Contributors to this thread:
Kansas public Muzzleloader hunting?
I know this is a bowhunting forum but I'm looking for info about hunting public lands in kansas during early muzzleloader season. I'd like to know how bad the crowds and hunti g pressure is. Also would like to know which part of the state would be a good place to look at. Any info helps. Thanks
You will see some pressure as the state allows scoped muzzle loaders so it has turned into an early rifle season for alot of hunters. Mind you residents can hunt any season with any weapon with a Whitetail tag. Hunting will be tough with vegetation, crops and bugs. You're best bet could be a thick lot of hardwoods where the canopy has shaded out alot of vegetation. Look around areas with topography as well. You may be able to sit high and catch deer movement and make a plan. Get online and do alot of research as Kansas varies alot mile by mile. I consider that time of year one of the hardest hunts but can be very rewarding if you can find the right spot. Also keep in mind youth season is the week before and Archery starts at the same time as muzzleloader.
Its miserable with weeds and bugs unless you have a cut alfalfa field. I had 60 seed ticks on me opening evening last year.
Thornton’s right, become best friends with permethrin if you come!
Seed ticks, mosquitos, chiggers, poison ivy, hot temps, wet/dry conditions, wind. But it can also be productive find unpressured areas an try to scout ahead of time of course. Where i'm at it seems the public land gets pressured in August with people putting up stands an scouting so deer get smart quick. My experience is deer are in small pockets/grassy area's instead of thick timber/creeks.
i hunted it one time that was enough TO HOT
All of the above but because of that Not a lot of hunters out. And it can be one of the best times to get a good one. I see very few hunters on Glen Elder at that time.
Can't imagine gutting and dragging a deer that time of year. Gotta be fast too to prevent spoiling meat.
Then you'd be dripping sweat the whole time, fending off every flying insect in the county, elbow deep in hot blood. Extra potent dead deer smells with the heat. No thanks.
No room for error on your shot. Forget the rules for waiting them out. My daughter shot a doe last youth season. Hit her too far back. I was able to see her bed down so we waited about an hour. We tried to stalk in for a follow up shot but we jumped her when she stood up to draw. The flies were swarming horrible and the deer wasn't even dead yet. Unfortunately we didn't recover the deer.
2 biggest bucks I’ve ever killed were during muzzleloader (with a muzzleloader). Also two of my most memorable/hardest hunts... for all of the reasons stated above it’s definitely not for wussies if you want to get in after them. I believe I could have gotten into bowrange on one of them, but chickened out. Hard scouting and knowing the terrain will make the difference.
Heat, mosquitos... getting close to bedding under those conditions is not easy. Wind Conditions and entry/exit have to be flawless before I would even consider it.
As for the meat. Just be prepared and have plenty of cooler space.
I break my down at home and can have them on ice within an hour of loading the kill.
I’m with Ray and Charlie. Do it right, it’s a great time to take a nice buck. Happens year after year.
Hunt as early in the ML season as possible. Bucks should still be patternable and in bachelor groups.
You want alfalfa or soybeans. Mostly looking at last hour of shooting time.
Plan on scouting, from the distance, more than you hunt. See a pattern, go in the next afternoon and kill him. Get him the first time, though. Bump him and he’ll change.
Probably least crowded deer season on public.
Consider quartering the buck in the field, and pack it out or bring a big-wheeled cart. Know ahead were you can get ice.
You are going to sweat. You will want permethrin...but if you work a bit, the odds are really in your favor.
Agree with Mike. Find a pattern and go for it immediately if conditions allow.
One was in a standing bean field I saw walk to an oak tree that was dropping early the evening before... caught him 1/2 mile away glassing. Crawled on my hands and knees for nearly .4 of a mile and laid in between the bean rows for nearly 5 hours in 90 degree weather... wasn't so bad under the canopy of the beans, but still not fun. Shot him with about 45 minutes of legal light left. He walked by a tree stand I had, but I was afraid my exit route would bump him permanently.
Last one (this year), I got one photo on a trail camera that I checked that day. From the photo it looked like he was scent checking a button buck. Wind was right, temps were hot (mid 90's). I hadn't seen the buck since the year before, but made the decision to go in based off that one photo. Shot him with literally 3 minutes of legal shooting light left. He was walking across a food plot... never saw him put his head down to eat and was going to walk around the camera I had him on the night before. The camera was set up in a narrow section of the food plot so I could catch every deer walking through it. He could have been there all summer and I never knew it if he followed that same route everyday. I'm confident I could have killed him with a bow if I could have got a stand set up that day... again, chickened out.
Also... both bucks were 5+ years old and the best tasting deer to date. No joke. I don't have a set of scales, but I'm guesstimating they were both between 280-300 lbs. The fat on them was awesome.
Have killed several Pronghorn here in the same time period, good advice above. Have the Ice already in the cooler
Doesn’t sound like you’re married to a particular region. To avoid many of the negatives above and experience something different head to the western half of the state. Pick an area with a large amount of September walk-in areas and spend time picking apart milo fields and crp with your glass. Find some trails coming out of corn or milo to water sources. Will be a much more pleasant hunt than baking in the humidity over east while covered in ticks. Be prepared to quarter and pack a buck out.
Great advice from Sito, have the ice already in a cooler. Also know to layer the meat, ice meat and alot if ice on top leave the drain plug open to draw the water away from the meat. Good luck if you go.