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Where are all the bucks?
Is anyone else having a tough year? Geeze, I can't catch a break this year! I've been hunting a new farm this year and can not connect with a mature buck. I have a few goods ones on camera but they are acting goofy. It just seems like the deer activity has been strange throughout the month.
I know a lot of guys are saying they have seen less deer year than previous and not just bucks.
I suspect the bucks are with or near the does. No intention of being a smart ass. That's the trick though.... finding the does.
I hunted 7 dawn to darks in 8 days and saw 2 mature bucks while bouncing around public land spots that have been good to me in the past. At best I saw 2 or 3 deer a day, mostly 1.5 year old bucks. Fortunately one gave me a shot to capitalize on Wednesday afternoon.
While starting on blood, low and behold, there were 5 does in the field feeding around 430 about 100 yards from where my buck came in. This was the most does I saw in all of my hunting this year. Could be coincidence...but I'm guessing that buck new right where the ladies were and was keeping close tabs on them.
Best year I've ever had seeing nice bucks where I can hunt. There was a 155" at the edge of Eldorado when I came in town yesterday after getting off the plane from Canada. He was there for 30 minutes next to central. I went back to take his photo and my truck hit those hatch marks in the side of the highway as I was backing up and he took off
I hunted 11/3 thru 11/10 only to see 1 mature Deer. He was walking away from me at 100 yards. I gave a conservative grunt on my call, and he stopped, looked, and bolt and ran towards the wood. Then I rattled at him....he stopped , looked and hauled a$$ to the woods.....tail down. I have 2 shooters on Camera.....all night pics. Never saw them in 7 days. Only rutting activity seen was young deer, and none were chasing just scent checking. 7 of us hunting and just 1 old 7 pt. taken. 2 good ones killed early season. Strange year for us as well.
I've been hunting the past three weekends and some weekdays last week and I'm with ya... I've only seen small young bucks, Haven't seen anything big. It doesn't seem like they're responding to calls as well. I've tried rattling, grunting, doe bleats, and setting out decoys and the only thing that worked was quick grunts that brought in small young bucks. But keep at it and be patient.
hunted two sits 12th and one 4 hour sit 13th saw over 30 deer in those two days. Some im sure were the same does but saw at least eight diff bucks mostly 2yr olds . Only one big mature eight point i was very happy
I'm wondering if it will even be worth making my hour long drive to my hunting spot tomorrow. Wind advisories have been posted. Surely this will negatively impact deer movement.
I have had some luck on windy days...gotta find a shelter belt type area, like in a draw. It's November...Gotta get out there. I'm going to hunt off the ground tomorrow for a few hours in the morning. Bucks gotta rut.
ive been out about 7-8 times and actually havent yet to see a deer. Well yesterday i decided to go back to the first public spot i was hunting at the early season because it just seemed to good to be true. Well found a nice deer trail all through out the thicket with scrapes and tree rubs everywhere. So today i go out about 1pm and due to the wind i didnt want to sit in the thicket so i was making my way down and old tractor road that cuts between the thicket and i was probably 70 yards from the spot i was going to hunt today on the edge of corn fields coming off that thick stuff with a south wind and i ended up jumping a nice buck mature 8 pointer looked like. he was coming from the east as i was going south and both kind of just ran into each other and he took off into the thicket to the west. I was hoping when i got set up on the south north side id be able to call him out but couldnt. thats the only deer ive seen so far
Pressure is why you aren't seeing them. Lots of hunters, lots of people driving the roads. A 5 month long season drives them to being nocturnal even during the rut. Even in western Kansas, people are driving the roads every where.
Amen on the road scouts, worst I've seen it where I hunt. I've not seen mature bucks on the prowl when driving back and forth to my hunts once this year. That is very unusual, typically by now you see them everyday by now.
Kansas just isn’t what it used to be. Your are even seeing it on the TV shows. With the way this state manages deer it will continue to go downhill. The plus side is out of staters will wise up and realize there are a lot better states to go spend your money in.
You are right Zinger, first it happened to Wisconsin then to Illinois and now here. To much about the money and not enough about managing the resource. Kansas needs to take lessons from Iowa!!
It happened to Kansas over 15 years ago. Where you guys been?
I've got several bucks on camera that I would shoot but they are not showing up very often. Just seems kind of weird. And the deer movement as a whole has slowed down quite a bit over the last 10 days or so. And before anyone tries to explain the rut phases to me, I get it. But I am just saying that I have seen 50% less deer this year that other years in the past...
I talked to a guy last night that owns property along the Arkansas river south of Oxford, he is a very knowledgeable hunter and trapper. He told me that 3 years ago the kdwpt did a night survey on his property and counted 32 deer that night, he said he would see 40-50 when he hunted it. He said he is lucky if he will see 6 when he hunts this year. So he had kdwpt come out and they counted 7. They told him there are low numbers in a lot of areas of the state.
Iam in sek, been fortunate to have a lot of vacation time, and have been off since the nov 3, hunting everyday and a few all day, in that time ive seen only 2 mature bucks, have access to 5 private farms and i am the only one hunting them for the most part, worst season ive had in years
Sat all day yesterday, GW county. Saw several doe groups and 3 bucks all day. 2 young bucks and 1 decent buck.
Very similar to Itsabooner for me. Probably the best overall year for chasing, grunting and overall movement. Unfortunately, I feel like a whipped rutted up buck after 14 straight days of hunting, with several of those being all day sits. I love it but really needing a little mental break. Passed on a mature buck prior the the big chase phase that's been on the downhill slide the past two years, but didn't have another mature buck encounter until two days ago with another chasing a doe. Don't know the hours put in but it was a lot. Can't tell you how many immature bucks I saw hot on the trail. Thought for sure the older bucks would follow suit as they normally do but I never saw it. I'm sure it happened and they corralled their does, I just saw quite a few 3 year olds owning a few pieces I hunt. Probably the biggest issue I had was the unbelievable amount of East winds we had. Kept me out of my best stands when it mattered the most. I eventually had to push the issue a few times and flirted with danger, and that is well outside my norm.
As for the wind yesterday, the morning sit was probably the best chasing/rutting action I have ever witnessed. It started well before light and continued until late morning. Multiple bucks chasing multiple does. There were several separate chases going on in the same timber, it was awesome! I learned long ago that with hunting, when you think the conditions are bad, those sometimes can end up being your best hunts. Good luck to all still going. I've seen an unreal number of pictures of those successful and some giants for sure. I'm hoping to sneak in a hunt or two around Thanksgiving but it might be a late season food source type of year for me I'm afraid.
I can promise everybody something, we can all say it’s because of EHD, CWD, crossbows, non-residents, season lengths, permitting, etc, etc. That list can go on a for a while. The reality, IMO, is this is the new Kansas. It will not get any better. There will continue to be huge deer shot in this state, much like any other states, but overall our deer herd will continue to decline. This is not me being negative or a pessimist, this is just the honest truth. I will continue to hunt no matter what because I love it but I think my standards for harvest will have to go down some.
I had a friend Tell me the last drought has had an effect on the amount of mature bucks fro 4-5 years old. Could a drought have that kind of effect on the fawn crop the next year? If so when was that last bad drought in Kansas?
Hoyt- I told my wife that exact thing this afternoon. ...my standards will be redefined.
i went out again today sat from 1230-445 and did not see a thing or hear anything. I then got in my car to leave and saw 6 does in one field and 3 in the other about 10 miles from where i was
seen eight bucks all young 12th and 13th didnt see any this weekend, LOCKDOWN
Deer move and spotlight surveys are inconsistent. I had 20 plus deer visiting my geeen soybeans this early season. They are gone now probably until we get a really bad cold snap. I am not worried because in 8 years of owning the place I have realized that they move a great distance in search of better food and cover.
Lock down is over. Does are starting to regroup. Should be a good time to kill a big one now.
Hunted with a buddy in SW KS this morning. Saw 4 whitetails locked down and a really nice muley paired up with a doe. Three of the whitetails were north of 150. Watched one breed his doe... I guess they missed the memo. Or maybe they got it this afternoon?
First time posting, I have say I am impressed with the high number of users, generally positive posts and helpfulness shown. Went out south of Wichita and had a decent buck trailing a doe on edge of bean field, all I saw except big covey quail that had me jump. Wind had me on opposite side of property, but didn't look older then 3.5 if had guess. Possibly same 9 point saw last week when wind was good for me. Not seeing many deer at all and the 9 point is the only decent buck I've seen, was an awesome encounter with him at 10 yards a week ago. I am wondering if the beans not being harvested yet is keeping the does on another food source. I am sure deer could get to the beans in the pods, but are mature soybeans a favored food source, edible but last choicer or do deer wait till harvested? No other crops still standing in area and was just beans and cotton in area this year, guessing had be corn somewhere close though. Thanks!
de2ks, In my area, the beans will begin to be a favorable source as soon as they are cut but they are not first choice at that time. The later we get into season, the more they become a favored source. If you can find a few fields that the farmer missed spots, even lower pods that had beans that combine could not get, will become major attraction as we progress later into season.
Left the house at 9:30 this morning, a buck was crossing the pasture South of my house. A mile further down the road, we saw another buck out on the prowl. We saw a third buck cruising two miles on down the highway. I drove to Jetmore the rest of the morning and early afternoon, I counted 7 road killed deer along the way. We are passing thru Garden City now and haven't seen one since about the Great Bend area.
Huge buck cruising tonight under my stand.
Talked to a gray hound coyote hunter today. He told me that he has had big bucks chasing does in odd places such as tiny drawn in some of the pastures they hunt. Said he saw big bucks all day long and they were in small draws in the middle of some these pastures.
Hunted tonight, saw one small 4 point and 3 different groups of does. Each group was 3-5 does. Hunting GW county. Pulled the card from one of my better camera locations and only had 49 pics in 2 weeks. Dinks and does, no mature deer on camera.
I pulled 6 cards yesterday that had all been unchecked for at least two weeks. Spread out from Argonia to Attica...all set on scrape's...not a single buck over 3yrs old?
Thanks doubledrop. The beans are still standing, not sure why the farmer that leases ground hasn't cut yet. I will keep at it, quite a difference from hunting the east coast. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
I got these pictures on a scrape Tuesday at 3:00 AM. Would you call this Lockdown!!!
Rambo- the big ones always head to the wide open pastures. Problem is, most bow hunters don't know how to hunt them if they don't have a stand and a corn feeder
Deer love the beans De2ks. I too hunt south of Wichita and see deer in the beans all the time cut or uncut. Harvest this guy on a bean field last night.
Thanks matte, good to hear cuz there sure is a bunch of beans. Awesome buck, congrats
I finally got to lay my eyes on a mature buck. He came in to my decoy to defend his doe. 25 yard shot and 40 yard recovery. You have got to love seeing them drop!! I have shot bigger bucks but he is one I had on my list, we believe he is 7 1/2 from looking back at real cam photos. He has awesome mass! It was a great morning with a ton of action! Keep after them and good luck to all that have9filled their tag yet!
Dont forget deer drives Thornton, something most bow hunters dont do.
Barry Wenzel wrote the book on shooting running deer with a recurve- something that takes considerably more skill than sitting in a tree over a feeder while scrolling through facebook. But then again, you knew that already didn't you? Doing deer drives with a bow was widely practiced in the 70's and 80's from what I was told by some locals. BTW, That buck actually scored 172". Man I'm glad to be out of that business. I can take a month and a half off now just to hunt in three or 4 states and Canada!
Keep on cornholing Z, keep on
I hope to find another buck this afternoon, I have a 13 year old young man out for just his 3rd hunt with a bow. His dad is a State Trooper and doesn't deer hunt. I took him gun hunting the last 2 years and now he is giving archery equipment a go! We had some bad luck this morning, had a buck coming straight at us at 30 yards another buck caught his attention and he turned and followed it. If that other buck had been 5 minutes later he would have had a shot opportunity! That is bow hunting!!
I had a really good sit last Sunday morning. Had 4 bucks chasing one doe through a CRP field. The lead buck was the big 8 that I'm trying to kill. Unfortunately I watched all of them run off of the property I hunt and did not appear to be stopping anytime soon! Hopefully he makes it back... I'm glad to see guys are still seeing bucks, we need another cold snap to get them up on their feet.
Drove across the State again today from West to East. I saw three new deer smears that had happened since Wednesday between Syracuse and Great Bend including one with a car parked along the next road with heavy front end damage.
Only saw one pheasant, tons of collared dove in Syracuse, and huge flocks of geese Saturday morning. Outside of Chase and Lyon county, only saw live deer one time during our trip across the state and back, we saw three does outside Larned this afternoon.
Picture doesn't do him justice.... but this big guy was out at 11 am thanksgiving.
Yeah I had a tough year and all four of my local buddies (SE Kansas) weren't seeing as many deer as usual.
I did see about twice the number of hunters as I did last year and they were all carrying crossbows...if this game plays out like it did in Oklahoma it won't be long before bow season is a different game entirely due to the dad-blasted machines
This was my worst year for seeing mature bucks. Spent most days between Nov.9 and Nov.25 on stand and saw only one buck over 4 years old. Kind of shocking really.
I hunt WS county. Things have changed unbelievably in the last 20 years. I believe TV and hunting shows have a lot to do with it. I see more out of state hunters and hunting guides all the time. It seems very little land is not leased. I also think it is likely the large number of hunters who travel, might kill a proportionally larger share of the big bucks as they spend more time in the stand than the locals...can't blame them at that. If I spent the out of state dollars and guide fees, I would be parked in a stand the whole time. That said, I think it would increase my chances of killing a big deer.