Unfortunately, opportunities for nonresident hunters have been next to non-existent. A very limited number of draw permits have been offered to nonresidents only the past two seasons. With a licensing service virtually flooding the draw for unit 17 during those years, out-of-state trophy hunters stood next to no chance. But now, thanks to this year's transferable landowner permits, a great opportunity has opened for out-of-staters.
Well-known Kansas sportsman J. R. Dienst has accumulated about a dozen landowner permits and sole access to the 70,000-acre Tate Ranch near Lakin. Dienst recently said he has a few permits unspoken for, and would like to fill them with hunters who are looking for a serious trophy deer hunt.
Dienst is a highly successful farmer who's a "been-there, done-that" type of hunter. He's done Africa several times, knows about every square inch of Alaska, has hunted just about everything in North America and has a house full of trophies. One entire wall is filled with whitetails and mule deer that he's taken in Unit 17. In recent years, he's taken record book class bucks with a centerfire rifle, a muzzleloader and a bow. He has scouted and hunted all of these bucks on his own. Last fall, for instance, he tagged a 198-gross mule deer with his bow. The year before he took a 220-gross buck with blackpowder.
Dienst has been scouting the Tate Ranch for nearly 10 years, waiting for the chance to set up an operation there. He says the more he learns about the ranch, the more he's impressed. Last November, he and noted New Mexico outfitter Ross Johnson spent some time on the ranch and saw about a dozen........(continued)