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Kansas hunt operated by Texas hunting group produces high success on big whitetail bucks

One of our customers owns a highly successful accounting and insurance firm in Texas, and he has used his money in the past few years to buy and lease farms in Kansas. He has been hosting friends and business clients, taking some tremendous bucks.

"To give you an idea of what is possible here," the landowner said one of our guests wounded a buck two years ago, and it was killed later during the rifle hunt on a neighbor's land, and that buck scored 254 and was the fourth biggest killed in North America that year. We have killed a buck that scored over 191. We are not interested in taking a lot of hunters because we don't like shooting small and medium-size bucks; we like the 150s growing up to be 180s."

Citing increased costs, the outfitter has decided to accommodate paying customers to help him cover his expenses. You must apply for a license by June 2, so call now if you're interested.

House accommodations and home-cooked meals are included in the price of the hunt.

"We will show the hunters bucks for sure," the hunt provider said. "We have an excellent deer herd, and we don't overhunt. Last year we videotaped two bucks bigger than our biggest bucks that we killed last year. We have a huge number of deer. If hunters want to shoot some does, they're welcome. You're allowed five deer in our area, which is Unit 7. We have some great property scattered over the area, probably 8,000 acres or so if I added it all up. Last year we had a 181 buck shot on a little 40-acre place that borders us by a bowhunter from California. He got off our property and got shot on the neighboring 40 acres, and he got killed on the second day of bow season. The guy didn't even know what he had.

"I have 70 or 80 stands set up. You never have to hunt the same spot twice unless you want to hunt a particular deer. I have 20 places that I either own or lease, so we have plenty of ground. I don't put food plots on every place, just on those I have long-term leases on. That's another reason I'm selling a few hunts. I used to pay a lot less for my leases, and the price keeps going up.

"It is a draw hunt, and hunters must apply for tags by the end of May, but everybody who applies usually draws a tag now. "The rut is over by the time the rifle hunt ends. We usually kill the big deer during rifle season if it snows and the deer come to the food plots and feeders. The rifle hunt starts between about Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, depending on the year. The secondary rut might start about Dec. 1. The little ones by then have their butts whipped by the big bucks. If you see a hot doe, you'll see a big buck.

"The guy who helps me and looks after my property counted 245 deer in one afternoon in a 10-mile circle.

"It's a fun hunt. It's not like hunting in Canada, where I've sat and froze my ass off to see two or three deer and sometimes you don't see any in Canada. You're gonna see deer here.

"We have two houses, nice houses. The hunters will have their own private bedroom, shower, and TV. These aren't cabins; these are regular houses. "

Hunters have seen as many as 25 to 100 deer a day. One hunter passed up 25 bucks in one sittting. Hunter success depends mostly on the hunter's goals, but about 75% of rifle hunters and muzzleloader hunter score. The outfitter's friends usually bow hunt and are extremely selective, so usually their hunter success is no more than 50 percent, but they all could shoot mature bucks.

"Most hunters will have chances at bucks in the 150s and 160s," the outfitter said, "but we have some really big bucks, and so some guys naturally hold out for a trophy of a lifetime. We really don't like to shoot bucks that score less than 150 because they'll be bigger in just a year."

The average buck taken on this hunt in the past few years has scored more than 160 Boone and Crockett points, and the largest typical bucks most years have scored in the 170s or 180s with an occasional nontypical that scores more than 190 and up to about 220.

"I would say that we usually get six or seven really big bucks that we have already seen on our trailcam pictures," the outfitter said.

"Some years we will take only two or three of the biggest eight or 10 bucks we catch on our trailcams," the outfitter said. "We got a 17-point buck that scored 174 three or four years ago, and he was just the third biggest deer we saw on the trailcam pictures. We usually kill three or four bucks over 170.

"Most years our smallest bucks will score 150 or so."

He said he pays about $4,000 a year for a farmer to leave 6 1/2 acres of standing corn, and he also places mineral licks to help the deer grow big racks. He said most hunters see many deer.

"We hosted a former defensive tackle for Kansas State, and he saw 25 to 100 deer every day," the outfitter said. "One day he let 25 bucks walk by his stand just in one sitting."

Hunt WD2842
Hunt, guide ratio Price per person
Trophy whitetail, 1x1 (bow, rifle or blackpowder)
$5,250 for a full-service hunt
Season Lodging/meals
Bow: September - December except during rifle or blackpowder hunts.
Muzzleloader: September
Rifle: Late November through early Dec. or early Dec.
Ranch house quarters and home style meals are included on guided hunts. Semi-guided bowhunters supply their own meals and lodging.
Travel Licenses
The closest airport is Grand Island, Nebraska, which is about 75 miles away. Hunters could fly into Salina, KS, which is 115 miles away. Kansas City is 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive. The outfitter might be able to pick up hunters who fly to Grand Island, but otherwise expect to rent a car. Hastings is 50 away and it's about 25 more to Grand Island. No landowner permits are available in Kansas in 2009. You must apply for a tag in the drawing (deadline: usually early June). However, drawing odds should be 100% in this area. Details.
Not included Area
Meat processing and shipping, taxidermy, $71 hunting license, lodging, meals
Unit 7 in northcentral Kansas (click here for a map). Vegetation includes, tall grass, timbered draws and creek bottoms along with hedgerows and food plots.