Cody Mohan | Mossy Oak ProStaff
I work quite a bit during the Kansas early deer season, and I spend most of my time deer hunting during the rut. One of the big advantages a Kansas bowhunter has is that we can hunt during the rut. For instance, in Missouri, gun hunters hunt the rut. Since I’ve lived in Leavenworth all my life, I have friends and family lands - thousands of acres - that I can hunt. But each season, I pick just one property, and that’s where I plan to hunt primarily.
I try to focus my deer hunting on a different piece of land each year. I generally have eight or nine properties I can hunt each year. Once I decide on which land I’ll hunt that year, I put out four to five trail cameras on it. I always get lots of photos of bucks and does, but I never seem to get a picture of the buck I take that year.
I think that Kansas is a great place to hunt whitetail deer. If you come the last week in October or the first two weeks of November and plan to bowhunt, you’ll probably see numbers of deer and quite a few big deer. You can buy a bowhunting tag for deer over the counter in Kansas, but I think you have to draw for a rifle tag. I don’t know for sure because I gave up gun hunting long ago. You can check Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism site.
Editor’s note: If you’ve always dreamed of hunting those big Kansas big whitetails, you may consider Cody Mohan’s recommendation of hunting there during bow season, since you can buy an over-the-counter tag, there are plenty of quality walk-in areas you can hunt. By studying the public hunting lands available in Kansas, you should be able to locate some very productive public hunting on many of these walk-in areas. Also, because the end of October through the middle of November is when the rut occurs, then throughout much of November, your chances are best for seeing bucks chasing does and expanding their home ranges. Although Mohan says most of the big bucks he takes he never has trail camera pictures of, he still censuses the property he will hunt each year with trail cameras before he hunts there.
If you plan to hunt the Kansas rut, you should be more concerned about the regions with numbers of does rather than the places with lots of bucks. During the rut, the bucks will be looking for does, not other bucks with which to fight. Kansas has quickly become one of the best big-buck states in the nation, and with Mohan’s information, you may have a chance to take a buck of a lifetime with a bow by planning a hunt for next year.
Cody Mohan of Leavenworth, Kansas, a ProStaffer of 6 years, was born and raised in Kansas.