My Kansas Buck
By Brian Hickson
May 14, 2009 – 4:27:49 AM
This story starts back in 2007 when I met the farmer that owns the land we hunted in Kansas. He was placing a large order for Rudy’s BBQ sauce and brisket rub while visiting Austin. I decided to ask him where he was from since it was so unusual for someone to buy that much at one time. When he told me he was from Kansas, I immediately started asking questions about hunting. I have always wanted to hunt those big Kansas bruisers, so I just had ask if he had any place to hunt or knew anyone that did.
He told me that he had a small farm that had deer on it, but knew nothing about hunting or what was really there. He just knew the deer left some big tracks. He asked me if I was a gun hunter or a bowhunter. I told him right away that I was a bowhunter. He proceeded that we might be able to work something out since I bowhunted as he didn’t want any rifle hunting since he had cows on the place. I took down his number and called him a week or so later to discuss the details and see if we could work out an arrangement for me and my Dad to come hunting. We came to an agreement on a price for the two of us to hunt for a week and the excitement began to build.
I knew our chances would be slim for getting a tag the first year so we put in for the draw and waited to find out. We didn’t get drawn for a tag but knew we would get a tag the following year. This year, knowing we would be drawn, we were excited to get started scouting and just go see what the place looked like. So far, all I had seen was an aerial map of the place. This past summer in June we went up and looked the place over, put up a couple feeders and got an idea of where to hang our GameTamers stands.
September came and we returned to hang stands and fill feeders. There was activity at the feeders but the ground was so hard you couldn’t really tell what was coming in. Finally, the end of October gets here and we were supposed to leave Halloween day. As y’all know, it turned out hot and windy. We decided to put off our trip until the following Thursday when the next cold front was coming through.
Saturday morning I got a call from the land owner telling me he had seen a bunch of deer down by my stand. He didn’t mention what he was doing there though. Sunday he called back to say that he hoped he hadn’t messed up my stand as he had done a bunch of clearing with a dozer around my stand. He did say he had left the tree my stand was in. I was worried sick, but what could I say other than it would be fine and probably wouldn’t bother the deer. I was just sick thinking that he knew we were coming up Wednesday night but still went ahead and did his dozing.
We got there Wednesday afternoon around 3pm and headed straight to the stand to see the damage. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined but I was afraid it would change where the deer crossed since it was wide open around my stand and about 200 yards of the fence had been cleared. There was no need in them crossing under the fence where they had been crossing. Thursday morning I got to my stand with little hope of getting a deer within range. Right after daybreak I was facing the tree line and caught movement behind me. It was a 135 inch 9pt at 40 yards walking in the open right where the land owner had done the dozing. Before I could get my bow up the buck had gone into the trees and disappeared.
The next morning, the deer crossed in the open about the same place, so I decide to try and see what I could do to move my GameTamers stand closer to where he had crossed the previous mornings. I found a group of trees that I thought would work. I had a background but nothing in front of me. Due to the way the owner had pushed the brush, this was actually the only place for the deer to cross the creek in that area now.
Saturday morning came and we decided to only hunt until 8am as we were going to pack up and leave shortly after. This was one of those cold crisp, quiet mornings when you can hear yourself breathe. Just about the time I am ready to call my Dad on the radio to tell him to head this way, I see the same 9pt. coming down the tree line. He didn’t present a shot, so I was pretty much consigned to the hunt being over. Not quite ready to give it up, I decide to sit for a few more minutes and boy am I glad I did. I saw another buck coming and could tell he was a big bodied mature deer. His tines look short and he looked pretty narrow, but I could tell he had a lot of mass and large brow tines. He gets to about 60 yards and stops and starts browsing around. Then he moved back into the tree line and disappears into the woods.
After about 5 minutes and the buck not coming back out, I decided to grunt and rattle a little. I didn’t want to take my release off the string as I knew he was close and for some reason, I was having a hard time getting it to close. I grunted very lightly a few times and then reached over with one hand and rattled my horns. To my surprise I saw another buck come running in and it was the big 9pt. He gets to the spot on the tree line that the big buck had gone in and stops, looking around. I knew the big boy was still there. Then the 9pt. turns and comes straight to me on the trail he had traveled earlier. It was hard to do but I let him go hoping the other buck would follow. Sure enough, here he came and he was walking straight to me, and closing the distance with every step. I slowly turn in my stand so I could get a shot if he used the same trail.
At 35yds, he turned and headed up the same trail the 9pt. took. If it had not been for my GameTamers swivel seat not making a sound when I had to turn, I don’t think I could have pulled it off. When the buck went behind the tree, I drew and held. And of course he had to stop behind the tree. He then took a few steps more and stopped giving me a shot. I let the arrow fly and heard it hit hard. I picked up my binoculars to follow the deer as he ran and watched him as he stopped about 80 yards out. I confirmed it was a good hit by the blood on his side. He stood there a few seconds and then the weak legs syndrome set in and I knew he was mine.
I called Dad on the radio and told him I had shot a big deer. He assumed it was the 9pt I had seen several time and said, “So you got the 130 class 9pt?” I said no, I got bigger one with a lot of mass. We waited 30 minutes and went to get him. He was lying right where I saw him get weak legged. We were both in shock when we walked up to this deer. He grew the closer we got and I mean a lot. It looked like a yearling calf lying in the grass.
While we were admiring the deer, the neighbors see us and come over to look. I could tell they were disappointed. They said they had been hunting this deer hard, but were glad a hunter got him and not a car like the big one they were hunting last year. I never guessed this deer would go 162 when I shot him. His body was so big and he had so much mass, I just never imagined. This is by far my biggest bow buck and the farthest I’ve ever shot a deer. I owe this buck to my GameTamers stand and luck. I can’t say enough about how great a stand the GameTamers is. It is easy to hang, very comfortable, and most of all it is super quiet. One little creak and this buck would have been gone. GameTamers are the only treestands and quadpods I will ever use.
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