The outdoors has special meaning to me. I caught my first fish at age 4 and shot my first duck at age 9. Nearly four decades later I still get excited when I get to spend any time outdoors. A lot has changed during that time but the anticipation and experiences are still similar and just as exciting. It’s a great place to be....Read More

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Fall is a magical time in the great outdoors.  Leaves change colors and drop to the ground, waterfowl and shorebirds migrate thousands of miles and whitetail bucks take advantage of that one time of year when does actually acknowledge their presence to ensure future generations. If you’re an avid outdoorsman or woman, it’s a wonderful scene to witness the transition and circle of life.
I was out a couple weeks ago for only the second time sitting in my treestand.  I had sat one time in the stand I fished out of the creek (see my last Blog entry) but was interrupted by critters I’d rather see on a bun than below my stand.  A herd of calves surrounded me at prime time and I dejectedly climbed down and went home as my experiences have proven deer and these other ungulates don’t mix. 

So I was anxious to head to another stand where I’d killed a nice buck last year.  It’s right in a “Y” where two draws come together with plenty of deer sign.  I crawled up into it and hung my Mathews bow on the Realtree EZ Hanger and nestled in for the afternoon.  The weather was gorgeous and I was texting, trying to help my daughter away at college with a car problem, and watching for deer at the same time.  I texted a buddy who was about a mile away in another stand and said,  “I love this time of year.  It smells and feels like fall!”

Many of the leaves had fallen after several frosts.  The decaying vegetation had a distinct odor that isn’t necessarily bad, but indicative of the season.  It reminds me of why I like to be in the woods in November.  Wind was non-existent (yeah, a real shocker for Kansas, huh?) and the sun was shining bright.  I put the phone away and absorbed as much as several of my senses could tolerate. 

It wasn’t long and I heard something behind me and a small buck crossed the creek and continued on his way.  I enjoy seeing deer, even a dink like this one with a spike on one side and two points on the other.  He acted as if he knew he should be looking for love, but didn’t quite know how he was supposed to go about it. 

About an hour later at 4:45 p.m. I decided to rattle and the small buck came walking back, this time in front of my stand just at the field’s edge.  Another sound behind me caught my attention and a nice buck was crossing the creek and coming past my stand on my right.  I couldn’t grab my bow.  The dinky buck was right in front of me and any movement would betray my presence.  Fortunately, the youngster knew he should vacate the premises and wandered off.  Unfortunately, the bigger buck was already past me and out of bow range.

I pulled my grunt tube from beneath my jacket and got his attention.  He flipped ends and started walking right back by me out in front.  When he walked behind a tree I drew my bow and as he cleared the tree at 22 yards I grunted with my mouth to stop him.  The arrow with a new G5 T3 broadhead zipped through him and although it wasn’t a perfect shot I hoped it would quickly prove fatal.  Erring on the side of caution, I waited a couple hours to take up the track.

With flashlights in tow my buddy and I got on the track and located my buck within 15 minutes.  He likely expired before I stopped shaking from the adrenaline rush and buck fever.  I’m always relieved to get my hands on a deer and this one was no different.  We slapped high 5’s as congratulations were in order.  As we looked around my buddy pointed out a big rub, another sure sign of fall, just a few feet away and wondered aloud if that was my buck’s.   

Had I intended to write a script for a nice fall afternoon sitting in a tree this experience would be tough to top.  I’d take another one just like it next season.  The hefty 8-pointer wasn’t my biggest buck ever, but the older I get the less I worry about what a deer’s rack scores.  It was good to be outside and I was proud to put my tag on him knowing I’d just enjoyed another truly memorable day in Kansas’ great outdoors.

1 comment:

  1. Nice deer and story. I will be hunting in Douglas county this fall and hope to see a deer of that caliber within bow range! I will be visiting from South Texas, hope i can handle the cold !