Denton Rich of Mule Creek Outfitters (620-770-1257) checked in late last week with a report that most of the deer in his area are finally hard horned, with just a few of the little bucks still carrying the last remnants of velvet. He also says some bucks are tickling those newly formed antlers a bit as bachelor groups break up. Pretty soon those play-fights will turn into full-blown battles as the rut start to heat up.
Rich also reported that his eight-year-old cousin Justyn Pyle shot his very first deer on Sept 14 with his trusty .243 during the Kansas youth season. As the picture shows, I don't think turpentine and a scrub brush could get the grin off this happy hunter's face!
Justin's father Trent Pyle recounted the hunt:
"We watched the buck come through the CRP for about 20 minutes. Most of the time Justyn could only see the antlers over the grass. The deer finally stepped out of the tall grass about 75 yards away and stood facing us for a couple minutes while another buck was working his way towards him. When the second buck left the CRP to enter the corn field, this 8-point finally turned broadside and gave Justyn a perfect shot."
Congratulations Justyn and a thank-you to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for opening up the hunting season a week early for young hunters.