Drought, Disease and Still Some Huge Kansas Whitetail and Mule Deer


Published: April - 2013

As usual, we have some good news and bad news from Kansas, which may affect your plans to hunt the wall-hanger bucks the Sunflower State is known for. The good news is that Kansas produced some great bucks last season. By mid-October I'd heard of at least a dozen bucks, both whitetails and mule deer, which had grossed around 200 inches or more. Those bucks were shot in the early archery and muzzleloader seasons.

The bad news is the ongoing, severe drought. Unfortunately, this drought is one of the reasons why so many good bucks were taken so early in the season. It's also to blame for the conditions behind the disease that killed a world-class monster whitetail topping 300 inches (not a typo, folks) last summer, plus hundreds or even thousands of other deer. First let's be clear that Kansas will produce some dandy whitetails and mule deer during the upcoming 2013 season, and it probably always will. But changes are happening, and trophy numbers and quality will likely be impacted, at least on a localized basis. To what extent, is the "170-inch" question. Some experts have some serious concerns for trophy hunting down the road. And some outfitters are cutting back on the numbers of hunters they take, to help preserve the quality of their annual kills. DRIER THAN THE DUST BOWL

The entire state of Kansas has been under a heavy drought for at least two years. Some parts of extreme southwest Kansas has been drier than any time in recorded history, including the infamous Dustbowl years of the "Dirty Thirties." Indeed, my family has been in eastern Kansas for more than 140 years, and we've never seen it so dry. Surprisingly last summer's hideous drought didn't seem to suppress antler growth. In western Kansas, some gagger mule deer and whitetails fell to guns and bows last fall, and whitetail fanatics in central and eastern Kansas shot some bucks grossing as high........(continued)

 
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