Tater's Kansas Deer
After about 3 hours on the road towards North Central Kansas, I received word that I wasn't going to be able to hunt the property that I was planning to hunt on the Kansas opener. However, I wasn't too concerned. I have had quite a bit of luck hunting on the WIHA (Walk-In Hunting Areas) the state has to offer.
My partner, Brian Godfrey, and I decided to take time on the opening morning to do some scouting. We were excited when we found a piece of property with a lot of fresh sign. After hunting the first afternoon and the second morning without seeing one deer, we felt it was time to make a change.
We called a local landowner after lunch and he granted us permission to hunt his 160 acre parcel for a couple of days. The plan was to meet him after lunch and he would show us the property line. After visiting with him, we learned that he was a hunter also and he had spotted a couple of 8-pointers the previous evening. He gave us the low-down on the property and without hesitating Brian and I decided to quickly unload our gear and set-up close to a pond in the center of the property overlooking a some cedar thickets.
About a half-hour before dark we spotted three does headed our way. They knew something was up when they approached within forty yards of our blind. As they were giving us the eagle-eye, I noticed the rear doe kept looking behind her, down in the bottom near the closest thicket. I was fairly certain there was a buck in the area, but would he be a "shooter"? After playing peek-a-boo with the does for fifteen minutes, they finally returned back into the thicket. Now, any hopes that I had of laying my eyes on a Kansas monster had vanished. We were about to call it quits, when, out of the bottom ran a doe with a nice buck hot on her trail. She stopped on the other side of the pond and he stopped and started making a rub while facing away from us.
One look through my binoculars was all I needed to determine he was a great buck. All I had to do was wait for a broadside shot and I would have my hands on a 160" 10-pointer, that's what I thought!! After about 2 minutes he started to walk to the right, towards his doe, I bleated at him, and he stopped for a perfect shot at 160 yards. He dropped in his tracks!!
When I walked up to him I about passed out!! At the moment I pulled the trigger I didn't realize Brian and I had harvested a 200" monster!! After a closer look, he ended up having 15 scorable points and measured out at 203 7/8. I have to say thanks to my dad, Troy Haviland, for sharing with me his love of hunting and Brian Godfrey for sharing this experience with me!! It was truly a hunt of a lifetime!!