Todays W2H reader success story comes from Bryan Lape, as he takes his first trip to hunt Kansas whitetails! Congrats Bryan on a great late season buck! – MK
I have always wanted to hunt in Kansas and I finally had a chance this December. A good friend of mine that I played football with at WMU invited me to hunt on his family farm in western Kansas during the opening week of firearm season. So I applied for my out of state license and was successful drawing a Mule deer/ Whitetail deer tag, as well as one doe tag.
The weather looked very promising going from the mid 30’s down to the single digits on the first day we were going to hunt. The first morning we went to an area that was full of deep fingers knowing that the deer would be in there with the high winds. We walked up and down the fingers for more than 15 miles that day not seeing one deer. This style of hunting was very different for me. Being from Michigan I am always sitting in a tree stand waiting on the deer to move to me. By the end of day one I was tired, but my buddy kept my hopes up assuring me that we would find the deer. The second day we tried another area out in the morning with no luck. Later that day we decided to push a thick area that I was able to overlook from high atop a deep finger. As soon as my buddy stepped into that area I could see the deer moving. I saw a very nice buck that had its right side broken off and another nice whitetail at 200 yards. I decided to take a shot… and I missed.
I don’t know if it was from the excitement of seeing all the deer or if I just rushed my shot. I quickly reloaded my muzzleloader as a doe ran right to me. I steadied my gun and shot her at 70 yards. That afternoon we headed to a place where other hunters were seeing plenty of deer movement. We spotted deer as soon as we pulled in the driveway. We came up with a game plan on how we would stalk the deer and it worked to perfection. My buddy shot a nice whitetail buck that was chasing after a doe. The next morning was the most exciting. We spotted a mule deer we estimated to be over 200 inches. It was the biggest deer I have ever seen in my life. He was with a group of does on top of a finger bedded down in the yuccas. I got downwind and belly crawled for what seemed like forever. I got within 100 yards and could see the mule deer’s head. I thought about taking a shot at his neck but thought that if I was getting this close to them without them noticing then I could surely get another 10 yards to get a clean ethical shot. Well, that wasn’t the case. Another 4 does bedded to my left caught my movement and the biggest deer I have ever seen ran out of my life. I wanted to puke.
That afternoon we went back to where my buddy shot his deer. We spotted deer again as soon as we arrived. We stalked the deer for over 500 yards in the open cut wheat field that the picture of my buck was taken in. I couldn’t believe how close we were getting without getting busted. We were hunkered down close to 150 yards away from a smaller buck watching him work his way toward us. Then out to our right came my buck. He was coming out of a cut milo field straight towards us. We ranged him at 110 yards and I was ready to shoot then but he kept getting closer and closer. Once he got within 80 yards the smaller buck we were watching must have caught him by surprise pushing him even closer to us. He turned broadside at 60 yards and I dropped the hammer on him. He ran another 50 yards and dropped. He is my largest buck taken to date. The thing I like most about him is the mass and the one brow tine that is a little over 9 inches.