My son, Ryan, and I were hunting the archery season with our good friends, and excellent outfitters, Rocky and Brenda Edwards, of Monster Bucks. Our original hunt had to be changed, due to a conflict in my son's work schedule. Rocky was booked full this week, but found an 80 acre property that we could hunt; all his other ground was unavailable due to other hunters. Upon scouting the area, Ryan and I found two spots we each felt good about to hang tree stands. Ryan hung two stands, and I one. We hunted the first two days, seeing several doe and some small buck, on Monday and Tuesday. We knew that seeing doe this time of year was a good thing, as the date was November 10th. On November 11th, we were both in our stands once again. Shortly after daylight, I saw a giant body buck with five heavy points on his left, and his right side main beam was broken just above the G-1 (brow tine.) I sent a text to Ryan stating that the buck was a 275 pounder with 10" brows, but not a shooter due to the missing antler. I called him The Stud. We hunted the rest of the day with no success. On Thursday, November 12th, we both saw several doe and a few small buck. Midday, I text Ryan to see if he wanted to scout some more of the farm we were hunting, but he was content to sit in his stand. I got down and began to scout the South end of the farm where I had been seeing most of the deer activity. As I walked the edge of a hay field that bordered a brushy draw, I discovered a heavy broken antler. Immediately, I recognized it as the rest of the antler to The Stud. I packed the massive antler into my pack and continued to scout. I couldn't find a better spot to place a stand, so I headed back to meet up with Ryan. I told him that I know he likes to put puzzles together, so I pulled the antler from my pack and stated, "Let's see you find the other piece to this puzzle." Ryan was impressed with the four point beam mass. We felt with this find, we would place The Stud on our hit list. Friday, November 13th, we hunted our stands and saw little deer activity, so at midday, we decided to hunt the evening on another of Rocky's farms that became available. I saw several buck chasing on the property but Ryan saw nothing and our day was over. Saturday the 14th, we were on our last full day to hunt. We decided that we would return to the 80 acre farm that had several doe and The Stud. We climbed into our stands well before daylight, as the morning sun lit up the woods and fields, I could see a good size buck and three smaller buck chasing a doe. As anticipated, they left the field straight away from me. Within minutes, Ryan contacted me and said he just shot a nice buck. I knew it wasn't the 5x4 I just watched leave the field, because he left South and Ryan was a couple hundred yards to my West. I was exhilerated that Ryan connected! Within 10 minutes, I had five doe sneak in on me from a draw to my east. They came up on me within 10 yards and stopped for several minutes, just checking out the surroundings. They approached so quickly, I didn't have time to get my bow off the tree hanger...big mistake! I watched the doe beneath me for several minutes, and they kept looking up at me to figure out what I was. As I should have expected several minutes later, here comes a buck on the same trail the doe came from. Right away, I recognized him as the broken rack Stud. He stopped at 32 yards on a slight incline, looking in my direction with the five doe below me. At this point, I realized I was going to have to very slowly make a move for my bow because the doe were becoming restless. I was able to get my bow off the hanger, but as I focused on the buck, a doe apparently spotted my movement and took off with the others. The Stud froze; as I made my draw, he was looking right at me. I knew this was my only shot and I had to make it good. I put my 30 yard pin just behind his shoulder and squeezed my release. Whack! My arrow found its mark and away he ran on a dead run. I watched him run out of sight, but felt certain I made a lethal hit. I contacted Ryan and we decided he would come to my stand and we would recover my buck first. We found my buck after a 200 yard blood trail. This was the missing piece to the puzzle and the antler fit perfectly to the rest of the main beam. All together, my buck was a 10 point with a couple sticker points that gross scored 169 3/8. We recovered Ryan's buck, which was a 13 point, scoring 136.
What a fantastic end to our Kansas archery hunt! Thanks to Rocky and Brenda of Monster Bucks!