I had the privilege of hunting in eastern Kansas recently. For this hunt I sat north of a fallow field and used Nikon optics to scout long distance looking into the wind. I observed two mature bucks crossing a fallow field from approximately 125 yards. The wind remained out of the south. I felt very confident I knew where the deer were bedding and where they are feeding. The landowner had created a bedding area/sanctuary not far south and east of the fallow field. There was an 8 acre feeding plot planted with soybeans and wheat to the northwest of the stand. Adjoining the fallow field to the east is a stand for mature oaks that were dropping acorns. I felt strongly that if we could place a stand in those hardwoods and approach them in the morning with a northwest wind, we’d have a good chance of harvesting one of those two bucks. I snuck into the hardwoods that were between the fallow field and the hardwoods after lunch and hung a stand. However, the wind remained out of the south for a couple more days so I scouted another portion of the farm and observed the fallow field. We observed the mainframe 9 just before dark again crossing the field. That night a cold front passed and I decided it was time to move and attempt to harvest the mainframe 9. I arrived early the next morning and was in the stand well before daylight. I used extra caution to limit touching vegetation while approaching the stand and remained very quiet through the first hour of daylight. Four does and fawns passed behind the stand. The wind had picked up enough that it was shaking large oaks. Just a tad after 9 am I spotted the mainframe 9 about sixty yards away. He was consuming acorns and moving in my general direction very slowly. It took several minutes for him to get within range. I drew my Mathews Z7 when he was about 25 yards out, but he quickly moved behind the canopy of a tree. I opted to let the Z7 down and wait for a better shot. He finally approached to within eight yards of our stands facing them head-on. I came to full draw again when he reached for an acorn on the ground. He remained facing the base of my tree for several more minutes. He finally took a step and exposed his vitals. My arrow was true and it was grip and grin time!! I estimated the buck to be four years old and his green gross score was 151”.
I enjoy the stats, but the memories of how that hunt unfolded are more enjoyable to me! I’m confident I was able to harvest that deer because I was patient, spent more time scouting than hunting, and waited for good conditions for the situation. I felt certain the buck was traveling through that patch of oaks regularly. However, mature bucks rarely continue a pattern once they detect a hunter in an area they use frequently. The results were well worth the wait for me. I really enjoy patterning mature bucks. The pre and post rut is the time to pattern a mature buck. I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy a similar experience.
Growing Deer together,