by: Jessica Holsteen, Bowtech Shooter
A Kansas whitetail buck has always been on my hit list for years. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Kansas this year with my stepdad. We had planned to stay and hunt for a week, and honestly I knew I would probably see a handful of nice shooter bucks, but I would have never guessed it would have turned out quite like it did.
It was the second evening we hunted, my stepdad went to his spot, and I had turned and went to my spot. When we had come to Kansas a few weeks prior to scout, I had put up some tacks leading to my tree. I was planning to take my climber up; however, I was unable to locate my tacks. I tried my best to remember where on earth that tree was. I veered off this old path where I thought the tree would be, but as I was looking around I could not find a tree even remotely suitable to take a climber up. I walked into the woods a little further, along the creek and located a tree that seemed like it would work. After I attached my climber to the tree, I began to attempt to climb it, and needless to say, I was unable to do so. I did not examine the tree quite enough before I made the decision to climb it, as it had a vine wrapping around it, making it impossible to climb with a treestand.
As I soon realized this was not the brightest of ideas, I got back down, put my climber back together, and headed to find a better spot with a tree I could actually climb. I ended up going further down the old path like I was suppose to in the first place. I soon realized where my tree I had marked a few weeks earlier was; however, I did not want to walk back in the woods any farther because I did not want to take the chance of running the deer out. I quickly came across the perfect tree right on the old path. This tree was it I thought. I could shoot anything that walked down the path up to 40 yards away, or crossed the lower part in the creek 20 yards away.
“He began to walk again and I did a mock grunt with my mouth and he froze in the perfect spot. I drew back and let my arrow fly, and THWACK!”
An hour went by and a little spike chasing a doe went right by me, running all around on the hillside in front of me. Another hour went by and I began to rattle and do a couple of buck and doe grunts. Not even 10 minutes later here comes a nice shooter buck about 80 yards away following the same path the doe had taken earlier in the day. I tried grunting softly and he acted like he could care less, so he walks off. Then 5 minutes later another shooter buck comes from the same spot the other buck had came from, and goes the same route, and still doesn’t pay attention to my grunt calls.
As I am being hopeful and waiting patiently, the sun is setting and the woods are becoming darker. It is the time when even the squirrels go back to their nests and the woods are completely silent and peaceful. All of a sudden I start to hear leaves crunching, as if something is walking near me. I look up and I see antlers coming down from the hillside, headed right for me. I stood up, had my release on my string, and was ready for him to step into the old path. As he walked closer and closer I could feel my heartbeat in my chest, and my body start to quiver, because this was it. This was the moment I had been hoping for! The buck stopped only a whopping 15 yards in front of me in the woods, on the other side of the path, but I couldn’t shoot! There was a tree in the way! He began to walk again and I did a mock grunt with my mouth and he froze in the perfect spot. I drew back and let my arrow fly, and “THWACK!” I knew I hit him as soon as I heard that sound, and I even saw my arrow and lighted nock hit right behind his shoulder. My arrow had made a pass through and I knew I had him!
Right after I shot him, he ran about 40 yards and crashed. At this point words could not express how excited I was. My stepdad called me 30 seconds later and asked if that loud noise was me, and I had told him I just shot me a Kansas monster! Since I knew my buck was dead, I climbed down, retrieved my arrow, and went over to where he had crashed. I walked 40 yards down that old path and I saw antlers sticking up through the weeds, just 10 yards off that path. I walked over to him and could not believe just how big he was! This was it, I finally filled a Kansas buck tag! I felt so proud of myself as I scouted, picked the perfect tree (the second time around), made a perfect shot with my Bowtech Eva Shockey Signature Series, and recovered him, all while on public land. This goes to show that hard work, patience, and determination will pay off in the end!