Archery Hunting in KansasDec 18, 2009

    If you haven’t seen the first volume of Bringin’ It Home, you need to watch it so that you can understand who I hunt with in Kansas.  There are hunts on the first volume of me hunting turkeys and deer with my good friend Jeff Gerard.  He is a fellow taxidermist that I met at a show several years ago.  I was doing a seminar and simply asked the people there if they had any place to hunt big whitetail deer. Jeff came up to me after the seminar and said he had some great deer hunting ground if I wanted to hunt there. I said I’d love to, and we’ve been friends ever since.  
    I didn’t get to hunt with him last year, so I made sure to make it down there for this year’s bow season. This season was much like the last time I was down there because it was the week of Thanksgiving, and Jeff had already told us we were welcome to eat dinner with his family.  The twist to this year was that we were trying out our new Hazel Creek Deer Decoy!  We had it out a couple times prior to our trip to Kansas, and had some success, but no big bucks had the chance to see it.  I couldn’t wait to get it out there next to that big, flat corn fields to see what it could do.  
    The great thing about Jeff’s place in Kansas is that I can go there and easily pattern the deer. It is so flat that I can sit in my tree stand and see exactly where the deer are coming from and move my setup accordingly.  On our first evening of hunting, we sat next to a cut bean field, and we only had one doe come in close.  She circled up and down wind of our decoy, trying to make it move, before she decided to walk on off. This was a great thing to see because she was in shooting range the entire time, and had no idea we were there! As I said before though, it is easy to pattern the deer there, and we noticed several nice bucks moving on the other side of the field where there was about forty acres of standing corn.  We would see them go in the corn and come out of the corn, but they didn’t seem to want make the walk across our cut bean field.

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Our decoy stands ready.

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Our decoy in the field.

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    That night, which was the night before Thanksgiving, we decided to give our tree stand one more shot in the morning, but if we didn’t have any deer come close, then we were definitely going to the other side.  The next morning was much like the first evening, and we made our minds up to put up another set of stands.  We got the stands up, went and ate a delicious dinner with Jeff’s family, and at around 2 o’clock we were ready to film the evening hunt.
    We were hunting the edge of the standing corn, and we put our decoy facing towards us, as if he were walking right out of a corn row.  Jesse and I both admitted to looking down every now and then and thinking, AHHH there’s a deer! When we weren’t looking for deer we sat there and watched a giant group of turkeys work their way past our stand on their way to roost.  I even started to get pumped up about turkey season next spring!

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    We saw a small buck chase a couple does through the timber behind us, and a big 10 pointer was making a scrape about 150 yards to my left.  I told Jesse that I could rattle the buck in, and I hit the rattle bag very aggressively.  In between my rattling sequences, I happened to glance behind me, and there he was!  I saw a tall racked buck coming down the edge of the corn, and I said “Jesse, buck coming down the corn to the right, it’s a shooter”. He no more than got the camera around and I knew this buck was ready to fight our decoy!  He came in with one thing on his mind, whipping some butt! His hair was standing on end, his neck was all swollen, and by the time he got to the decoy, he had turned his posture completely sideways, ready for a collision!  He got a collision alright, because I put an arrow through his side! Before he knew it, he was dying in the corn!! It was my Thanksgiving Day Buck!!

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Jeff Gerard (left) helps me show off the deer.

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    This was an extremely fun hunt, and I’m proud to say HAZEL CREEK DEER DECOYS WORK!! By the way, we still don’t have a name for our decoy yet, does anyone have any ideas??