This Deer Outfitter Hunts Three States


Published: August - 2000

Deer outfitter Ron Thompson of Bird-n-Buck Outfitters thinks big, and not just in the size of the deer he wants to take but also in the size of his operation. Not content to operate just in his home state of Oklahoma, Thompson has leased large tracts of land and set up full guiding services in three different states - Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The vast territory he hunts allows him to keep hunting pressure down, and thus trophy quality high. The upshot is, he takes Boone & Crockett qualifiers every year.

Thompson started outfitting in 1985 in his native Oklahoma, then expanded into Kansas when that state opened up to nonresidents. His movement into the North Platte River region in Nebraska is very recent. All three hunts offer a chance for quality whitetails, but Thompson says the Kansas trophy hunt offers the best opportunity for a truly big deer in the 150- to 180-class. The Oklahoma and Nebraska hunts yield mostly 130- to 150-class bucks with some edging as high as 160.

Thompson takes around 80 hunters a year. If that sounds like a lot, consider this: he has 250,000 acres under exclusive lease in the three states he spreads these hunters over, with hunts running from September through December. "Most years we don't even hunt a lot of the property because we have so much leased," he says. He explains that a lot of land is necessary to consistently produce big bucks. For example, some years in Kansas, the farmers might grow a particular crop and the deer hunting there will be great. The next year, if they grow something else, that farm might not be good, so he needs others to turn to. He says his biggest problem in Kansas is finding large enough properties. "My general rule is not to fool with places less than 5,000 acres," he says, "but in Kansas we have to take some smaller than that because it's all broken up so much by families dividing it over the years among their heirs."

Another negative........(continued)

 
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