By Mark Kenyon
Bryhn Craft is a true class act. And he’s exactly the kind of guy you like to see shoot big bucks. Being a land specialist for Whitetail Properties, Bryhn gets his fair share of chances at big deer – but he certainly knows how to make the best of these opportunities. Of all the folks I’ve met in the hunting world, Bryhn is one of the most down to earth and fun guys I’ve had the chance to spend time with. So that said, I’d like to send a big congrats out to my friend Mr. Bryhn Craft on this giant Kansas buck! – MK
“I was invited to come down to South Central Kansas by my long time friend and co-worker at Whitetail Properties, Steve Purviance. Steve is also the owner of Mt. Hide Outfitters and has a great reputation for filling his client’s tags in Kansas. I couldn’t say no. This would not be my first time to hunt with Steve and he always has great farms with big deer.
We first got pictures of the Heavy 10 on the Reconyx back in August while surveying the farm for potential hit list bucks for the upcoming season. This buck had a double throat patch, a heavy chocolate rack with lots of mass and would no doubt rank high on the hit list this season. The next card pull from the Reconyx in the first week of September would show that the Heavy 10 was regular but completely nocturnal. We did not have a single picture of this buck during daylight. We knew he would be tough to hunt. We figured the only way to get a shot at this buck would be to figure out where he bedded and try to hunt him in his bedroom.
We were hunting this buck in what is known as the sand hills, which are rolling sandy hills, covered in Sage and Plumb thickets. We hunted this buck by moving from vantage point to vantage point glassing morning and afternoon hoping we could have a sighting of him so we could figure out a plan to get close enough for a shot. On the 10th day of the season we finally laid eyes on him coming out of drainage at last light. Our plan was to move in closer to the drainage and hope that he bedded there again before the season was over. We sat there for 2 days without a sighting of a single deer within 500 yards of our position. On the 13th day of the season, during the morning hunt, we spotted a buck bedded in the thicket below us. It was not our buck but a nice 10-point. With this sighting we knew we had done our job of slipping in to our spot without spooking the deer. He must have bedded down there before sunrise. As I glassed the same bottom, I spotted another buck bedded in the thicket 130 yards away but could only see one of his tines. After another hour of glassing, we identified him as our target buck. All we had to do at this point was be patient and hope he stood up naturally, not due to a swirling wind or a coyote jumping him from his bed causing him to bolt.
At around 10:00 am he finally stood up to stretch and move around allowing us a shot opportunity. With a squeeze of the trigger on the TC Encore, a two hour wait and short tracking job, our hunt for the Heavy 10 had come to an end.
This was an incredible and challenging hunt to say the least, but the end results were worth all the time we put in and all miles we walked in those sand hills. Big mature whitetails don’t come easy and this buck was no exception. Just because they are nocturnal doesn’t mean they aren’t killable, you may have to adjust your plan of attack. As my good friend Steve told me, “Just keep on grinding away and you will get him.””
– Bryhn Craft, Whitetail Properties Land Specialist in Kansas
For more from Bryhn Craft, visit WhitetailProperties.com