if the deer was diseased or simply an offspring of Jesús, they elected to name him Jesús, Jr. (Photo courtesy of Barry Greenhaw)

This is where the story takes a bizarre turn. Greenhaw and Rolph captured a buck on trail camera in 2016 that had basically the same rack as Jesús, but the body structure of a 2½-year-old deer.

"We were puzzled," Greenhaw said. "We couldn't distinguish whether it was the same deer, or perhaps one of his offspring. Finally, we all agreed the buck had to be his offspring, so we named the buck Jesús, Jr., and put it on the no-shoot list because we thought it was 2½ years old."

Enter 2017.

"We got pictures of the same deer this past summer, and lo and behold, its body was even smaller," Greenhaw detailed. "It looked sick. We knew something had to be wrong with this buck. Its rack still had tons of points, but had lost noticeable mass. Cody and I moved it to our hitlist because we were afraid of losing it to a disease."

Greenhaw found free time at the end of September and first of October to hunt the Kansas property.

In September 2017, the buck appeared to have lost even more body and antler mass. Afraid of losing the buck to disease, Greenhaw and Rolph were determined to kill the buck in the fall 2017. (Photo courtesy of Barry Greenhaw)

"I was the only one hunting," he said. "I actually went in and hunted another buck on September 29, and almost killed it, but it didn't quite pan out. I considered all my other options for hunting the next couple of days, and Jesús, Jr. and a shooter 7x6 were visiting one of our stand locations, but not until right at dark. I played it safe and hunted over a nearby soybean field on September 30, but it didn't show. Since I film my hunts for Whitetail Explorer TV, I normally wait until target bucks are on trail camera with plenty of daylight before I hunt them. However, I didn't have any other good options, so I rolled the dice and hunted Jesús, Jr. at the location where my trail camera had been capturing it right before dark."

Shortly after Greenhaw climbed into his treestand October 1, but before he'd attached his release, a deer came crashing out of the timber and into the food plot.

"It was Jesús, Jr.," Greenhaw said. "It rolled right through my 25-yard lane as I was getting my release attached and the camera turned on. It stopped behind a tree, and if it'd stepped out on either side, I would've had a shot. But, it suddenly turned straight away and ran back into the timber. It didn't see or smell me. I have no idea why it bolted. Even stranger, we almost never encounter deer that early in the afternoon during early season, let alone a shooter buck. The encounter honestly caught me off guard."

Later that evening, a doe fawn entered the food plot, and its demeanor suggested another deer was approaching.

"Sure enough, a doe popped out, and not far behind was Jesús, Jr.," Greenhaw said. "It came out 30 yards away, and I mouth-grunted to stop it. I hit it slightly forward, but saw blood spewing out right away and knew my shot was lethal."

After dark, Greenhaw recovered the buck 100 yards away from the impact spot.

"Upon inspection, the buck's right hind foot was swollen, and most of the hoof was missing," he said. "We're unsure of the cause, but assume the injury/disease is why it'd lost considerable body and antler mass. We also wondered if it's possibly the original Jesús, and that it survived EHD. Lots of questions remain unanswered. The only way we'll get closure is if we have its jawbone aged."

I'm sure Greenhaw will be telling the story of his bizarre booner for years to come.

22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know why this hunter did not take this deer- but he's a giant Kansas Buck......

and several years ago I watched this video and I think I posted it here back then, but still worth another post!!!


22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
2018 has started off as usual in Kansas.....

Buck: 176 Inches
Time of Year: September 18, 2018
Place: Douglas County, Kansas
Weapon: Muzzleloader

Blair Zaffke poses with his giant Kansas buck. (Blair Zaffke photo)

'Blair Zaffke met outfitter George Cummins by chance while they were both on a Colorado mule deer hunt. Conversation between the two hunters revealed that Cummins ran Salt River Outfitters in Central Kentucky. They quickly made plans for Blair to book a December 2017 muzzleloader deer hunt with SRO.

While on that hunt, Cummins described their Kansas whitetail operation. Having never hunted Kansas before, Blair decided to schedule a hunt for him and his son, Trent, to be there the opening week of the 2018 Kansas muzzleloader season.

Upon arriving at camp, Blair and his son met with Cummins to go over hunting areas and look at trail camera photos of a few of the bucks in the area. They made a game plan for the upcoming hunt. Being used to his native Minnesota weather, Blair was a little worried about the 90-degree temperatures. Regular trail camera photos of several big bucks quickly calmed any doubts.

While making plans for Blair's hunt, George showed him trail camera photos of a monster deer.

"I'd like you to go after this buck," Cummins said to Blair. "But I have to warn you that you will probably have to pass some really nice bucks while waiting on him to show."

Seeing the size of the deer Cummins had in mind, Blair readily agreed.

Like many guides and outfitters, Cummins prefers to not hunt mornings in the early season. With bucks on regular feeding schedules, morning hunts will often bump deer and disturb their patterns. The opening evening found Blair in a stand overlooking a food plot. As twilight approached, first does, then small bucks filtered out of the timber and into the open field.

Soon, an impressive 140-inch, tall-framed 8-pointer entered the field.

"It was a nice buck, but the guides assured me the bigger one was still in the area."

As tempting as the big 8-pointer was, the next buck to enter the field was even larger.

"It was a 10-pointer, a solid 150-plus-inch deer," Blair said.

Soon, the two big bucks began to spar, pushing and shoving each other just yards from Blair's stand.

"They messed around the rest of the evening," Blair said.

Darkness soon followed and his target buck never showed.

"We talked it over at camp that night. The two bucks that did show had just shed their velvet, but the bigger buck hadn't in the last photos they had of him," Blair said.

Both guides and hunter agreed that the big buck might have been absent because he was still in the process of shedding his velvet while the other two mature deer were already hard-horned.

A quick, midday camera check the following day verified their theory. The big buck had finally shown up well after dark, his horns slick and mostly free of velvet

Tuesday evening found Blair in the same stand. A repeat of the following evening found several does in the field early, followed by the tall 8-pointer. The deer milled around, feeding and interacting with each other, when suddenly they all lifted their heads and stared at the nearby wood line.

Blair followed their gaze and instantly saw his target buck standing at the edge of the field. Blair ranged the buck at 160 yards, slowly raised his muzzleloader, and began to follow the buck as he walked into the field.

"I was waiting for him to get as close as possible and to offer a good shot," Blair said. "It was probably only five minutes, but it seemed like forever."

The buck finally stopped broadside at slightly over 90 yards. Blair settled in and squeezed the trigger.

At the shot, the big buck mule kicked and charged, tail down, into the nearby timber. Blair almost immediately heard a loud crash, then silence. He called his guide and settled in to wait for help to arrive and to give the buck time to expire.

Guide and hunter soon took up the trail, finding blood almost immediately and the big buck lied just inside the timber. Blair's buck featured 13 scorable points.'
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1,435 Posts
My brother shot this one this year in early muzzleloader season in Kansas. Didn't get to make it out with him this time. Can't wait until next year ;). Biggest bodied deer he ever shot, and he's shot hundreds. Took him and a buddy 3 times to get it in the back of the truck.
Plant Elk Sky Hunting Deer

22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like a tank of a body Bank....

and youth hunters do well also.....

Derek and Dad Greg showed up on their Kansas farm on a Friday and immdiately went to work pulling cards out of their Reconyx trail cams. One setup told the story of deer coming to a standing bean field, so the two decided that's where they'd make their stand the following evening. DeerCast was giving a "Good" forecast, so they knew it would be an eventful night.

The guys suited up in their Mossy Oak Nomad camo and slipped into their blind around 4:00 pm. The buck parade began aroundd 6:30 pm as the deer poured out into the beans. Interspersed among them were a few does.

At 7:30 pm, a huge eight pointer stepped out and Derek grabbed his Winchester, slowly pushing the barrel through the open blind window. At 147 yards away, Derek found the deer in the crosshairs of his Leupold scope, paused his breathing, and squeezed the trigger. The buck bolted and the father and son team began celebrating in the blind, but the celebration was premature. They looked for any trace of blood for over an hour with no success. The footage made the hit look good, but when Greg got a Reconyx cell camera image at 5:30 am the following morning of Derek's buck in the very same bean field, they knew it had been clean miss.

After a few rounds to resight in, Derek and Greg headed back out to the same blind for one last hunt on their Kansas trip. Similar to the evening before, DeerCast showed "Good" for the evening and soon deer began entering the field. The buck Derek shot the evening before was their number one shooter. The number two shooter stepped out on this night. Confident he was sighted in, Derek unleashed a Deer Season XP round that 12-ringed the buck, dropping him within 70 yards.

Down to the last hunt, Derek and Greg recovered from an unlikely miss the day before and have the trophy to show for it."

22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
and a 180+ Non-Typical.....

Buck: 181 3/8 Inches
Time of Year: September 20, 2018
Place: Stafford County, Kansas
Weapon: CVA Accura MR

Tidwell proudly shows off his 2018 Kansas buck. (Logan Tidwell photo)

"Kansas produces some of the nation's largest whitetails, and that fact annually draws many nonresident hunters to the Sunflower State to hunt deer each year. Logan Tidwell, an operations manager for a large construction company in Texas, is one of them. He hunted Kansas for the first time in 2015.

"A few buddies and I bowhunted in Washington County that year during the last week of October," Tidwell said. "Temperatures were warm, and we just didn't experience the type of deer hunting Kansas is known for.

"The following year we did a muzzleloader hunt with an outfitter in central Kansas," he continued. "Everyone in our group of four shot quality bucks, the largest grossing 173 inches. We were so thrilled with that hunt that we booked again the following year. We got a 182-incher that second year. Of course, we booked again in 2018."

Kansas is generally warm in September, but it was exceptionally hot during Tidwell's 2018 hunt.

So far, this is one of the more unique racks of 2018. (Logan Tidwell photo)

"It was 93 to 94 degrees every evening," Tidwell said. "The morning hunts were extremely slow and unproductive. Even with the heat, we were seeing deer, but no mature bucks."

During the third afternoon, he and a guide hunted a blind that Tidwell had capitalized from in 2017.

"We were hunting a target buck at this location," he said. "With adjacent bean and milo fields, we were optimistic about our chances. Most deer bedded in nearby plum thickets and fed in the ag fields."

Tidwell's guide suddenly spotted the target buck bedded 30 yards away.

"I'll never know how the buck didn't see or hear us as we approached the blind," Tidwell said. "I was in no position to shoot the deer. Other deer were nearby and swapping spots with my guide would've caused too much commotion."

The buck walked downhill before bedding again about 80 yards away.

"The buck remained bedded for about an hour," Tidwell said. "Then, he went up an embankment about 140 yards away. I was in somewhat of an awkward position, but I managed to acquire the buck and take my shot. We are confident I missed because we searched the area that evening and the following morning but were unable to find any indications of a hit."

Due to work obligations, it seemed that Tidwell's hunt was being cut short.

"I was able to stay and hunt one more day," Tidwell said. "Fortunately, a front was coming in, which got me excited.

"My guide and I hunted a stand that has produced large bucks in the past," he continued. "It's located near a pond and an alfalfa field. Most deer visit the pond to water every evening before entering the alfalfa to feed."

With the onset of the front, the wind began to pick up and shift directions.

"We were watching 20-some deer at that point, and we were concerned they'd smell us," Tidwell said. "Several does began tossing their noses in the air. Then, two young bucks filed into view, which usually means the bigger ones aren't far behind."

Tidwell soon glanced beyond the does and spotted a monster running toward the pond.

"We were expecting to see a mid-140-class 8-pointer, so we naturally thought this buck was him since we'd only seen the side profile of his rack," Tidwell remembered. "When he lifted his head after drinking some water, we immediately saw the non-typical points and realized it was a different, even more impressive buck."

The buck finished watering and began marching toward the alfalfa field.

"I took my shot as soon as it presented itself," Tidwell said. "After the hit, he ran 50 to 60 yards and folded. The recovery was quick due to relentless mosquitoes and rain coming in with the front.""
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22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
and a quick tribute to a my friend Dave in Kansas who passed away this past April. We enjoyed hunts and stories together and he always wanted me to join him whenever I could.

Dave-you were a great man and good friend. I enjoyed sharing the stand and blinds with you and we had a good time. Hope to see you again down the road and hunt once again in our new deer hunting woods in the sky!


22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
November 11, one of my 5 favorite dates of the year for mature whitetails is no stranger to others....here is another Kansas Brute

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22,957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And another nice one.....

Buck: 202 5/8 Inches
Time of Year: November 23, 2018
Place: Reno County, Kansas
Weapon: Elite bow

Mason Engel proudly shows off his 2018 Kansas buck. (Mason Engel photo)

Mason Engel would be the first to tell you that it had been a season of disappointments when he climbed into his tree stand on Black Friday morning. A Sunflower State native, this was his 30th hunt of the season on his Kansas lease and he had yet to see the quality bucks he was used to seeing.

As he sat there in the early morning darkness, he couldn't help but think how the previous season turned out when he arrowed a 150-inch 8-pointer in this same stand on the evening of November 5. He wasn't going to shoot him at first because he had his eye on a 175-inch stud that had been seen running the river. But when he witnessed the giant 8 pushing around all the other bucks on the property, he couldn't help himself when he presented a shot. That was one of his best bucks with a bow to date, and although he had hoped to top him this season, Mother Nature threw him for a loop.

Things were really looking good for Engel when early October rolled around. His food plot was doing well, all his stands and blinds were in place and he had several good bucks showing up on his trail cameras. Although none were giants by Kansas standards, they were mature enough to keep things interesting throughout the season. Then, without warning, the rains came, and they kept coming for several days. When it was all said and done, over 10 inches had fallen, and the river rose over 10 feet - 4 feet above flood stage. Engel's once-prime river-bottom property turned into a swamp.

For two weeks it was un-huntable, as he waited for the flood waters to recede. And when he started hunting again on October 28, it just wasn't the same.

"The flood restricted deer activity all around and I just wasn't seeing the bucks that I was seeing earlier in the season," Engel said.

Engel hunted off and on for the next 27 days. He put in his time, but needless to say, the situation was discouraging by Black Friday. However, like any dedicated hunter, he knew it could still happen.

"Being on the river, you get bonus bucks throughout the season," Engel said. "They just show up for a couple days and then disappear."

The wind was forecasted to switch around 9 o'clock that morning. About that time, he knew he'd have to get down soon when a doe trotted into his setup. She fed for a few minutes and then suddenly looked behind her. That's when he saw him. He knew it was a good buck the moment he laid eyes on him, but he didn't know just how good.

In a matter of seconds, the buck eased through the grove of trees going toward the doe when he abruptly stopped and looked up at Engel.

"I was busted," Engel said. "He continued walking behind a cedar tree, and I had to make an adjustment. That's when my stand made an awful sound."

The buck immediately bolted but made a fatal mistake when he stopped to look up at the bowhunter just 32 yards out. The arrow hit with a hollow thump. And Engel knew his shot was true.
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