Observing, Learning, Killing…Hunting a Great Kansas Buck (Episode 48 Transcript)

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WOODS: I was recently invited to hunt a friend’s property in eastern Kansas.  I had been there once before a couple years ago, but didn’t remember the lay of the land and where the bedding areas are and what-not, so I call this a suitcase hunt.  You pack up all the gear you need, throw it in a suitcase and take off.

WOODS: (Whispering) Over in eastern Kansas now on a friend of mine’s private land, and we’ll tell you more about it later, but I just wanted to get the setup going and get quiet here.  We haven’t scouted this at all and he, he’s not a bow hunter much.  He’s a spot and stalk hunter.  Really successful.  But there wasn’t pre-hung bow stands, so we grabbed a couple Muddys right after lunch and the map he gave us.  He’s a guy that’s really careful about his property, so he doesn’t drive or allow ATV’s in his property or pickups so we parked at the gate and carried our stuff; walked in; got some hints from him.  Come down the moat trail, found some sign.  Went up.  We caught an M.D.E: Minimal Disturbance Entry and we can see a bedding area type field and there’s a big feeding area back here.  We’ll tell you more later, but we don’t want to penetrate too far.  We kind of, first night, a deer may walk here and that would be great, but really we want to see, use our Nikons, do some long distance scouting.  We’re on a four and a half day hunt.  We’re going to work our way into it as we go, but we don’t want to over-scout it and blow it, so stay tuned and see how we approach a new property we haven’t been to before.

WOODS: (Whispering) No bucks.  But we can use an M.R.I, kinda got a movement pattern and we’ll investigate further tomorrow.  Keep penetrating a little bit more ‘til we get on the side we want.

WOODS: (Whispering) That’s a good one there.

WOODS: Incredible.  Boy, we were just about out of light, starting to pack stuff up.  Adam and I happened to look up to see two great bucks right at dark, easing across this field.  Good first night in the stand.  Actually, observed four deer kind of working the way we thought they would.  Running out of camera light, uh, but happy.  Ready to get us a cheeseburger on the way to the hotel and be back here early in the morning.

WOODS: (Whispering) We saw what we believe to be a shooter buck right at dark last night, 100 yards right at dark, but very long G2’s and pretty good G-3’s.  Couldn’t tell about the brows or if it had G-4’s.  So, we’re gonna hunt here this morning; see what happens; hang in here pretty, pretty late.  Watch the pattern of deer.  I like to get in open areas.  It’s not that great for bow hunting.  I’m more of a tight hunter, but see the pattern of deer moving and then move on in.  So, we’re, we’re gonna hunt and if we’re unsuccessful, we’ll scout and move it two or three hundred yards up there real carefully.  Scout in and see if we can’t get in there because all the deer have been up in a 50-yard section.  So, there’s a bottleneck up in there somewhere.  Stay tuned and see how this unfolds as we scout this property and hunt it.

WOODS: (Whispering) They're acting real skittish and the wind has switched.  Our wind is going that way, so we’re going to get out of there, although, it’s prime time to be in a stand right now where wind is wrong and no need to blowin' the area.

WOODS: Spent a good bit of time on the fallow field, but the wind’s getting a little swirley and I don’t want to booger that one up, so we go to another side of the farm.  Grab the muddy sticks which are great for cut and run type deer hunting.  Find some awesome sign.  Up the tree.  Put our hunting clothes back on.  Everything was great, except we had a really unexpected situation.  Make that stand not too productive.

WOODS: (Whispering) We’re suitcase hunting.  This is obviously, not where I live.  I call that suitcase hunting.  And we’ve scouted the property that we have permission to hunt a little bit more.  And we found a major creek crossing.  It’s a, you know, a two-inch deep creek, with eight-foot deep walls, so a lot of traffic through here.  Here’s a bottleneck.  Sounds great, except in the bottoms, right by the creek, you know, we’re in the bottom.  Wind typically swirls.

WOODS: (Whispering) You know if a deer comes right there, it’s going to stop, because it’s going to smell deer snot all over the place.  It’s like the automatic stopping point for a deer.  It’s not good.  Sneezing, he’s just sneezing, sneezing, sneezing.  I feel sorry for him, but I’m not liking it because, you know on a suitcase hunt, you’ve got a limited number of days and stands and scouting before you kind of spook up the area.

WOODS: We’re about halfway through our Kansas hunt and it’s hot today, but a cold front is coming.  So, we’ve been hunting lightly and scouting.  We didn’t even hunt this morning.  We sat on the edge of the field, used the binoculars, doing the Nikon long distance hunt, just patterning deer.  See where they're going.  Figuring out the bedding area.  Putting all our chips in that coldfront day when it’s coming.

WOODS: (Whispering) Couple of interesting things tonight.  Let’s see if deer sense the movement of this front coming in and move ahead of it.  We know that there’s a shooter buck.  We’ve seen him.  The landowner’s told us about his bedding over here on the ridge.  Cutting through here to a major feeding field or nag field over here.  We’d like to be over there.  As a matter of fact, we got a stand hung in the middle of the day.  But, the wind’s all wrong.  It’s hot, humid, scent’s just going everywhere.  No way to get in there and effectively hunt, I don't think.  So, we’re basically sitting back.  There’s a chance they’ll come out here, but I don't think so.  I think we will probably see him tonight.  Good chance of it.  Could be right at dark and he’s cutting along there.  But if that front makes a change in their movement pattern or behavior, maybe something different will happen, so rather than blow that good stand out, we’re going to wait ‘til tomorrow when the wind and temperatures don’t change.

WOODS: (Whispering) So, man, they're moving early and it’s hot.  The mosquitoes are out and the only reason they would be moving this early, I feel is because it’s so hot.  Because they know that front’s coming.  I don't know, I don't know.  Something’s changing that they could pick up.  That’s always been a mystery to researchers.  Myself, included.  We’ve looked at barometer, wind speed, just all kind of weather variables.  We buy data from the National Weather Service.  Put them together.  Use some sophisticated math, regressions and stepwise regressions and still can’t sort it out, so I believe that deer do move in front of a, a major front, a change.  But I don't know exactly why they do or how they pick it up.

WOODS: (Whispering) I’m gonna let him pass.  I can't tell if he’s a ten or a nine.  I love it when a plan comes together or almost comes together.  He come out at 55 yards.  I’d already used the Nikon to get the range.  But the landowner does not want three and a half year old 10-pointers shot.  He loves typical tens and wants to let them get older.  I really wasn’t sure if that was a nine or a ten.  I know he was a, a five on the right side, but I couldn’t tell on the left side.  Well, we’re losing light quickly.  Man, we’ve had a great hunt.  I think we saw a total of ten deer.  One buck, looks like a mainframe nine, with a kicker on the left G-2.  Viewing the footage at him.  I zoomed in.  I couldn’t tell with my naked eye.  Came out too quick to get the Nikons on him.

WOODS: I love watching bucks do the full scrape sequence.  That was the subject of my master’s thesis 20 plus years ago and I still enjoy watching it.  Hey, a front’s coming in.  I think Adam and I are finally going to be able to get into that stand that we needed a north wind for and I’m very encouraged that we can cut that buck off going to the bedding area.

WOODS: (Whispering) We’ve got a major trail right in front of us.  A couple more right down here, so we’re hoping the bucks will come in this way, but we’ll have to wait and see.

WOODS: (Whispering) Man, I had to hold and hold and hold.  I didn’t think that granola bar was gonna give me enough to hold on that rascal.  I come back when he’s about 25 out and he didn’t give me the shot.  And I thought he was gonna get in the leaves.  So I had to let down.  Z7 was super quiet letting down.  I couldn’t even hear it.  Come on in and he finally got to where I could get both lungs.  Put the hammer down.  Give it to me, man.

BROOKE: Hit him hard, man.  That’s a good deer.

WOODS: That’s a good deer.  He was a little bit better than I thought he was.

BROOKE: That’s a good buck.  Looks a lot better when there’s about eight yards, didn’t he?

WOODS: He looked better at eight yards, didn’t he?

WOODS: My goodness.  Look at that toe.  This is what I’m talking about checking out right here.  Look at that big ole’ head on that rascal.  I didn’t even notice these split brows.

BROOKE: I didn’t either.

WOODS: Look at that.  Big old split brows.  Got about a two-inch kicker right here.  Man, that is eight inches, so we’re talking a…

BROOKE: Eleven?

WOODS: Yeah, that’s, that’s a good eleven inches right there.  I mean I’d be proud of that anywhere, any day, anyhow, but I’m more proud of the hunt.  Of being patient.  Scouting.  Not over-scouting.  Not pushing too far.  Finding signs, setting up, getting the wind right.  Waiting for the wind.  Man, just an exciting hunt.  You know, you notice we got split brows on this side and what’s interesting about that is, he’s got a clubbed foot; a very much clubbed foot on this side.  He’s also got a kicker on this side, so usually, when a deer has an injury on the front shoulder, it will be on the same side, it will show up on the same side as the antler.  If it has an injury in the rear part of its body, it will show up on the off side.  The nerves actually cross in a deer, so injury on the left ham, the right antler will often be deformed or non-typical.  Entry, injury on the left front shoulder; deformities on the same side antler; left antler.  And that’s typical here.  Great deer.  Three or four – won’t know ‘til I get the jaw bone out, which we will do and man, we are gonna pack up, roll home.  Go show the landowner.  And roll home to Missouri.  Show my daddy.  Hug my wife.  Hug the kids and put another one on the wall.  And some tenderloins in the freezer.

WOODS: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer. I hope you enjoy creation this week and a weather front is coming your way.