Overall Status: This report is going to cheat east just a bit as I’m actually hunting in Missouri, but I’m close enough to the Kansas state line to call it a Great Plains hunt. Here near Belton, just south of Kansas City, bucks have been few and far between, which I attribute to a tough combination of the full moon, bad weather, and the dreaded lockdown. Most of our hunting has been near field edges, and the deer seem to be staying deeper in the woods where high winds this past week have put plenty of acorns on the ground. I have one afternoon sit left and am hoping to finally put everything together and punch my tag.
Rubs/Scrapes: Tuesday afternoon I sat on an established scrape line in a finger of woods between two soybean fields, one picked and one standing. The amount of scrapes along the woodline was impressive, with torn up ground every 10 yards or so, but it was obvious no bucks had been hitting them for at least a week.
Fighting: An interesting story out of central Kansas comes from my friend Phil who arrowed a beautiful buck Wednesday. Of the five bucks he saw that morning, three were running together, the biggest of which Phil tagged. From the cell phone photos he passed my way, I put the deer in the 150 class. Weird behavior for mid-November, for sure.
Daytime Movement: The moon was bright earlier this week, leading to some pretty slow morning and evening sits. However, with the rut going on, there’s been some movement in the middle of the day. We busted one buck that was out cruising Wednesday afternoon, another big buck was spotted about 9:45 a.m. just before I walked out and, a late breaking report, one of the hunters here just killed a small eight-point after noon today.
Estrous Signs: Bucks have been seen nosing does across the Great Plains. Here in Missouri, there have been a surprisingly few fawns spotted that are typically wandering the woods this time of year.