The truck thermometer read -4 degrees the last morning of my hunt. That’s cold!
truck thermometer reads -4 degrees as I head out for the morning hunt. I am
hunting near Liberal, Kansas
with my friend Jeff Louderback of LL Outfitters, in the extreme southwest corner of the
state. If you have been following this report you know I have been here almost
two weeks looking for Big Tobey, and while I have seen some dandy bucks a true
monster has remained elusive.
afternoon before the winds had gusted to 30, sending ice rain and snow like a
million frozen needles into the landscape, forcing me from my tree an hour
early. This morning the winds are calm and the snow has stopped, yet the hunt
produces lots of deer but nothing exciting. So I get down, make sure the stand
is right, and head back to the trailer where I shoot a few arrows, doing some
typing, and try and relax. Afternoon hunting is always best here in December,
and conditions are perfect today.
climb into my stand at 2:00 pm, a full three hours before dark. It has warmed
up to a ‘balmy’ 8 degrees, but thankfully the north wind is light. There’s not
much going on when, suddenly about 4:00 p.m., I look to my left and see 7 does
racing down a big deer trail. Trailing along with them is a very nice buck!
Instead of coming in front of my tree they head up a small hill and run to a
big water tank 200 yards to the east, where they lick the ice trying to get
water. Then four of the does trot off to the north, into the cottonwoods. I
think, ‘Wow, that was cool’ when one of the deer at the tank turns and heads
for my little food plot at a trot. It’s the buck! As I glass him coming several
thoughts roll through my head. He’s a good one, but not Big Tobey. I’ve been
here 12 days, it’s the Christmas season, and The Woman Who Lets Me Live With
Her has shown incredible patience by not giving me any grief for being gone so
long during the holidays. And, at some point, the game has to end and I have to
get back to work. Sooooo.
The yet-to-be-released Gore Optifade Concealment Big Game Forest pattern I have been field testing this fall sure looks good in this bare cottonwood!
buck comes to the edge of a small hill 40 yards out, hesitates, then comes down
the trail to the plot. There are no other deer around. My Bushnell Legend says
it is 25 yards. He turns broadside, and the Mathews Drenalin comes to full
draw. The Carbon Express Maxima 350 shaft disappears in the crease behind the
front shoulder, the 100-grain Slick Trick slicing through everything with ease.
The buck sprints back up the trail no more than 30 yards before he stops,
wobbles, and goes down. Yes!
My dandy buck gross – scores right at 154 P&Y points and I am thrilled to have him!
an old buck with an 8-point frame with one small extra point on the right (the
same point had been broken off on the left) that we later aged at 6 1/2 years old
and measured at a gross 154 P&Y points. He isn’t Big Tobey, but as I told
Jeff, where the heck else can a guy come bowhunting and shoot a 150-something
buck as a consolation prize? To say that I was ecstatic is like saying Peyton
can throw the football, Big Papi can take it deep, Marines are tough guys — an
understatement of epic proportions.
I headed home, I made sure Jeff had my name down on the hunt list for 2010.
This place is just too good to not hunt again. And again. Why don’t you join me