Well, after a LONG bow season and facing only a few opportunities to hunt before the entire deer season closed, I laid down my bow and picked up my Remington .308 and headed out ready to shoot a mature whitetail buck.
I set up on the east side of a ravine that went North-South. There are several such ravines located on a wide open 500 acre tract of CRP field and cattle pasture. It's land that I hunt with my bow but usually end up frustrated seeing deer a long way off and unable to lure them to my various set ups. Not a problem with a scoped firearm.
The wind was light and from the southeast. I got to my spot an hour before sun up and sat in the 20 degree crisp December air again counting my blessings for being able to enjoy such solace and scenery. Daylight began to dawn, then the sun crested the horizon to the east behind me. I gazed across the ravine to the long grass beyond and saw two does travelling north to bed in a stand of timber a half mile away. I was now alert hoping a seeking buck might show up also. The rut is all but over, but it's possible to catch a buck out cruising hoping to get lucky one last time. The does were 150 yards away which should be a relatively easy shot for an experienced rifle hunter, which I am not. Since coming to Kansas I killed one buck with an open-sighted 30-30 in 2002 and have been bow hunting ever since. Before this year Kansas only allowed hunters to buy one buck tag designated for one season/weapon. I have been choosing "archery only" for the past 5 years. Well, this year the rule changed and you could buy one buck tag good for any season, meaning I could now take up my rifle during rifle season. This time, however, I had a scoped .308 I bought at a pawn shop for my father to use if he ever wanted to hunt. I have only shot 20 rounds through this gun, but had a good practice session a few days ago giving me the necessary confidence.
Sure enough, ten minutes after the does came a mature 8-point buck on their scent trail at the same 150 yards. I knew he was above average and mature (4yrs old or better), at this stage of the season I'm happy to let a deer of his caliber ride in my truck! He took a while to saunter in to a shooting lane. When he did, I put the cross hairs on him and dropped the hammer. He fell immediately. 2008 season over.
While I was not able to harvest a huge trophy buck with my bow this season, it was pretty fun gun hunting today. I can say for certain I still prefer all that goes in to bow hunting and will continue to pursue whitetails with a stick and string. Having said that, if December rolls around and I haven't tagged out with my archery tackle, I'm getting out the .308 and letting it bark again!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.