Kansas Kickoff

kanasssWith hunters already in the deer woods in Kentucky, it is official, deer season is on us again.  With just under 4 days left, I head to Kansas this weekend for the early muzzleloader season.  It will be my 4th year doing this hunt and it is shaping up to be one of the best.

One of the best things about this early season is that you have a shot at a mature deer that is still doing his summer routine.  A lot of times, these big deer have gotten used to coming out into the crop fields early in the evening to feed and will continue to do so until the weather starts to get colder toward the end of the month.  Once October comes, a lot of these bucks disappear, some not being seen again until the rut, and some never again.  The predictability of the deer in early September is something you don’t get the rest of the year and it is really cool to be able to take advantage of it.

One of the worst things about this hunt is the heat.  In years past, it has been so hot and dry, we haven’t bothered hunting the mornings and just focused on the evening sit.  The afternoon heat has been downright oppressive on this hunt, and my first year hunting here, I killed my first deer while shirtless.  The heat can force the big bucks to lay low until after dark but luckily the temperature is supposed to drop right before season begins.

I almost didn’t get a tag this year.  I did not draw my preferred unit and had to buy a leftover tag.  I stayed up until 1am eastern (12am central) back in late June to get a tag only to see my preferred unit sold out in under a minute.  Luckily I was able to pick up a tag for my second choice.  All leftover Kansas tags were sold within 15 minutes of being put up.  I’ve heard the demand for the Kansas tags has increased this year due to EHD thinning the buck numbers out in Illinois and putting outfitters out of business.  At any rate, I was lucky to get a tag.

I’m not one to get super excited about an upcoming hunt until I’m on the airplane or in the truck on the way there.  This time is no different.  I’ve stared at my layout on the guest room bed for the past 4 days.  I’ve checked and re-checked my day pack.  I’ve gone back over targets I shot two weeks ago.  Physically and mentally, I am ready.  Only 4 days until I can get that excited feeling again.