I was invited out to hunt whitetails in Kansas by my good friend Dean Capuano. Dean is the Director of Communications for Swarovski OPTIK North America. He is also the producer and host of OPTIK Quests on the Outdoor Channel.
Dean is probably one of my favorite guys to be in the field with. He’s also a great outdoorsman. So when given the chance to hunt with Dean, I always say yes.
We flew into Wichita, KS, in December for the last rifle season hunt. Our outfitter was an old-school deer hunter by the name of Ted Jaycox. Ted has been around hunting and outfitting for 40 years. His company is Tall Tine Outfitters. He’s also just an all-around good guy.
We arrived in camp on a Tuesday to blue skies and warm weather and started down our checklist. Signing license, sighting in and starting interviews with the camera crew. The next morning, we woke up to 11 inches of snow! This was truly a freak weather occurrence for southern Kansas in early December.
The temperature had plummeted to 5 degrees, and this set the stage for our 5-day hunt. We battled wind, snow and cold for days. This made the hunting incredibly hard. To add insult to injury, we were 2 days off of a full moon. Who cares, right? We were hunting deer in Kansas.
Well, mostly we were sitting and watching the occasional doe. The deer were nocturnal and hunting was SLOW.
On the next to the last night, I had an old mature deer come in, and I took the shot. Not knowing the area and getting dark, I felt like the best course of action was to back out and go back to camp to get the guys. This proved to be a wise move. We went down to where I shot the deer and couldn’t find any blood. We searched for a few minutes, and Josh Cluff from HS Precision found a little spot. He worked the trail slowly and walked up on the deer after about 40 yards. The deer had fallen beside a tree line. Had I gone after the deer immediately, I think it may have pushed him.
Dean shot a great deer on the last night, and Josh, well, he didn’t have an opportunity to shoot.
HS Precision provided us their new carbon rifle in 300 PRC. They were all topped with various Swarovski scopes.
I’m posting a few pictures of Dean’s deer. You will have to watch the television episode airing later this year to get the story.
All things considered, it was an incredible hunt. The last picture is one of more problems. My rental car had a flat, and the company refused to come fix it! We ended up plugging the tire with a kit from a Polaris Ranger 30 minutes before heading to the airport. It held up and got us home.
I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as like telling them. I know a number of you are working at home and don’t get out. These are trying times for all of us. If you are in the Atlanta area on April 10-11, there is going to be a outside Game Fair at the Barnsley Resort. Admission is free. Come by and check out the seminars.