This will be part one of a twelve-part series covering my entire bow season spent with a reputable Whitetail outfitter in the state of Kansas. While I am here, I am pitching in as a guide and resident taxidermist for caping duties and antler scoring. I have never spent this much time experiencing a bow season, so I am hoping it will be memorable for all the right reasons.
With only a few days to get settled in and learn as many stand locations as possible, our first clients have arrived during the first week of November hoping to catch the pre-rutting activity that the Midwest is famous for. It is during this time that mature bucks are beginning to seek out the first signs of does coming into estrus and this means they are breaking their normally cautious protocol and exposing themselves to daytime dangers.
The first group to arrive hails from the state of New York. Names will not be divulged, but they seem to be a tight-knit group that is a mix of brothers and brother-in-laws. They have a lot of bowhunting experience and they have vowed to hunt all day long in hang-on tree stands. This is a mental feat that few actually achieve, but I believe the steel in their eyes and the optimism in their discussions. Although they are strangers, I have high hopes for them.
There is another gentleman from Miami, Florida and he is older and experienced. He has chosen Kansas as his destination to get a break from the smaller sized deer that his Florida leases provide. He will not be hunting all day and I totally understand and sympathize with his desire to stay fresh and not get worn out.
Hopes are extremely high and although I will not be hunting, I feel the excitement that can only be felt in places like this when strangers come together to share in a common bond. The pursuit of Whitetail deer is very addicting.
Amidst the telling of hunting tales past and present, we are all keeping an eye on the weather which could not have a worse outlook. It is supposed to be in the 70’s this week and no matter how you view that information, no bowhunter wants to hunt deer in 70 degrees. Despite the warming breeze on the eve of the first day, the hunters keep their focus on what could be instead of what might not be. I wish I had my bow.