We left Montgomery, Alabama at 1:30 p.m. yesterday and arrived without a hitch, record time, in Colby, Kansas at 7:15 a.m. A quick stop at the local WalMart then a trip to the motel to see if we could check in early. This trip is a lot different than our last trip where we were hunting private land and staying in the house on that hunting land. Once again, this is a do-it-yourself hunt which is what Richard and I prefer since we enjoy the work that comes with it. This trip Richard will be hunting on Kansas Wildlife and Parks Public Walk-in Hunting Area–all of which were uncharted to either of us.

I was thankful to find the Country Club Drive Motel in Colby, Kansas, owned and managed by Scott and Jeanne Crawford. The motel was an older built motel with drive-up style single story rooms. The rooms have been recently renovated and included kitchenettes, which was perfect for us since we were dining in on “camp food”. The motel was clean and nicely landscaped with free WiFi (hence the timely blog updates) and the hospitality was wonderful. We could not beat the price that fit our DIY budget perfectly. I would recommend this motel to any hunter coming to this area and feel that the motel will better serve your needs than the larger chain motels.

Today ended up being a little more work than we usually enjoy, but we still had a great time and were both wore slap out by the end of the day. Our first stop this morning put us down an icy dirt road that quickly partially thawed in the morning sun as we were scouting. We came real close to getting stuck. The Silver Pony looked like the Brown Mud Puppy by the time we made it back out to the main road.

Our second stop was taking us down a road to a promising public walk-in area when about 80 yards into our drive down this road I happened to look out the side view mirror and my tires were growing with mud. I told Richard to stop, we don’t need to go any further….he did and we were instantly stuck!! It was 11:15 a.m. on Thanksgiving day–translated to dinner time–and the last thing we wanted to do was interrupt a farmers Thanksgiving meal to ask if he could come tow us out with a tractor. As luck would have it, we got the idea to let the truck spin over to the side of the dirt road and get a set of tires on the dry ground and back it up to the main road. At first it was a no go, but then Richard got on the front of the truck and I got behind the wheel and the truck miraculous moved and slid right into the dry rut and I backed it up as fast as I could right back to the main road. That was definitely something we were THANKFUL for. I had pictures of those fiascoes, but I dropped my camera on concrete getting out of the truck this evening and the only two pictures that were lost were the muddy truck pictures. They were really comical and I hate I don’t have them to share.

We scouted several other pieces of property, walking seemingly forever. Thank goodness that Richard did his homework on viewing the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Walk In Hunting Area maps, locating them on Google Earth and getting the coordinates to put into the Garmin Oregon 550t GPS. This saved us so much time and a lot of walking. On our last scouting we walked the railroad back to the truck and I literally did not have feeling in my right foot and my left foot was aching so bad that I had to dig deep to keep going. Whew, that was a trek and what made it worse is that we were scouting on double time…since we do not have many days here we needed to get this uncharted land scouted in a hurry to get stands up. I felt like an athlete but a lack of sleep and fuel was catching up with me, no doubt.

Richard using Google Earth Maps in conjuction with me using the Garmin Oregon 550t GPS saved us time in scouting.

A little worse for wear...I was going on 3 hours sleep in the last 36 hours and needed some body fuel. But still happy to be in Kansas with Richard.

Richard finally decided on the spot that he wanted to hunt and we headed back there….the first stop where we had the mud incident. We decided we would get the deer dolley out and load it up with both stands, pole saw, bucket with ratchet straps and other things necessary for hanging a lock-on and placing a ladder stand, and 2 full sets of steps…the dolley seemed like the perfect solution. Boy, was that an error in judgment!! The slick, thick mud nearly made it impossible to get the dolley and gear to the woods about 300 yards away. We were definitely a sight pushing, pulling, slipping, huffing and puffing. I am so thankful that I did not decide to film any of that. Whew!! It took what seemed like forever to get that gear to the spot we were going in the woods at and then we still had to put it up. We were finally through setting up the stands and took the trek back UP HILL with the dolley and some of the gear we didn’t use. I am here to tell you that we will not make that mistake when retrieving the gear from the woods even if I have to make 4 trips to get it all.

Leaving the woods satisfied that Richard had found a great spot and having placed the ladder stand for him and the lock-on for me to film him from–we decided to go and watch over an alfalfa field to see what action may happen there. On our way we were fortunate enough to see 3 whitetail does in a field and stopped to look at them with our binoculars. While watching them Richard spotted a buck working a scrape. He was an awesome 150 plus class 9 point buck that was absolutely beautiful. His color, stature and muscularity was impeccable. We watched him from 400 yards until he got within 140 yards of us. Another smaller buck walked out of the woods and he took off in the other direction. He was absolutely beautiful and what a blessing to have been able to watch him for as long as we did.

That really got both of us excited about what the next few hunts might bring. Richard was able to shoot his bow before we headed out of the field to make sure that it traveled safely with us. On our way back to the hotel to eat our much needed Thanksgiving dinner, I watched the most beautiful sunset. I took a few pictures on our drive home.

Richard shooting his bow to make sure it survived the trip to Kansas...It passed with flying colors!!

A lone cabin and tree we seen on our way in from the field this evening.

Windmills have always been one of my favorites...so simple but yet so diverse and vital.

When we finally returned to the motel, we were starving and ready to eat our Thanksgiving meal…what was on the menu?? Deer chilli, tortilla chips, cheese sauce, Mountain Dew and Peaches for desert. LOL!! No kidding, here is the proof….

Our Thanksgiving Dinner-deer chilli--the harvest of our labors.

I wanted to share a few pictures of some really nice rubs, trails and a huge old barn on some of the property we scouted.

This is one of the many trails we were finding..this is always exciting for me to see.

Really neat big barn on some of the property we scouted.

This fence post must be one popular rubbing spots for the resident bucks in this area.

We are headed out at 5:00-5:15 a.m. for Richard’s first morning hunt. I am taking the Sony HDR-FX7 with me to see if I can get some footage. This will be my first time video taping and I am nervous and excited all rolled in one. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you took a minute to thank the Good Lord for all that you have to be thankful for.

© Nancy Jo Adams 2009