October 8: Brycen Thornton


I moved to the big city (Kansas City) in July of 2017. I knew I didn’t want to drive a three hour round trip every weekend to hunt back home at my parents place, The Lazy D Ranch.

Growing up I was always very fortunate I had more than enough places to deer hunt. Here I am now in the city surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people and nowhere to deer hunt. Now that’s a problem! I knew I had to find some places to hunt and fish up here to keep my sanity. But how? Well using my onX hunt map app I sent out 150 letters to various landowners within the surrounding area city limits asking permission to hunt. I found this one special looking property that reminded me of land back home with valleys, cuts, natural pinch points and funnels, not to mention some nice open spots for some BioLogic food plots.

That was my #1 goal. I received many phone calls thanking me for asking permission the way I did. I had a majority of “thanks but no thanks”, and 4 very generous landowners gave me permission to hunt. There were many conditions that had to me met and I abided and did more because I did not want to
ruin these landowners trust. I ran cameras and hung stands that summer and got ready for season.

Every day that special property was lingering in the back of my head and then came the day. It’s now mid-October and season is rolling. I get a call from an energetic, sweet, going a mile a minute lady by the name of Linda and she happened to own this special property. She said, “I’ve been holding on to your letter for a while now trying to think of what kind of work I can have you do for me.” I said, “Talk about torture these last few months. But I’ll do anything you want!” Kansas City was a little bit of a culture shock as I came from a small town of Lamont, Kansas, population 35. You know the song home on the range? It’s like that but where the local mechanic is also a school bus driver, pet peacocks escape and starts roosting with the turkeys, and where your neighbor lives a mile away. But she was a good ole gal and not your typical housewife of Kansas City. She’s a nurse, mother of two, and still gets out to her farm regularly to feed and water her horses, complete chores, and even makes sure to wave when she rides her horses by my cameras!

I met her at her property and she puts me around slowly in her SUV, her energy and sweetness are next to none. I could barely keep up with her! She told me she owns this property with her three brothers and they are all generous enough they let a handful of people hunt. I wasn’t used to sharing a hunting
property with people I didn’t know. It was something new but I wasn’t worried because I knew I wanted to keep on everyone’s good graces. I had a mix off butterflies and a little bit of anxiety. Butterflies because I had just gotten permission on my #1 property and anxiety because season had already started
and I’m behind the game in scouting and getting ready to hunt this property. So that weekend I made a mad dash back to my parents, The Lazy D  headquarters in Lamont, Kansas to get a few Muddy ground blinds and stands. I jet back up to the city and put out my muddy pop up blinds up and some cameras out. I was blown away as to what I was getting on camera. This place was like Jurassic park but in the city limits.

2017 season comes and goes. I harvest a 167 inch 12 point with my PSE, however was unable to get it on film. I become good buddies with Mike and Brycen, the two son-in laws that hunt out there and we all get on the same page with managing, stand placement, and food plots. There no agriculture within five miles of this property so I knew with the addition of BioLogic food plots we could make this property pretty amazing.

When Linda told her daughter’s boyfriend, Brycen that she let some guy hunt their place he was not too thrilled to say the least. Then he found out I was from Southeast Kansas and he is as well. He thought he would see what I was about and it turns out we know a lot of the same people and are definitely on
the same page in deer hunting. 

We all knew the season of 2018 was going to be a season to remember. From myself, Brycen, his girlfriend Tiffany, who is Linda’s daughter planting beans in a thunderstorm, to them not getting over 3 inches in height, to dealing with the face pace lifestyle of Kansas city and trying to be a farmer in the
city, let alone. But what else do we know? Its Bow Madness right?! Whatever it took we made it happen. We ended up broadcasting BioLogic clover, turnips and radishes into the beans before a timely rain and they just shot up like the jolly green giant! We were back on track. Brycen and Tiffany were already shooting PSE’s so I figured, what a story this could be so let’s all 3 of us make it happen on film!

“Stickers” we called him, was the first deer I had on camera in 2017 and in 2018 he was showing up pretty regularly. His body looked like a cow and his rack didn’t disappoint either! In Kansas City, deer die of old age or get hit by cars. This big boy eluded all the cars and was going to die of old age if we did not harvest him. I told Brycen that was his deer so opening day showed up and so did “Stickers!” We had some miscommunication on yardage and Brycen skimmed his back hair. We went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We went from having Stickers on the Reconyx every day to only getting
him two times in two weeks.

Now, here it is October 11, 45 degrees and high pressured sunny day. Deer cast says October 10 th and 11th will be great. You could just feel that it was going to be an amazing evening. My dad’s in town as I’m trying to get him a city limit buck on another property. Brycen is set out to self-film himself getting
redemption on Stickers. As my dad and I have 20 does in front of us at 6:30pm I get a txt saying, “Stickers is down!” The big boy came out on the biologic food plot checking out some does and munching on turnips and radishes. He got his “last bite!” Talk about an accomplishment to whack this big boy and to self-film the kill with two angles! As Brycen is a full time college student he was able to strategically pick and choose which days to hunt and which to stay home and do homework thanks to DeerCast! The city limit hunting has just begun as we still have my Dad, myself and Tiffany to kill!

Stayed tuned to DeerCast for the DeerCast NOW kill shot video coming soon!

A special thanks to Linda and all the kind landowners that let me hunt in the city. Many people think you have to have thousands of dollars and lease property and that the good ole days of just having permission to hunt are over. If you do things right and respect them and their property you’ll have more
than enough property to hunt.

Want to see video of the actual shot? Watch it right now, exclusively on the DeerCast app. Get DeerCast for iOS or Android.  

As told by Cody Thurston