How’s the rut progressing where you are? Lots of bucks are still moving like crazy in north-central Kansas, and a welcome weekend cold front just might add fuel to fire.
As is typical, Team HuntStand is attempting to make the most of the whitetail rut in several states, and this week, we’re in north-central Kansas, where the unusual warm fall continues. Fortunately, though, the heat doesn’t seem to be affecting buck movement. At least that was the report from Rader Lodge near Glen Elder, where a total of 9 of 11 hunters tagged out last week, hunting a variety of grounds leased by the longstanding semi-guided operation run by veteran whitetailer Jeff Rader.
As is typical for warm rut conditions in this part of the country, there was an obvious pattern to the successful hunters last week: most were hanging in stands near waterways, especially creeks and rivers, where the local deer seemed to concentrate. This was obviously no coincidence. Just one of those lucky hunters was New York’s Chris Delavera (see image at top) who arrowed his stud of a whitetail near a riverside stand, but the recovery was even more exciting. While trailing the deer, Delavera and Rader found the blood trail ended at the river and both were initially perplexed; yet luckily Rader had seen that trick before. Rader guessed that the buck had expired attempting to make the crossing, and he was right; Rader found the buck had washed up on a sandbar a full half-mile down river. Delavera was as relieved as you might expect.
Other successful hunters last week included Keith Kalk from Wisconsin (see above) as well as Rader Lodge
regular Jimmy Anderson (see above) and hardcore whitetailer Rich Dyer who hails from North Carolina;
Dyer’s buck is his third with the semi-guided operation in as many years. As for Team HuntStand, we’ve spent just one full day on stand so far, but already, there has been some excitement. After running into a young 10-point that was hanging around with a young forkie early this morning, it was time to scout out a new area and hang a new stand. While checking out an isolated oak draw surrounded by tall CRP grass, we managed to bump two does and a fine 3.5-year-old 10-point. A quick hike back to the truck for the stand and we were hunting again within the hour, and none too soon; just minutes later back came the 10-point looking for those does, but he got our wind and bolted. That was about 2 p.m., and just to prove that the rut is cranking hard, that very same buck came back to the draw at 4:20 p.m., but again circled and caught our wind.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds, as several others in camp also had encounters with shooter bucks today. A check of the HuntStand Hunting app shows we’ll have a temperature of 37 degrees tomorrow morn, climbing to a high of 72 degrees by about 4 p.m.. We should also have west to northwest winds most of the day, which will be ideal for the new Team HuntStand stand…stay tuned!