Kansas is the land of giant whitetails. Unfortunately much of the state, including the Southwest where I’m currently hunting, is in the midst of a record drought. Conservation Reserve Program lands are void of their usual tall native grasses. They’ve long since been devoured by hungry cattle or burnt to a crisp by the unrelenting sun.
Deer are stressed by the lack of food and water, traveling far between the bedding cover of creeks and thickets to find any grub in the arid conditions. Amazingly, even under stress, the bucks were able to pop some impressive headgear. As I type away waiting for the heat to fade, I had the chance to admire a great buck taken by fellow outdoor writer J. Guthrie, muzzleloading editor for Petersen’s Hunting and co-host of Ruger Inside and Out on the Sportsman’s Channel.
Guthrie took a stand down the creek from me and the bellow of his TC FX Pro Hunter signaled his success. Three solid shooter bucks walked into range and Guthrie was faced with a decision. Should he shoot a giant-framed typical or a gnarly, double-beamed non-typical? He picked the typical and ended his hunt with a 150-class buck with kicker points with help from BackRhoads Outfitters.
If you’re faced with a drought hunt this fall here’s my advice. Hunt around anything green and wet. Despite area milo fields being stunted, they still supplied a dose of green for bucks and attracted dozens of deer. In between travels, the deer were searching for water, mainly windmills and stock tanks. Like Guthrie, I waited near a creek bottom hoping for a buck to wander by or at least put himself in position for an easy stalk. I’ll update you when I find success. Until then, enjoy this photo of my good friend J. Guthrie and his Kansas September muzzleloader buck.
To find deer movement predictions and the weather forecast where you hunt, go to OL Weather.