Kansas Trophy Hunt
by Justin Lee
When whitetails are mentioned, the first place that comes to mind is Kansas. Being from Georgia, you just don’t get the opportunity to see the quality or even the amount of game you do in KS. It’s a completely different world. So when my good friend, Rusty Willis, with Stateline Trophy Hunters called and asked me to come out, I jumped at the opportunity. I got with Rusty, planned out the dates, bought a leftover tag, and waited anxiously for October to be Kansas bound.
Instead of flying, two of my friends from Georgia, Rodney Evans, and Jason Walls, were going there too, so we decided to take a 13-hour road trip together. We arrived at 2:00 AM on the morning of the hunt. We got all of our gear ready, and then tried to get a little sleep. With the anticipation for the morning’s hunt, I just tossed and turned until guide, Hunter McPherson, came in the room telling me it was time to get up.
The first morning was a little warm, and slow; only a few deer passed by my stand. Hunter and I went back to camp to regroup. Rusty mentioned another spot we should try, but we would have to hang another stand to hunt it. Hunter and I grabbed a bite to eat, and ran to the woods in the middle of the day to throw up two stands in preparation for the evening hunt.
Right off the bat that evening I knew we are in for some excitement. Not 10 minutes after sitting down, were covered up with deer. I believe we saw 12 the first night in the stand, mostly small bucks and does. The next few days it was the same thing. Then, we got a break from the warm weather when a cold front rolled in. It was game on!
The next morning, we got in the stand about 45 minutes before light. Hunter got the camera arm set up, as I situated my gear and myself. Slowly daylight breaks. The wind was perfect. I looked to my right, and two small bucks—an 8-point and 6-point—were walking down the draw. The 8-point made a scrape, looked back, and quickly moved on. Holding my breath, I Iooked in the direction the buck looked, and I saw a big bodied, mature 10-point headed straight for the stand. The buck was walking the same trail the two before him took.
The giant Kansas buck stopped at the scrape, making made sure he left his mark. As the buck fed into range 25-yards, I drew my bow. I released the arrow, which blew through both lungs. As the buck ran off, you could see the damage done by the G5 Havock. Immediately, Hunter called Rusty to let him know we were done, and would need some help on the recovery. Meanwhile, I swear the tree is shaking from the adrenaline rush that overwhelmed my body. I’ll never get tired of that feeling! I regained my composure and looked to where my buck had just ran off; here comes another 135-inch, 8-point. The buck walked 20-yards from the tree and fed around until Rusty pulled up in the Intimidator side by side.
We climbed down out of the tree, and picked up the blood trail. Shortly, Rusty throws his arm across my chest as if something has spooked, and says, “Look Out!” In front of me lays my Kansas monarch, and the excitement begins.
I cannot thank Rusty and Stateline Trophy Hunters enough for letting me hunt with them in Kansas. I also want to give a big thanks to Hunter for putting up with me in a tree for a week. I’ve been blessed to be able to go on trips all over the world, but nothing is ever better than sharing it with a group of friends, and that’s what you get with Stateline Trophy Hunters. For me, it was definitely a hunt of a lifetime with a great group of guys. I will be going back as long as they let me, and I recommend you check them out for your hunt of a lifetime.