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DANIEL: Kansas has a lot of great deer hunting opportunities. The varied habitat types in many areas offer great bottlenecks and travel corridors for seeing a lot of critters.
DANIEL: Bucks can also express a lot of their antler potential due to the amount of groceries. Because there’s a lot of production agriculture and lots of quality, native browse.
DANIEL: This is especially true in western Kansas where there’s a lot of sunlight hitting the ground and its open country. In fact, it can even seem barren.
DANIEL: However, this habitat type can be extremely productive and hold a lot of quality critters.
DANIEL: Team member Micajah Goins, lives in central Kansas and has tagged some great deer on the properties he hunts there. This past fall, Micajah was once again chasing some good bucks. Unfortunately, he hadn’t tagged one when December rolled around; still had that buck tag in his pocket. So, he decided to roll west with his brother and cousin and hunt western Kansas for Mule Deer.
DANIEL: Even though it was muzzleloader season, Micajah wanted to spot and stock with his Prime. So, he was excited when they arrived in western Kansas, got boots on the ground and started glassing.
DANIEL: The guys started hunting near coulees, or small drainage areas, or next to production ag fields.
DANIEL: Their goal, or hunting strategy, was to glass and spot a deer that was transitioning between these coulees and the ag fields. Once they spotted a buck they wished to go after, they planned their approach.
DANIEL: This was very effective, and they saw a lot of deer.
DANIEL: Even though they were seeing deer, they never saw a buck they wished to pursue.
DANIEL: One day, while glassing, they spotted a couple of deer getting a drink of water out of a livestock tank.
DANIEL: We often talk about limited resources and the resources critters need to survive. Quality food, secure cover and water.
DANIEL: Across much of the eastern portion of the United States, water is rarely a limited resource. There’re seeps, there’re holes of water, we get a lot of rain. Unless there’s a localized drought, water’s typically not a limited resource.
DANIEL: However, in western Kansas, water can be a limited resource. And if you can find that limited resource, water, you could see a lot of critters.
DANIEL: Keep in mind, limited resources could change quickly. A rainstorm could move through and there could be water in other places.
DANIEL: Or maybe you’ve been hunting that oak that’s been just dropping acorns and it’s that first tree that’s dropping acorns, big windstorm moves through, knocks a bunch of acorns on the ground, now there’s acorns everywhere.
DANIEL: Your hunting strategies need to be flexible, based one the most recent information, MRI.
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DANIEL: Even though he was putting time in behind the Burris Optics, Micajah hadn’t found a buck that he wished to pursue. So, one afternoon, he talked to a local farmer, got some MRI, most recent information, and learned that there was a buck that had been pretty active around this farmer’s property.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) The farmer has been seeing a buck back here kind of behind his feed lot. We didn’t have much luck where we were going this morning. There was a lot of does and a couple small bucks.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) We’re going to go see if we can’t find this buck and get close enough for a shot. He’s been hanging out, just back here in these cedars, so, let’s go see if we can find him.
DANIEL: After spending time slowly stalking through a stand of cedars, looking for a bedded buck, Micajah finally came to the edge and spotted a nice buck bedded across a cut cornfield, next to an old fence.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) We’ve spotted this buck. Looks like a pretty good buck and we just got up here. We have to hurry to get our – get in position and the wind’s pretty good for us. Not perfect, but it’s pretty good.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) So, we’re going to make our way around. He’s up against the fence. He’s got to get some brush behind him. So, as long as we’re quiet and the wind stays consistent, we should be able to get close enough.
DANIEL: Deer often like to bed next to features like old fences or berms or a bluff or even highways. They use these features as a type of protection.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) I’m at 202. (Indiscernible) To wait
DANIEL: Fortunately, Micajah was on the north end of the field and the wind was from the south. So, he was able to swing wide, go kind of to the northwest and then swing back in and come right in on the buck with his scent blowing to the north.
DANIEL: Strong winds are pretty typical in western Kansas, because there’s nothing to slow it down and that strong wind would also help mask or hide any sound Micajah made as he crept close to that buck.
DANIEL: As Micajah stalked closer to that buck, the buck got up and started to feed.
DANIEL: Using terrain features, or brush, to stalk closer to a critter and not be seen, is an important part of stalking. Fortunately, that berm that that buck had been bedded against was a great terrain feature.
DANIEL: As that buck fed, his head was below that berm, blocking Micajah from his view. So, Micajah was able to creep a little closer each time that buck put his head down to feed.
DANIEL: Finally, Micajah had crept in to about 50 yards.
MICAJAH: (Whispering) Go down. He’s down. He’s going down. Yes!
DANIEL: The Mega Meat Broadhead zipped through both lungs and that buck was down within moments.
MICAJAH: He fell right over here. So, we’re going to go meet him and see what we got. He’s a bigger buck than we thought he was, for sure. So, he didn’t go far. It’s one of the better bucks we’ve – we’ve seen out here in the several years we’ve been hunting.
MICAJAH: We got a tip from the landowner that this buck had been showing up back here, honestly, pretty close to the barnyard. And the day after we got done hunting up in the field, on the other side of the property, we decided to come look for him. And it didn’t take long and spotted him up here on this fence.
MICAJAH: So, we got around him, had the wind in our favor. We were getting – getting pretty close and all of a sudden, he – he stood up and we kind of had to wait and see what he would do. Finally, he gave us an opportunity with the bow, and I was able to make a good 50 yard shot.
MICAJAH: Just a really, really cool buck. I couldn’t be more happy. That was a really, really nice deer.
DANIEL: Congratulations, Micajah. That was an incredible spot and stalk hunt on a great, Mule Deer buck.
DANIEL: Micajah’s hunting strategies, of hunting transition zones between food and cover, overlooking limited resources, like that water, it resulted in seeing a lot of critters during his hunt.
DANIEL: Another great lesson, is the importance of MRI, most recent information. After talking to that local farmer and learning his observations about the current deer movement in the area, Micajah was able to find and successfully stalk a great buck.
DANIEL: The spot and stalk technique is a thrilling hunting method, and it can be used on a variety of critters.
DANIEL: In fact, here in a few weeks, Grant and I have several hog hunts planned, where we’ll be using the spot and stalk technique. Hopefully, we’ll be sharing those strategies and hunts with you soon.
DANIEL: Whether you’re planning your next hunt or maybe, you’re starting to look for those first sheds, I hope you get outside this week and enjoy creation. But more importantly, slow down, listen to what the Creator is saying to you and the purpose He was for your life.
DANIEL: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.