Bow Season: Small Bucks Galore

This is the fourth part of a 12 part series covering my time spent with a Kansas Whitetail outfitter during his entire bow season.

One of the most entertaining activities while sitting on a stand is to watch small bucks. They are more exciting than does because they have antlers, and it is just fun to watch young bucks try to fit into their world. The only people who don’t really love to watch small bucks are clients who pay thousands of dollars for a guided chance at shooting a large buck. 

The second week of bow season brings a diverse group of hunters that are mostly from large cities throughout the country. The warm weather is still present from the first week where temperatures in the 70’s were common during the afternoon. For bowhunters, this is torture, and to add salt to the wound, little bucks are parading around everywhere taunting the hunters. Some of them are beginning to resent the little bucks and I don’t blame them.

One day while scouting for the outfitter in a seldom hunted area, I stumbled upon a small group of bachelor bucks that had no clue I was watching them through ten power glass. Seeing shooters when the rut was supposed to be in its infancy was strange.

The group contained two bucks that were in the low 150’s and two younger bucks that were two year olds. It was the strangest thing I had seen in the middle of November. They were staggered out in the shade of a large Juniper tree, and they showed no signs of being interested in chasing does.

So, I had spotted two shooters in a core area within 200 yards of one of our best bow stands, but anyone who hunted that stand would never even come close to seeing any nice bucks. In fact, I overheard the grumblings of a couple of frustrated bow hunters as they proclaimed that there were just simply no big bucks here.

 I chose not to disclose the bucks I had seen as I felt that was the outfitter’s prerogative and not my place, but it proved that when the weather is warm, mature bucks hang in the shade until dark thirty. It also confirms that hunters don’t always get to see all the nice deer living in their hunting area.