Posts Tagged deer

Opening Day!

My favorite weekend of the year is coming up! Dove opener on Labor Day weekend is the kick off to the hunting season for me. I’m so ready this year to hit the fields. Heading out west to Meade, Kansas to do some dove hunting with my buddy Keith and youngest daughter Maria. I’m also going to do a bit of scouting for the muzzleloading deer season later in September. Can’t wait!

Anyone else heading out this weekend? Where you all going?

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Hunting Season Begins

So the traditional start of the hunting season here in Kansas kicked off over the weekend with Dove season opening up on September 1st. I went out with a co-worker and good buddy Tim to see what we could find.

We made it out on Sunday afternoon and took a look at a few sunflower fields that were set up on some public hunting grounds. The sunflowers looked a little worse for wear from the summer heat and lack of rain we’ve had. We picked a field but still had a few hours before the dove would really start flying so we decided to do some scouting for a possible place to deer hunt during muzzleloading season coming up in a couple of weeks (since I won’t be heading out west as I’ve normally done the last few years).

We found a nice looking field and made note on my map and decided to head back to the dove field. I grabbed some vitals and decided to sit in some shade and watch the field for awhile since it was still a little early yet. One thing that had bothered me on our way out there was the lack of birds we were seeing on the power lines and roads. Way unusual. So as I’m eating my snack, I’m just not seeing anything flying around outside of songbirds. I’m starting to get worried.

Another group of hunters pull up and we chat a bit and work out where everyone is going to sit off the field so as not to interfere with each others shots.

Well, needless to say, the rest of the evening was pretty much the same. We saw a couple of birds. Heard the others guys take a few shots. But the birds just weren’t there. The opening hunt was a bust for me.

Towards sundown, we’d had enough of nothing and decided to go watch the field we like for deer hunting to see what might show. We were rewarded with a couple of does wandering out to feed about 30 minutes before sundown. So at least we know that deer are using the field. So the trip wasn’t a total bust.

I did feel sad that I won’t be spending this year’s muzzleloading season with Keith, it almost feels wrong. But he is doing better a little bit every day. So keep the prayers up for him.

So let’s hear it from the rest of you, did you make it out dove hunting and how’d you do?

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Last Call For Venison

We’re heading out for the final weekend of deer hunting for the late antlerless season. This time I’m taking my wife for her first hunt. Which seems to be the predominate hunting I’ve done this year. My daughter had her first dove and deer hunt this year. Now it’s the good wife’s turn (it was her idea to pick up the Marlins anyway).

We’re heading back out to the Buttons ranch that I took my daughter to. Hopefully I can find the deer before we have to go this time. We have some weather moving in late Sunday, I really hope that it stays out there. They’re calling for snow Sunday and Monday. I just hope we see more then deer butts running away through the trees this time and hopefully on our side of the fence.

So, good luck to all those out wrapping up Kansas deer season. Keep your powder dry.

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My Daughter’s First Deer Hunt

Well, we’re all set for my daughter’s first deer hunt this weekend. There was a nice 9 pointer taken the opening weekend, but there’s still a bigger one running around there. At least, that buck wasn’t the big one we’ve been seeing on the trail cams. Hopefully, he’s still around. It would be really cool if she get’s a shot at him.

And no, it won’t bother me a bit if she takes one down (as some of my friends have asked). I’d be right proud of her.

I picked up a doe tag for myself, as I’m really wanting some venison this year. Anyway, we’re heading out in the morning. The weather looks like it will be decent, maybe a little on the warm side in the afternoons. Although, there is a cold front coming in Saturday night.

So wish us luck.

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Good Luck Kansas Deer Hunters

To all the hunters heading out tomorrow for opening day of the Kansas Firearms Deer Season, good luck! May your shots be straight and true.

It looks to be fairly decent weather, not quite as cold as the last couple of years. This is the first time in 3 years that I’ll miss the opening! I can’t make it out until the last weekend of the season when I take my daughter out. So save a couple of deer for us alright?

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Book Review: Hunting and Trading on the Great Plains, 1859-1875

As I’ve hunted in various places across the state of Kansas, I’ve often wondered what the early settlers and pioneers experienced when they came to this territory. They had to be awestruck as they left the hills, mountains and forests to see the apparent emptiness of the prairie. But still, I wondered how much different it looked to them than what I see today. Today, much of Kansas is sectioned off for agriculture with large acres of crops or cattle grazing. Roads crisscross the state, so much so that it would be nearly impossible to get lost or lose your bearing.

I finally found some of my answers from the book, Hunting and Trading on the Great Plains, 1859-1875 (American Exploration and Travel Series). It is the autobiography written by James R Mead, who later became one of the founders of Wichita, Kansas, the city I live in. Actually, Mr. Mead dictated his story to a stenographer. The tale is a fascinating look into the early days of the Kansas territory.

James Mead left his home in Iowa came to the territory in the spring of 1859 at the age of 23. He and some friends loaded up their wagons and headed west.

He ended up in the Salina area, along the Saline river hunting and camping. The first thing struck me was that he talks about how clear the streams, creeks and rivers were and how sweet the water tasted. Clear? Sweet? If you’ve spent any amount of time in Kansas and looked at the water, its anything but clear now. And I’m not about to take a taste of it. He also speaks of the abundance of trees along the rivers and streams.

The next thing is the variety and abundance of game. The vast herds of bison, elk and deer. So much so that he ignores the turkey that seem to be everywhere. Now, outside of deer, its hard to imagine the herds of bison and elk. I’ve never seen elk in the wild and have only seen bison fenced in. That would have to be an amazing site to see.

James would spend the first years out here as a contract hunter. Basically, he would shoot as much game as he could and sell the meat to the settlers and small towns that had begun to spring up. He claims to have made a great living at it during that time. But some of his descriptions of the hunts are a bit unsettling to the modern mind. The waste is shocking. To kill a bison just for the hide and tongue is shocking to the modern hunter with rules about wanton waste.

But it was a different time then, at least that’s what is said.

After a few years of hunting, James became a trader to the various Indian tribes that made the plains their home. He mentioned that he was always treated fairly and could rely on them to keep their word. The would always pay their debts according to the agreements he had made with them. Interesting how that goes against what recorded history and Hollywood has portrayed.

Mr. Mead also talks of the various historical figures he encountered through the years. Names like Jesse Chisholm, William “Buffalo Bill” Matthewson, Kit Carson, Kiowa chief Satanta and many others. The stories of these early celebrities are an interesting collection of things you don’t hear very often. James Mead then goes on to become a founder of the city of Wichita, helping to bring the railroad and cattle industries to the young town.

The end of the book brings about Jame’s looking back with some remorse to the changes that had come to the prairie. Saddened by the takeover of farms and ranches and the change they brought to the plains. The forested streams and rivers were gone, no longer clear running. The herds of bison and elk were no longer found on the prairie, having been slaughtered by the hunters, of which he was one. He did feel guilt for his role in the change and wished he could alter it. One has to wonder what the plains would look like today had the buffalo hunters of Mead’s day had a bit of foresight to see what the future held.

I thought the book an excellent view of the early history of Kansas. It is a unique look into the daily life of an early pioneer, one that we don’t often get to hear.

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Hunting Gear Review: Game Glide

Faced with the task of dragging a deer out of a cornfield, what better way to put the Game Glide to a test. And test it we did.

My buck was down inside a corn field and we had to get it out, the farmer was due to harvest soon. It was difficult to maneuver in the field as the corn was over six feet tall. I managed to get the deer on the Glide and get it tied up. Keith had gone to get the truck and trailer closer to where we were. Once he got back to where I was, we started dragging.

It really seemed to go pretty well, still difficult, but we were moving. I’m not sure how far we had to go to get to the edge of the field, it seemed pretty far and its hard to gauge distance when all you can see are cornstalks.

At one point, it was very difficult going. We were really laboring to move the deer. We stopped to catch our breath (I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest) and noticed the deer had rolled and the Glide had moved up the side. We repositioned everything, tightened up the cords and were on our way again.

The going was much easier. I can truly say that without the Game Glide, we would probably have given up. I’m not sure the two of us could have gotten that buck out of the corn field without it. It really did make a difference. Keith has drug deer for years (he’s been doing this for a lot longer than I have) and he was even surprised at it.

Now I’m not saying it didn’t take work, we still had to put some muscle into it. But the difference between when the deer was on it and when it wasn’t was amazing. Yeah, it was definitely noticeable.

I give the product a thumbs up. The guys at Game Glide have created an excellent piece of gear!

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