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November 30: Steve Frantz

It’s hard to leave home and hit the road when your deer season has been as demanding as Steve’s has, but his gracious wife and an unspent Kansas tag allowed him a return visit to 180 Outdoors LLC for a muzzleloader hunt.

There were two primary hit list bucks Steve had been getting reports about. Earlier during archery season, he had encounters with two shooters right at dark, but wasn’t able to make it happen. Owner Matt Wonser invited Steve back for rifle season for another shot at a trophy. One of the bucks was a big eight, the other a thick nine pointer.

Once he arrived at Matt’s place, Steve shot the Traditions to ensure it was still holding a zero, enjoyed a steak dinner, then poured over trail cam pics. They decided Steve should set up on a hayfield the following morning.

Rutting activity on that first morning was high, but Steve’s hit listers didn’t show. He took a break for lunch but was back in the stand at 1 pm. Not long into his afternoon sit, a three and a half year old eight pointer approached the field edge then froze for four minutes. Steve knew this buck was on edge because a larger buck was coming. He was right.

Steve’s nine pointer popped out into the field with a doe and began running smaller bucks off. After he cleared the competition, he paused at 90 yards, but was behind a tree that interfered with getting a clean shot. The buck then did a large circle out in the field and when he was in the clear at 120 yards, Steve stopped him with a grunt.

The shot was a good one and immediately began bleeding, but the buck acted unfazed going back to tending his doe. A minute later he began getting woozy and fell over in the field.

Steve’s decision to leave home for another road trip was tough, but made sweeter by the buck he killed. Though it was November 30th, high rut activity was the key factor in this Kansas buck’s harvest.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik