Wanted to drop you a couple of pictures from the 2007 early muzzleloader season in [location deleted].
This was my first muzzleloader buck with MAHA and my 2nd overall in 4 yrs of muzzle hunting (my 1st was the 5pt on my knee). This buck is a nice 10pt, but for this country, still only a young 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 yr old. I spotted this buck about 1pm when he stood up from his grass bedding area 20 yards from a dry, wooded creek bottom. The creek bottom allowed me to stalk to within 30 yards.
You can see from the sirloin picture when I processed him, what excellent condition these deer are in pre-rut, late September. Almost 2 in. of fat. I actually had fat left over that I discarded.
Also, with the abundance of rain last year, the landscape changed dramatically from previous years with the tall grass growth on native pasture land (not CRP). I expect it to be similar this year, but I will confirm during scouting over the next 3 weeks. A tip for those hunting this terrain of western Kansas, the tall grass just swallows up deer and with the limited visibility, one really has to find strategic high ground for patient glassing and avoid pushing deer with unnecessary walking.
Thanks for all your hard work in securing great hunting grounds. Just found out both my sons were successful in drawing for Any Deer tags, so we are looking forward to the upcoming season.
All who read Gerald's feedback that have never hunted the open lands should read that second paragraph again. We did have a lot of rain from spring through mid-summer.
With all the non-resident tags that were issued this year well above past years there will be a lot of first time western Kansas deer hunters. Our past experience with first time open land hunters is they quit glassing too soon, walk onto the land in the morning too late or haphazardly, get up and move too much during light. The next most common feedback is having seen a large buck, shot and nothing happened, typically miss-judging distance on open terrain under shooting the deer. This is one of the downsides of a self guided hunt operation. That is, no guide on the ground well familiar with the terrain to keep a hold on the novice open lands hunter.
Gerald's credentials for his assessment is that he lives in that country, a limited hunting time self employed business owner with businesses in two locations, raising a family and one of those great dads that insured his first son to go hunting harvested a bigger buck than dad. Clayton, pictured at right.
Thanks Gerald for the timely update.
Well thanks to the blizzard conditions that have hit us [March 2009], I found some time to send in some pics from our fall hunts. I have been impressed and somewhat intimidated by all the good pics folks send in, so I'll use that as an excuse for my procrastination. Picture taking and preparation is definitely a weak part of my "game" and an area I need to improve.
The deer pics are from September. Clayton, 11, harvested his 2nd buck in 3 years. This one taken on 9/14/08, during the youth season, is a 140 class 12 pt., besting his first buck. Some may recognize Clayton from his picture on the MAHA homepage with his first buck, a 130 class taken in 2007. I am proud of the fact that Clayton, with some encouragement from dad, has been willing to pass up some smaller bucks, to get a better opportunity. Not an easy decision when you're 40, much less 11.
Clayton also had a break thru year during pheasant season, getting his limit during youth weekend. His little brother, Caleb, also got to get in on some of the walking this year and is itching to get a gun in his hands.
My muzzleloader buck was taken on Sept. 24th on day 3 of my hunt. You guys know I primarily hunt the open country out west. This deer was taken about 1 mile from Clayton's deer in the same open terrain. I spotted this deer about 9am approximately 150 yards downwind and on the opposite side of a long draw. He was bedding down in a plum thicket and I only got a quick glimpse, not knowing if he was a shooter or not. After circling 1/2 mile and 2 hours later, I was within 35 yards. I dropped him on the edge of the thicket he was bedded in after he stood up to look around. After I shot, 2 other bucks jumped and ran out of the thicket to the other side of the draw. Not sure which of the 3 bucks I originally spotted. This deer is my personal best and field dressed at 206 lbs.
I saw several nice bucks during pre-season scouting this year and at least 3 larger than these. One I know was harvested by another member. The open country continues to produce big deer and MAHA has some outstanding properties.
Will be out for opening of turkey season if the snow melts.
This association has provided me an opportunity to teach my kids to hunt and enjoy the outdoors for an incredible value and the memories we have gained already are immeasurable. For that we are grateful.
Thank you. Gerald
Great season accounting. Always good to see the youth hunters, a special congratulations to dad and Clayton on two very fine deer.
By-the-way to the bird hunters out there that pheasant limit was without a dog.