Another Legend Has Fallen

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

During the summer of 2008, Bo first stepped onto our Kansas property and immediately began running trail cameras, only to get thousands of pictures of numerous quality bucks.  One of the first, and most visible, was a heavy nine point with kickers and long tines.  After the first dozen or so pictures, his main identifiable trait was his crab claw G4.  Based on body size compared to other deer on the property, Bo knew this buck was only a 3 1/2 year old and decided that this buck would get the pass.....hoping that he would continue to call this property home and grow into a true Kansas giant.  And so the story of the Crab Claw 9 begins.

My first trip down to the property was in the spring of 2009 to help Bo shed hunt the thick draws and seven-foot tall CRP.  I love shed hunting, but when we stepped onto this property, I thought we would never be able to find an antler hiding in the tall grass.  Not long into the search, I spotted what looked to be a brow tine laying in a thick clup of grass next to a creek crossing.  As I approached the shed, I realized this was the biggest side I'd found and when I raised it up, Bo knew exactly who it was - the Crab Claw 9. 

We searched and searched for the match, but fortunately on Bo's next trip down to the farm with another friend, the match was found 150 - 200 yards away.

With CC9's 3 1/2 year old set on display during the summer of 2009, we could only imagine how much additional growth he would put on during that year.  Again, we ran half a dozen cameras on this small property, only to find out that once again, CC9 was running with his best summer friend, Potato Digger.  These two bucks were ALWAYS together.  Every single time we would get a picture of one, the other was right behind.  But that would all change come mid-September when PD would push CC9 onto neighboring properties.  But every now and then CC9 would show up on camera to prove that he was still alive.

During the fall of 2009, we never had an encounter with CC9 while on stand and we did not find either of his sheds the following spring.  We were beginning to think that maybe CC9 had met his match and not made it through the season.  But that changed when we began talking with our neighbor Craig.  We found out that PD had pushed CC9 over to his farm and CC9 was still a regular on his farm and growing strong.  Craig ended up finding both sides to CC9 on his farm that year.

Since we had not seen CC9 on our property in nearly eight months, we were pumped to see him running with Potato Digger again this past summer.  Not only was PD still displaying his domanance, but CC9 had put on A LOT in the past year.  This buck was now pushing 180 inches and had a six inch drop tine, which he broke just as he came out of velvet.  He had indeed grown into a Kansas giant! 

Just as in years past, once mid-September came, CC9 moved due to PD's dominance.  However, this fall CC9 moved north....way north.  This buck actually moved over a mile north of this typical core area.  We were not sure if this was due to a hot doe that led him north or just the dominant nature of other bucks in the area.  Either way, after mid-October, we had not seen any evidence of CC9 on our property.

As we hunted through the November rut and the December gun season, we still had no evidence that CC9 was still alive.  That was until the night of December 9th when Bo's father spotted CC9 standing in the driveway of our property as they were passing by.  In an instant, the ghost had returned!  After this encoutner, CC9 showed up on camera just like his old self.  Since Bo had harvest Potato Digger earlier in the season, CC9 did not have that dominant presence to compete with anymore.

And on the evening of Christmas Eve, CC9 made one of his few and far mistakes.  Our neighbor Craig was sitting in the NE corner of his property with bow in hand and at 4:00 PM, CC9 stepped out of the cedars.  After a little cat and mouse and nearly winding Craig, CC9 walked right under his stand and presented the perfect quartering away shot at 20 yards.  The arrow flew true and the final chapter on a great story was finally written.

It will be odd shed hunting and running cameras in 2011 knowing that we will not have any more encounters with CC9 or Potato Digger.  These two bucks were legendary to the property but now hopefully a few new Kansas giants will fill their voids and give us a new challenge for the 2011 season.

We Need Your Vote!!!

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Friday, December 10, 2010

Hey guys and gals,

As many of you know Scott and I started filming our hunts for an outdoor program this year. It is called Midwest Whitetail and all of our episodes can be viewed online at I encourage all of you to watch the show because it can be really entertaining and informative. The best thing about it is that almost all of the prostaff are hardworking weekend warriors. We all have jobs and none of us are paid to be on the show. We just do it because we love it and, for the most part, we're out hunting private farms and not with outfitters. Serious deer hunters will enjoy it because we often have a lot of history with the deer we are hunting (see my hunt for a buck called "Potato Digger" here ).

In the past, the show was always online in a "semi-live" format. Generally, hunts would air on the show within a week of the actual hunt occuring. There is nowhere else where you can see that type of turnaround time. It's pretty remarkable what our producers are able to accomplish in a very short period of time.

Recently, Midwest Whitetail began airing on the Sportsmans Channel. The Sportsmans Channel is available through many satellite and cable television providers and is dedicated to only outdoor programming. Each year, the Sportsmans Channel has fan voting and awards are given out. Midwest Whitetail was nominated for best new series. It's important to show sponsors that we're a popular show so that we can continue to be on TV. Regardless, we will continue to be online too. Please take a minute and vote for us as the "Best New Series" by clicking on this link . It requires that you vote in other categories too, but you can simply vote "No Choice" if you don't have a favorite.

Thanks, y'all!

A November to Never Remember

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, December 06, 2010

I never thought we would say that we are glad November is over and December is here, but we sure are this year. During the past five weeks, we have experienced some of the worst "rut" hunting and movement that we have ever seen. There are many theories out there, but Bo and I have noticed three primary "irregularities" this year.

The first was the extremely early crop harvest and massive acorn crop. The corn harvest started in early to mid September and was for the most part complete by the end of October. The soybean harvest fell right in line with the corn as well. The acorn crop was one of the best in recent memory. However even with the mast crop slowing down and the fresh harvested fields, we still did not see much chasing in the open fields and one would believe that open fields only allow you to see more activity and movement. Most of the fields that we were hunting were not tilled under either and had relatively significant spillage. But with the large expanses of available grain spillage and the remaining mast crop, did this spread the herd out a little more and cause the does to be a little less congregated?

The second variable this year was the rutting moon occured in late November. Two full moons occurred during the prime time this around the 25th of October and another around the 22nd of November. Many people are saying that this years rut was simply a drawn out, extended version. We had does coming into estrus from the first couple days of November through this past week. We noticed very little crusing and very little mid day activity. We did have one good morning where we had a hot doe being pursued by two shooters (which never came into range unfortunately). But it seemed that if you had a hot doe in the area, you'd see mature bucks, but if you did not have a hot doe in the area, you would see very little movement.

The last oddity that we've noticed this year is the large number of fawns still still tagging along with their moms. We are getting dozens of pictures of does with single fawns and twins right by her side. Many of these fawns are still extremely undersized for this time of year. Last year we had a very strong second rut, did that produce more fawns to be born later in the spring, hence causing there to be less does coming into estrus during early to mid November?

Many questions have come up during the last five weeks of hunting, but cold weather is finally here. As we've come to the last month of the 2010 season, we have many unfilled buck tags that need to be attached to some bone. We will be targetting food plots and cut corn and bean fields as the temps continue to drop.

First Pull is BACK!!

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010

You may remember back to June when we posted up our first velvet trail cam pic of First Pull.  He was the very first deer we got on trail camera this year.  After that first picture, we got numerous velvet pictures of him up until mid July and then he seemed to turn into a ghost - something that those elusive mature bucks do year after year.  Due to standing crops we decided to back off of the property during the latter part of the summer, just to let things settle down, knowing that we'd be hitting the property hard once the harvest began. 

As the crops started to come out, we increased our hunting pressure on the property, but just could not find First Pull again.  Had he all ready been harvested, had he moved to another area on the property, was he even living on the property were all questions we started to ask our selves.  We had been running a couple different cameras on different part of the property and on active scrapes and just could not find this buck.  However, with one card pull in early November, First Pull finally showed up.

It was very reassuring knowing that FP is still running the property.  But since these latest pictures, FP has actually been spotted in an open field during daylight and multiple large rubs have been found in the area he was seen entering the field. 

Last year this buck was seen a couple of times during late season and we hope that he will be letting his guard down some this season as well!

A Buck of a Lifetime

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2010

During the opening weekend of Missouri's rifle season, a good friend of ours was fortunate enough to shoot a buck of a lifetime during the first five minutes of the 2010 season!  From what we've heard, this HUGE nontypical will score right around 190 inches gross, with 20 scoreable points.  This buck has to have between 40 and 50 inches of mass alone!  We haven't had a chance to see it personally yet, but cannot wait to see this Missouri Monarch come back from the taxidermist and we can put our hands around those enormous bases!

Lee is one of the nicest guys you could ever have the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with.  The generosity that he has shown towards Bo and I is simply indescribable and we cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for us!  We know that Lee is extremely humbled to have harvested such a magnificent animal and this couldn't have happened to a better person.  Congratulations Lee on one amazing buck!!!

Rut Update

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010

Temperatures are finally starting too look like fall!  Highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s have definitely sparked an increase in deer movement. Based upon what we've been seeing from the stand during the past three or four days, it seems that the rut in our area is still a week or so away. All of the does that we have seen have not had a buck trailing, chasing, or scent checking them. The bucks that we have been seeing have not been cruising yet either. This past weekend, we finally got the cool temperatures we've been anticipating, and were able to rattle and grunt in 8 different bucks. The movement seemed pretty equal in the afternoons and mornings, but the majority of the afternoon movement happened right before dark. However, it seems that more of our fellow hunters were seeing much more activity in the mornings than the evenings and little to no daytime activity. The cool temps and new moon made for perfect daytime movement conditions, but it seems the bucks just aren't at that stage of the rut yet. During the following week, we will be dedicating four days to catching up with Crab Claw 9. November 11th - 20th has been historically the best 10 day period for deer movement that we've seen on our properties. This weekend we will definitely be packing lunches and will plan on all day sits.
Also, in the past week we have seen a large increase in buck sign on all of our properties. Scrapes and rubs are popping up everywhere. Community scrapes are getting hit hard. Sign post rubs are getting worked. New shooter bucks are showing up on cameras. We're not sure why our buck sign was so delayed this year, but things are starting to turn around for us. Hopefully during the next two weeks, a few tags will be attached to a couple hit listers!
Good luck to everyone in the woods!

Potato Digger Show is Up!

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010

The hunt for Potato Digger is now up on Midwest Whitetail. Our producer, Greg Clements did a great job of editing the footage... even though I forgot to send one of the tapes.

Go check it out and let us know what you think!

Click on the logo to view the show!

Potato Digger: The Final Chapter

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 marks my 3rd hunting season in KS after moving from GA in 2008. What a ride it has been! Last year, I took a dream buck that grossed in the 170's on our 80 acre lease. This year, I took a deer that is a true legend of our Kansas farm.

In the summer of 2008, I got my first trail camera pictures of a nice 3 year old buck that would soon become known as Potato Digger. My first on the hoof encounter with Digger occured in November of 2008 while hunting with my wife, Sarah. We'd seen a few bucks already that morning when I heard a deer slipping through the CRP behind us. At first glance, I reached for my bow, but quickly elected to pass the 125ish 8 point at a distance of 15 yards. Afterall, it was early November and we were in the Land of Giants. We saw many good deer that weekend, but the big boys never presented me with any shots.

A few short weeks later found me back on stand in late December. It was to be my last KS hunt of the year. We were experiencing some sub-zero temperatures that day and the deer movement was fantastic! At the 11th hour, who would show up again? It was the wide young 8 point, and he was once again at a mere 15 yards. I'll admit, it was quite tempting as his antlers were larger than any of my GA bucks, but I didn't move to the Midwest to shoot 3 year olds. I felt that he needed at least one more year.

In late winter of 2009, I invited Scott to start hunting the property with me. We went down in March to shed hunt. We were walking along a creek that runs through the CRP when Scott spotted a shed that I had nearly stepped on. When he picked it up, he said, "Sweet, it has a potato digger point!". Little did we know, but he'd just uttered the words that we would use time and time again for the next two years. The shed that Scott held, belonged to the young 8 point that I'd passed on twice during the 2008 season.

During the summer of 2009, we ran trail cams and on the first card pull discovered that the potato digger buck had made a big jump! We estimated that the 4 year old whitetail had put on an additional 20 inches of bone and had some very impressive main beams. He was a deer that we definitely wanted to pursue. During our first hunt of the year, Potato Digger made his first appearance. We were sitting in a double ladder stand that we'd hung just 30 yards from where we'd found Digger's shed. While waiting on a young doe that was feeding to the East of the stand to give me a shot, I caught movement to the West. I quickly whispered to Scott, "Big buck! It's Potato Digger!"

By the time Scott got the camera on him, I was at full draw and looking through my peep sight at the big whitetail. 35 yards is well within my comfort zone, the only problem was that he was quartering to me. I try to avoid those shots at all costs. We hoped that he would take the same path that some earlier does had chosen, but as luck would have it, he fed directly away from us. We were pretty bummed.

During our next trip down, I was fortunate enough to arrow my largest whitetail to date. Potato Digger was safe from me for the remainder of the 2009 season... but Scott still had a tag. After I tagged out, Scott was on a mission to get Potato Digger. We'd already had daylight encounters with him during the past two seasons, and he was highly visible on our trail cams throughout the season. We often got pictures and videos of him hitting scrapes and rubs during the mid morning and early afternoon hours. He was definitely a killable buck. As luck would have it, when we chose door #1, he was behind door #2. The entire season played out like that. In the game of cat and mouse, we were always one step behind. One thing that we really noticed about him though, was that he was clearly a dominant buck. He ran with some larger antlered deer during much of the summer months, but seemed to really push them aside during the fall. In fact, our sightings and pictures of other mature bucks were severely limited with Potato Digger claiming the farm as his home. His dominancy was very evident.

The 2009 season closed without a second encounter with Potato Digger and Scott got a dose of Kansas Tag Soup... Trust me, I've had it and it tastes pretty terrible!

(For a recap of our first 2010 KS shed hunting trip, visit our March archives.) In March of 2010, we headed down to shed hunt the farm with one particular set in mind... Potato Digger! Not long into the trip, Scott found the matched set! We were pretty elated that he had found exactly what we'd been hoping for and that he had found them before the squirrels did. The beam length was quite impressive at 26+ inches. The matched set was found within 60 yards of his 2008 shed and within 100 yards of all of our encounters with him. We were definitely starting to narrow down his core area.

In the summer of 2010, Digger was once again the first mature buck to show up on trail cam. It appeared that he hadn't changed a whole lot, but his beams had amazingly grown even longer!

He had officially reached the "Stud" level in our book as a 5.5 year old KS brute. We were extremely excited to have the opportunity to chase this legend again. His dominant nature was very obvious to us during the summer months as his aggressive demeanor towards other bucks showed even as early as July. He seemed to really command the corn pile... even when feeding near much higher scoring bucks, such as Crab Claw 9. Potato Digger was officially named the #1 buck on our 2010 hitlist... even though we had larger antlered deer to chase. Our history with him and his aggressive nature made him our top priority this year. We hung stands, built ground blinds, and planted food plots specifically for this deer. It was time to take down our old nemesis.

On Friday, October 22nd, around 6:45 PM, the final chapter of our quest for Potato Digger was written.

I don't want to spoil the footage, so you'll have to watch the Great Plains show on on Thursday, October 28th. I will say that it was an incredible hunt that involved rattling and some intense decoy action. I shot him off the ground and he dressed out over 240 lbs. His beams measured 28"+ and his green gross score was 148 1/8th. Harvesting him was the result of a lot of hard work and was truly a team effort. He belongs to Scott as much as he does to me. We earned this buck! I'd also like to say a special thanks to Craig Galey, our neighbor, for giving me the match to the 2008 shed that Scott found. I now have both matched sets and they will be displayed with the mount in some fashion.

Harvesting a deer like this is a truly humbling experience and it reminds me to give thanks to our loving father. Without you, Lord, none of this would be possible. Thank you for creating whitetails and giving some of us the passion it takes to chase them.

Thanks for reading and please watch the show on Thursday to see the hunt. It is my favorite hunt of all time!

Slow ain't the word...

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

To say that we've had a slow season would be an understatement. It's the slowest one I've ever had since moving to the Midwest. We just flat out aren't seeing deer right now. Frustration has officially set in for both Scott and myself. We aren't giving up hope, and we know the deer are out there, we've just had a very hard time finding them. Daytime movement seems to have been minimal on the farms we've been hunting, but whenever they are moving during the daytime, we seem to have chosen the wrong stand. It's happened to us multiple times this season. Last night was a prime example.

We had planned to hunt an isolated and picked bean field with a decoy. When we got there, we checked a camera near the stand and it had several does on it. The does had shown up on both of the previous two evenings, during the daytime, and had fed in the field until dark. There were no bucks on the cameras. So, we decided to not use the decoy and hunt the does instead. Dark thirty came, and nary a deer had entered our field. It was a pretty frustrating evening. Upon leaving, we saw several does in a corn field on the same farm. Once again, it was the wrong place at the wrong time for us.

So what are the factors that are contributing to our lack of success?

-Unseasonably warm weather - this has to be one of the biggest factors for us not seeing much daytime movement. The deer have their winter coats on now and with so many days in the past few weeks reaching the mid-80's, deer are likely waiting for the cooler evening hours to move and feed.

-Abundant food sources - There is food everywhere! There is so much browse, acorns, and harvested crops right now that the deer are really spread out. It's hard to pattern them when there are so many places they could be feeding. They don't have to travel far for food if they don't want to and they also don't have the need to stick to one particular food source.

-Lack of weather - We'd really like to see a good storm system or two push through once in a while to shake things up a little bit. We did get a little rain about two weeks ago, but that's about it. It would be nice to see a nasty low pressure system move in to really get the deer moving. Sometimes, you just can't beat a good frontal passage. Anything would beat this beautiful weather we've been having!

What are we going to do differently?

- Not much - we know that we're hunting smart, hunting the wind, and hunting good spots. We've just been a little snakebit (as have many of our friends). Also, we haven't hit it really hard yet either. We've been out in the woods a bit, but we haven't put in any really long sits and haven't done much calling. We're going to continue to hunt smart and be persistent and try our best to remain patient. We know we're in good areas and that we have many good bucks to go after. We just have to ride out this slump and hope things turn around real soon. We've been hearing reports of bucks fighting, moving in daylight, and even doing a little chasing. November is just around the corner! With these factors in mind, we'll soon be breaking out the decoy, grunt calls, and rattling antlers. Hopefully, we can make our own luck really soon.

Good luck to all of you that get out this weekend! Hunt smart and hunt safe!


The October Lull

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

As Bo and I moved trail cameras, scouted a new property, and moved stands for the umpteenth time yesterday afternoon, we discussed in detail about how frustraiting of a season we have had so far. In Northeastern/Eastern Kansas and Northwestern Missouri, it appears that we are currently fighting the perfect storm when it comes to deer hunting in October. It seems that every year there is a typical "lull" that occurs during the middle of the month, but our "lull" has lasted for nearly 30 days now and shows no signs of slowing down with the 10-day forecast. The warm temperatures and windy conditions have provided us an early crop harvest, but has limited the deer movement. The bountiful acorn crop (the best in years) provides great nutritional benefits to the herd, but has limited the deer movement. The clear, bright night skies has been great for camp fires, but has limited the deer movement during daylight hours.

After nearly 100 hours of stand time, a couple dozen does, two yearling bucks, and very little activity overall, we are officially in a "lull", but hopefully on the tail end of it. We have hunted near known bedding areas, oak ridges covered in acorns, cut corn fields, standing bean fields and the outcomes have all seemed the same - little to no daytime movement. This has been the same pattern we have been seeing with trail camera photos as well. We are continuously moving stands and cameras though to hopefully catch up with one of our hit listers during this time because you cannot kill them if you are sitting on the couch! If they are going to make a mistake, you want to make sure you are there to capitalize on it!

We do have an update on our two main hit list bucks. Potato Digger and Crab Claw "9" have kept with their same routine for the last three years. Every year, these two will run together all summer and we will get literally thousands of pictures of them. But once that velvet comes off, Potato Digger will force Crab Claw out of the area and both will go nocturnal. Last year Crab Claw moved to the western edge of the property adjacent to us, but this year he has moved into the area where Bo shot his 175" 5.5 year old last year. We knew a good buck would take over this territory, but were surprised to see Crab Claw up there since we have no trail camera pictures of him on this portion of the property in three years. It was really nice to see him show up during shooting hours too. Too bad we were hunting about two hours away that evening. Lets hope he makes that mistake this weekend!

However, this dominance is the primary reason why we have placed Potato Digger at the top of the hit list. He is by far the most dominant buck we have ever encountered and is hurting the property by driving out all of the other bucks. He needs to go and needs to go soon! We will be targetting him and Crab Claw specifically this weekend so hopefully one of these 5.5 year olds will make a mistake and step into range for the Maxxiss.


Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Friday, October 08, 2010

I can honestly say I cannot remember a mass acorn crop like the one we're currently seeing in western Missouri.  The acorns have been steadily dropping since mid-August and it has made a huge impact on our deer movements.  It's hard to believe there are enough acorns in the trees to continuously drop for two months!  We're sure to have some fat squirrels and deer this winter! 

On the properties we are currently hunting, it does not seem to matter the species of oak, they are all loaded this year.  It's nice to have that supplemental food for the deer herds, but it sure makes bowhunting them more difficult.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have been moving stands and doing some additional scouting to try to find the oak trees that are currently dropping and those that still have acorns yet to drop.  Both does that we harvested last weekend were taken over acorns that are located between heavy bedding areas and standing corn.

So during the first three weeks of season, we have transitioned from green bean fields to oak flats and ridges.  Within the next week or two, we'll be make another transition from the oak trees to the cut corn fields.  The weather in our area has been absolutely perfect for the crop harvest this fall so hopefully the majority of the standing corn will be gone by mid October.  If so, the deer activity will significantly pick up and those mature bucks should start to be a little bit more visible.

One has to remember that you need to be mobile during the season and adapt to the changing seasons and surrounding conditions.  Don't be afraid to move stands during season.  This weekend we will be setting two or three stands on Saturday.  If you're not sitting in the right place, grab your stand and MOVE!! 

On another note, please take a few minutes to check out the latest Midwest Whitetail Great Plains show.  Greg Clements produced a very good segment of Bo's doe harvest that I filmed from this past Sunday.  The show also includes a great buck shot by fellow prostaffer Mike Lutt.  Check it out at the link below!

Midwest Whitetail Great Plains Show

Doe Patrol

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Thanks to a strong cold front late last week, our 2010 season got a good jump start this past weekend.  We had put in A LOT of stand time and just were not seeing any deer movement the past couple of weeks.  The deer that we were seeing, were moving late and no mature bucks were seen.  Not sure if this was due to the full moon, the current crop harvest situation, the warmer temps, etc., but we (mainly me) were getting pretty frustrated with the lack of movement.

On Saturday evening, Michelle (my wife) and I climbed into a new stand on a farm we had never hunted before.  Bo and I had spent maybe an hour or two walking this property a few weeks earlier and found a couple of old tree stands that were still in decent condition.  The deer sign was also some of the best we had seen yet this year.  The trails were numerous, wide, and VERY heavily used.  As Michelle and I were making our way to the stand, three does stood up from directly below the stand and ran off.  That right there was the most deer I had seen while hunting all year!  As we got the second stand hung and the camera positioned, another doe started making her way towards us, only to disappear in a patch of CRP.  But we finally got situated in the stand and not 20 minutes after getting set up, I noticed three does feeding through the timber below us.  The stand we were sitting in was on a steep ridge overlooking a bottom area that abuts up to a couple of CRP fields (aka bedding areas!).  The three does were joined by another, larger doe that came in from the opposite direction.  As they met, they decided to walk directly towards us.  I let the three younger does pass my only shooting lane on that trail, but once the last and biggest doe entered the lane, the Maxxis got it's first taste of venion! 

I still had a buck tag and another doe tag in my pocket so I hoped that we could double up since the first doe was shot at 5:30.  As we sat there, we could hear deer all around us, but had a hard time seeing them due to the heavy vegetation.  But at about 6:00, another yearling doe made her way up from the CRP and came to within 5 yards of us.  This doe didn't have a care in the world, other than eating all of the acorns around us.  She sat there for easily 20 minutes and just wouldn't leave us alone.  I really wanted to put a tag on her, but you just can't shoot the babies when your wife is behind the camera! 

All in all, we saw 12 deer that night, but with light finally fading, we got down and started on the blood trail, which was poor to say the least.  I got pretty discouraged and gave Bo a call to help with the tracking.  The track job went slow, but not 80 yards from the shot, we found her piled up, just into the CRP field she came from.  What a relief!!!  The first deer of our season was finally on the ground!!

The next morning we woke up to 35 degree temps, a clear sky, and light winds - the absolutely perfect bowhunters forecast!  As Bo and I climbed into the stand, we immediately had deer on us.  The first deer to appear from the darkness as the sun crested the horizon was a small basket rack buck.  Shortly after he left, we were visted by a group of turkeys, that unfortunately they never appeared from the dense undergrowth behind us to offer up a shot.  But after not more than 45 minutes in the stand, Bo noticed four does coming towards us and feeding on acorns the entire way.  I had one big tree in my way and couldn't get much footage of the does coming in, but once that lead doe stepped into the shooting lane, Bo released a perfect arrow.  As the other three ran off, Bo pulled out the brand new VECtor Doe Grunter and successfully called all three of does back.  However, they just would not present a shot opportunity that worked for both Bo and myself so they got a free pass that morning.  We'll do a write up here in a couple of days showing this new call (and the sweet call Bo had Vince make me for my birthday), but it looks and sounds amazing.  Vince definitely impressed us with this one!   But back to the doe, as I mentioned, Bo's shot was perfect, the Steelhead XL flew true and had actually cut the doe's heart in half.  Needless to say, the track job was short and easy to follow.  Neither of us had seen a blood trail like this and she died within 25 yards of the shot.  That's how we like it to happen! 

All in all, we couldn't have asked for a better weekend.  We both were able to get the monkey's off of our back for the year and we were able to partially fill our freezers.  We're thinking that both harvests will air this Thursday on Midwest Whitetail ( so please check out the website and take a look!

Journal Entry #2 - Opening Weekend in Kansas

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 24th was a day that we had been looking forward to with anxiety and high hopes since December 31st.  From the time archery season closed last year, we have been working feverishly shed hunting, establishing new food plots, running trail cameras and getting new stands hung.  This was the first year that we had been given permission to plant food plots on this particular property and we couldn't wait to get setup on the newly established, green, cereal grain food plot. 

However, the minute we pulled into the property, our anticipation quickly turned into frustration.  The first thing we saw when we pulled in was the land managers truck and empty four wheeler trailer.  Come to find out, the land manager had been spraying the CRP for an invasive weed that the DNR has asked him to control on the property.  It was something that needed to be done, but the timing couldn't have been worse.  But we were there to hunt, so we hunted and just made the best of the situation.

The first evening was pretty uneventful.  One lone doe made her way towards one of the food plots we were overlooking, but slowly disappeared into the 7' tall CRP and never actually entered the plot.  That night, as we were walking through the CRP back to the truck, we actually had to shade our eyes from the bright moon.  It was a cloudless sky and the moon provided plenty of light for some heavy nighttime feeding.  The high pressure system extended into the next morning and movement was much slower than expected.  About 30 minutes after a half rack spike left the plot, a mature doe and yearling entered and started feeding on the newly sprouted sunflowers.  The doe got within 5 yards of our ground blind and never had an idea that we were there - what an awesome experience.  As she turned to feed into the plot, Bo drew on her but she caught the slight movement and jumped further into the food plot.  When the arrow was released, she dropped about 8"-12" and the arrow unfortunately missed it's mark as it flew just over her shoulder.

The evening sit brought again no deer into the food plot.  A strong cold front moved through at about 6PM and brought with it a temperature drop of nearly 10 degrees.  One would think the deer would have been on their feet, but nothing entered the plot we were hunting. 

When checking cameras, we noticed that during the full moon phase, all of our buck and the majority of the doe pictures were taken after midnight.  We were starting to get some movement right around dusk as well.  When we entered the food plot for our final sit of the weekend, the skys were overcast and the winds were blowing out of the north - the perfect morning!  However, when we checked the camera pointed on a fresh scrape not 10 yards from our stand, we found out that we had missed the #2 buck on our list by 45 minutes.  Crab Claw had been in this very plot at 530 and we were there shortly after 600.  At least we know he's close and likes the food plot!  We did had five does enter the food plot that morning, but they all fed on the further side of the plot and never got within 50 yards so no shots were taken.

Here is the picture of Crab Claw as he's standing 10 yards away from the camera. 

We know that him and Potato Digger are still running their same routes, it just seems that they are slowly becoming more nocturnal.  This could simply be from the full moon or the current weather patterns.  We have not pressured them in anyway so we know that we haven't pushed them to become nocturnal.  Hopefully the next time we're at the property the moon won't be so bright and the deer will be back to the typical patterns.  If that's the case, a tag or two should be filled!

2010 Journal Entry #1

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, September 20, 2010

When Bo and I first started up the blog earlier this year, we really intended it to be a journal of our on going hunting experiences.  We have certainly put a lot of time in the woods hunting and preparing for the different hunting seasons, that we figured we might as well share it with friends and family and keep a living journal of our experiences that we can look back on year after year to help us learn from what we've seen and done in past years.  

It's pretty amazing to think how much has changed for us in the past nine months.  We have been selected to be on Midwest Whitetail, we have learned more about cinematography and cameras than we ever though possible, and we are now be approached by companies asking us to use their products. Pretty overwhelming for a couple of guys that simply want to document how they hunt! 

So with the official start to the 2010 Missouri archery season, here is the first official journal entry for this year's whitetail season!  We hope to add a post every week where we'll discuss what we've seen, what we haven't seen, where we're hunting, etc.

This past week found Bo and I trying to work with the weather and schedules to find some time to get into the tree.  We both took off of work on Wednesday to hunt the opener.  Wednesday morning came with high anticipations of getting a shot at Mr. T.  We setup on a ridge/fence line with a standing corn field on one side and an acorn paradise on the other.  It literally sounded like it was raining when we first got into stand.  The white acorn crop in this area is a bumper crop to say the least.  But unfortunately the sound of raining acorns turned into the sound of actual rain and we were forced out of the stand by 30+ mph gusts and heavy rain.  What a great way to start the season!  We had planned on hunting the afternoon, but unforunately the untimely death of a close friend quickly moved hunting to the back burner for a while.

On early Sunday morning, my entire house was awoken in the middle of the night by one incredible storm that produced hail, lightning, 80+ mph winds, and heavy rain.  Thankfully the storm ended nearly as fast as it came in and the skys had cleared by the time we left for the stand that morning.  We had high hopes for a lot of deer movement due to the storm that came through, but unfortunately the deer had decided to feed before first light, as noticed by the large amounts of fresh tracks in the picked corn field.  The afternoon sit was pretty much a copy of that morning.  Only one lone doe decided to come to the corn field we were sitting on.  The movement was definitely hampered by the warm temperatures, east winds, and full moon.

We have started to notice a lot of rubs are popping up and scrapes are forming along field edges.  Just yesterday we found a new rub on an old cedar that is over 12" in diameter.  I have a feeling this marking belongs to First Pull, but we'll check the camera in a week or so to see.  This week we are also going to try to hit one of our new properties.  This property is home to a bean field that was planted very late and is still very green.  I believe the last time we were out there a week ago, there was no signs of yellowing yet.  So if that field is still green, you can bet those deer will be hitting it hard.  And then this weekend is finally our Kansas opener.  We've been waiting for this day for quite a while.  A lot of hard work has gone into new stand positions and new food plots.  Hopefully all of our hard work will be rewarded this weekend!

Good Luck

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's the day before the MO opener and we just wanted to wish you all a safe and successful hunting season. Be sure to where your saftey harness if you hunt from a tree, it only takes a split second to make a big mistake! Good luck to all of you and we'll keep you updated on our successes/failures this season. Hopefully, we'll have plenty of quality footage to share with you on the Great Plains show ( this fall. Until next time, may the wind be always in your face and may your arrows sail true! God Bless and Happy Hunting!

The Velvet is Falling

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Each new deer season starts with spring trail cam pics of bucks with just an inch or two of velvet-covered bone protruding from their skulls and the anticipation on what they will grow over the course of the coming months.  As the season progresses and with each card pull, the bucks (some we're very familiar with and some that are new) begin to blossom and give us small previews of their potential headgear they will be sporting for the season.  During July, the bucks really start to put on the inches, as many as 1/2 inch to an inch per day.  Usually by mid-August, we have a pretty good idea on what their final product will be for the year.  But, even though the bucks are done growing, we still anticipate the first hard horn pics of this hit listers to get a true representation of what we will be chasing during the upcoming season.  We'll look at every picture we have and start adding up inches to try to guess the bucks final gross score, hoping that we'll be able to tape that buck out with our own hands during the fall.

Well this past weekend, we finally got the first hard horn picture of the year, and it just so happened to be of one of our top hit list bucks of the year.  Amazingly, Mr. T provided us his final full velvet picture just over 24 hours prior to his full hard horned picture.  Hard to believe that he was able to rub all of that velvet off and clean up those long tines in such a short amount of time. 

Mr. T has shown up multiple times on multiple cameras in a relatively very small area.  This is a buck we have a very good feeling that we can out smart during the first couple of weeks of season.  If the wind is right, we will be targeting this buck opening night. 

The Hit List

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2010

Well, obviously we haven't been that regular on posting to the blog lately. We haven't forgotten about it, we've just been awfully busy. Busy with life, filming, and a boat load of preseason work. Hopefully, this post will help to get everyone excited for the season. I know we're sure looking forward to it!

These are some of our hitlist bucks for the coming KS and MO seasons. Hopefully, we'll add a few more as the year goes on, but we're mighty happy with the one that we have started. It's easily the best hitlist we've ever had, and with any luck, we'll be able to harvest some of these deer on the Midwest Whitetail Great Plains show this year.

By the way, be sure to check out this weeks Great Plains show where Scott and I are one of the featured teams. Click on the Great Plains tab to watch this weeks show.  Below is a direct link to our hit list show on Midwest Whitetail.

Here are the bucks that we plan on chasing this year:


First Pull is a 5.5 year old main frame 7 point that we passed on during the late season last year. He was only in the mid 120's last year. This year, he's really packed on the bone and has a one of a kind rack.


Right Hook is a buck named for his hooked right brow tine. He's a buck that should gross around the 140" mark and is a nice/clean and symmetrical 8 point. We don't have much history with him, as he is on a new farm, but we have hundreds of trail cam pics of him this summer.


Weight is a buck we posted about earlier this summer. He's a big, wide, mature 8 point that we filmed on several occassions this summer. He's on another new farm and is part of a bachelor group of mature bucks that we call "The 3 Amigos".


Tilt is another member of The 3 Amigos that we filmed a couple of times this summer. He's a mature 10 point with plenty of mass. We named him "Tilt" due to the way his rack always seems to be tilted back.

M&M is the 3rd member of The 3 Amigos, and we believe that he is also the biggest. We've filmed him several times, but each time we've either had low light or he's been about 400 yards away. We also had a little camera trouble when we tried to get trail camera pics of him. As far as we can tell, he's a very tall racked main frame 8 point with a big split G2 that we figure will gross over 150".  He's a deer that we'd really like to put on the ground so that we can see what all he's actually got!

We filmed this buck on our neighbors farm in KS. Coincidentally, the neighbor actually got a ton of trail camera pictures of this deer last week. He filmed him a few hundred yards from our property line, so we're sure he probably visits our farm too. As far as we can tell, he's a solid 4 year old 8 point that would score in the low 140's. This deer has a really nice frame and we'd love to see what he would look like in another year. He's probably not an official hitlist buck for us, but he does meet our age standards. You never can be sure how you'll feel when a pretty deer like this walks in front of you. He might just make the list after all!


This buck is legendary to us. I've passed on him during the past 2 seasons, Scott has 2 years worth of sheds from him, and we've got 3 years worth of trail camera photos of him. He's not the highest scoring buck on our hitlist, but he's the one that we're after. Since I tagged out early last season, Scott got to play cat and mouse with him for two months! Velvet pictures never do this buck justice. He's got a tank of a body on him, really good mass, and some of the longest main beams I've ever seen on an 8 point. Last year, his beams measured 26" each. We believe they're an inch or two longer this year. To put it in perspective, my 172" KS 10 point from last year had great beams that measured only 25". This deer is a stud and he's our #1 hitlist buck.


This is another KS buck that we have a few years worth of history with. He first showed up as a big 3.5 year old crab claw 9 point (hence the name) that would have scored in the high 140's. He was a real regular ont he trail cams that year and my wife and I had an encounter with him in early November. We found his sheds that year too. Last year, he showed up a few times on the trail cameras, but not nearly as much as the year before. He also flipped his G4 from his left side to his right. This year, as a 5.5, he's blossomed into a full blown giant of a 10 point. He's got a great big frame, awesome mass and tine length, super main beams, and a lot of character. He's also sporting a nice little drop tine on his left side. He's a target buck that has been running around with Potato Digger this summer. I'll wager that they won't stay friends very much longer!

Mr. T (aka B.A. Baracas) is another buck that is new to us this year. He started showing up at the mineral lick in my backyard in mid August and has shown up a few times during the daylight in the past week. He's just an awesome main frame 8 point with a common base split G2 on his left side. His tine length is unreal and from the one hard horned picture I have of him, it appears that he will have really good mass. I just hung a stand today specifically for this deer and his running mate, Murdock. They're members of a bachelor group that we call "The A-Team".

Murdock is the newest member of the hitlist. He showed up a few times earlier this summer and man did he finish out good. I really like the looks of this bucks rack. He's got great tine length, beam length, and mass. He's been seen with Mr. T and Hannibal, a buck that needs one more year.

The last 2 bucks on the hitlist are pretty special to me. We've put in a lot of work planting and maintaining food plots and mineral stations for the deer on this property. Last year, the year that Sarah and I bought this place, we saw nothing but small bucks and does. It's great to see a couple of studs show up this year for our efforts. Hopefully, we'll have a couple of opportunities to get after these deer this fall!

Thanks for reading and we wish you all a very safe and successful hunting season.

~Bo Parker

Inaugeral Midwest Whitetail - Great Plains Episode

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010

Just an FYI - the promo episode for the 2010 Midwest Whitetail - Great Plains show has been created and uploaded to the Midwest Whitetail website.  I'm not sure on how to embed the video from the MW player into the blog so please click on the link below:

Greg Clements, the producer for the Main Show and Great Plains show, has an incredible talent and we cannot wait to see how he composes the footage of our hunts this fall.  He is definitely a talented guy and a great, new asset to the Midwest Whitetail team.  Bo and I are definitely looking forward to working with him this fall.

The schedules have also been released by Bill Winke.  Starting September 2nd, a new Great Plains show will be available for viewing.  A new Great Plains show will be uploaded every Thursday.  The first couple of episodes will be Hit List shows where the teams talk about the bucks they'll be chasing this fall.  Bo and I have a couple dandies on the list this year.  Season opens up for us in less than three weeks!  Hopefully the deer will cooperate and we'll be able to provide everyone a closer look at some of the giants as the season progresses. 

The Return of Two Legends

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's amazing how one's excitement for the upcoming season can change with a simple card pull.  Friday evening started with us filming a field full of deer, including a great 140s, mature 8 point.  We had never filmed velvet on this particular field before and I was extremely surprised when this buck stepped out not more than 50 yards from me and fed for nearly an hour.  But after having that great encounter, we couldn't wait to see what was on the card that had been sitting undisturbed for nearly six weeks.  So at 10:30 PM we grabbed the one flashlight we had and headed out to see what had visited our salt lick.

The first buck we had visit the lick was a buck we have a long history with - Potato Digger.  Digger is a buck that we have gotten literally a hundred trail camera photos and videos of and have two years worth of sheds.  Bo passed Digger as a 3 1/2 year old and also last year as a 4 1/2 year old.  Last year he was definitely a shooter, but with low camera light and not the greatest angle, Bo elected to pass and hope for another opportunity.  Fortunately for us, Digger showed up this year again as a truly mature 5 1/2 year old stud.  

Digger is the #1 buck on our hit list this year.  He is dominant as it seems that he forces other bucks out of the area.  We feel he is one we have a very good possibility of harvesting as well.  Nearly all of the trail cam pics, sheds, and encounters have all occurred within an 80 yard area.  An in case you're wondering, both of his beams should go over 28" this year!

The second buck that we got new pictures of is a buck named the Crab Claw "9".  The reason 9 is in quotation marks is because he has now become a main frame 10 point.   This year marks the third year we've chased this buck.  In the fall of 2008, we had numerous trail cam pics of him and found his matched set of sheds, but he turned into a ghost during the 2009 season.  When he disappeared in October and we didn't find either of his sheds, we'd feared the worst and assumed he'd been harvested by a neighboring hunter.  But we were ecstatic when we saw the 5 1/2 year old giant show up on this card pull.  Crab Claw has simply exploded this year.  It's amazing what a difference a buck can make between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2.  Not only has he added length, mass and kickers, but he's also added a drop tine!  This is the first buck I've ever gotten pics of with a drop and we sure hope we get a chance to write a great ending to his story this fall.

After a long wait... allow me to introduce... Weight!

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010

Scott and I got out last night to hopefully get some more velvet footage. We didn't have long to wait before the first two bucks showed up. They were little guys, but we instantly felt like it would be a good night. Not long after the little fellas exited the field, one of the big boys showed up. He's an absolutely perfectly symmetrical 8 point that is really wide. We call him "Weight" for the wide eight. We're quite certain that his inside spread is over 20" and it may be even a couple of inches better than that.

Best guess is that he's in the low to mid 140's and is definitely mature. These trail camera pictures were taken on a little knob that kind of makes his back look bowed. He's actually quite sway backed and had the appearance (on video) of an old buck. We're positive that he's at least 4 years old and could very possibly be older than that.

He fed within 100 yards of us for almost an hour last night and we got some really good velvet footage of him. Hopefully, it will be available on one of the first Great Plains Show episodes on

We haven't captured the footage, so we don't have any stills from last night to show just yet. M&M, an even larger buck, showed up a little before dark too. He never got closer than 300 yards, but it was still nice to see another bruiser on this farm. So far, we've managed to get footage of 4 definite shooters on this farm. Wind permitting, I think I have an idea of where we might be on the evening of 9/15...

We hope you guys are all taking advantage of this "easy" summer hunting. There is really no better time to inventory your herd than right now!!!

Bo, great post on "Weight".  Definitely can't wait to see him in about six weeks.  Since I still have your Nikon, here are a couple of the pictures we took of him while filming.  He's a big dude!