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November 25: Lee Novotny

KANSAS KANSAS KANSAS. I think I am in love with Kansas. The past few years I have hunted with Booty in Kansas watching him harvest spectacular bucks. I knew my time had to com—eventually. During my first morning hunt I was set up on a property I have hunted in past years with little luck, but knowing there were excellent deer in the area. The first hunt started as they had in the past with little movement. Then a doe came running past and I knew something was to follow, but I never expected what I saw. I was at full draw in a flash as this buck came running in, stopped at 50 yards behind a brushy tree and took off running again. No shot opportunity on the biggest deer I have ever seen, as he ran by at 35 yards. Excitement and disappointment all within seconds. But that’s hunting.

On what I believe was the eighth day of the hunt and only another day and a half left before returning to work, I decided I had to get back in the stand where I first saw this buck even though the wind was not ideal. This was an afternoon hunt and we had does come in early directly down wind from us. Our scent elimination practices paid off as the does walked through our wind without catching our scent. About 15 minutes later I could hear noise in the brush where the does came out, then a grunt, another grunt, then the big boy stepped into view for a split second.

He stood behind some trees for a few minutes, allowing me to put my heart back in my chest. Then he entered our view on the same trail the does used, directly down wind. He did not catch our scent either as he walked through our wind. He came directly in front of the tree stand where he ran through on my first hunt.

Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a deer of this caliber at 30 yards, and definitely not twice. I made a perfect shot and he expired after about 30 yards. Words cannot describe the feelings I had when I knew I had harvested a buck of a lifetime. Talk about wanting to jump out of the tree. I was ready to go see him and in shock at the same time. I cannot thank Scent Blocker, Rage, and PSE for the quality products they make allowing me to harvest such a spectacular animal. Oh, and thanks to Booty for hanging my stand when I couldn’t get off work to help.