It was my turn to man the camera and for Richard to hunt. This made me a little nervous since the last time I tried to film him in Kansas, I failed miserably…I actually froze up thinking I was spooking his buck and I let the camera take about 8 minutes of nothing but treetops. Oh, don’t think I didn’t get ribbing all year long about that. So I had to redeem myself; focused and in frame.
Wednesday morning, the weather was mild and sunny. We had a nice 8-point come into our stand set-up but I didn’t have the video camera rolling because it was still too dark to get good footage. Mid morning, Richard noticed a mule deer doe trotting across the upper end of the field and hot on her tracks was a nice 4×4 tall tined mule deer buck. She ran all the way across the field and up on the berm. The buck finally reached her and she took off down the berm and flat out racing across the field. They both looked like greyhound dogs running. She went in the woods about 60 yards from us and ended up running right under our stand.
The buck came crashing through the woods running over anything in his way; dead tree limbs, high sagebrush, nearly right over our decoy lying on the ground in the brush in front of our stand. The doe stopped 8 yards past our stand. Richard turned to make sure I had the camera on and the doe saw him and stared up at us. The buck came to a stop just past her about 10 yards. He was panting and foaming at the mouth with his gapped mouth open. The doe took off behind us headed across the adjacent alfalfa field and the buck was hot on her trail…however, not so graceful. He sounded like a bull crashing through a china shop running through the head of woods we were in; he was breaking limbs, running into downed trees, crashing into thickets snapping dry, stiff weeds.
Every morning and every afternoon we had entertainment from the flock of turkeys that roosted across the field from us. One afternoon I started counting the birds as they flew up to roost and I stopped counting at 42. Several days later Richard counted the birds as they pitched down from the roost onto the frost laden alfalfa field, one at a time, and counted 71 birds. The exciting thing is that the large majority were jakes and mature toms. We saw very few hens in this flock. You could glass the trees across the field and see clumps of birds rooting in the trees. You would not believe the noise they made before fly-down and once on the ground. And again in the afternoons when they were assembling to fly back up. Some mornings were louder than others. I enjoyed watching the show regardless—it was neat to watch their behavior in the tree and on the ground.
We came in for lunch mid day and were back in the stand at 2:00 p.m. but our afternoon hunt was uneventful only producing a couple does and young bucks. We headed in just after sundown, changed into street clothes and went into town to get something to eat. One of the best places to eat in this one horse town is Linda’s Café, owned by Linda Anderson. Her head-chef, Larry Lawrence Frye aka Larry-Larry, hand presses the hamburgers and cooks them to order. Richard mentioned how good the hamburgers were and I remembered how good they were from my visit there last year. If Larry-Larry takes a liking to you, he will come sit at your table and harass you…I think he bit off more than he could chew when he came to pick on me!! But it was all in fun and we left there with new friends. Linda’s Café is one of those places you walk in a stranger and leave as a friend; and definitely good food. We also enjoyed our visit with Doyle Vrgas, a patron who was also enjoying a warm meal. We were in bed early because our plans were to sit all day on Thursday since colder weather was moving in.