For those of you who have been following along with us over the last four months or so, you know that we are embarking on our first year in Kansas, informally. I decided to take the "personal" approach and only take a few guys with me out there whom I know well and who I trust to hunt hard/right. I wanted the first year to be the foundation for building there. We originally offered the spots to friends, so that'll be who is hunting with me there. Now, pending the success of the 2020 hunting season in Kansas for us, we will start operating as an outfitter there for the 2021 season.
We will have a separate website for our Kansas operation. Both the Iowa and Kansas websites will be linked in their respective menu so that you can go back and forth between the two sites freely. We will also have our own Kansas blog on the websites. I have already started compiling content for the Kansas website such as scenery photos. Next will come trail camera photos, videos, etc. I would look at February 1st as the Kansas website launch date. Be sure to become a member to the blog (by creating a login account in the comments) and subscribing to our Iowa newsletter mailing list. This is where the Kansas information will first be broadcasted until the Kansas website launch.
The State of Kansas has a unique setup for outfitters. Unlike with Iowa, Kansas governs their outfitters by requiring an Outfitters License, specific Liability Insurance, and a specific Surety Bond. This is quite the undertaking doing such in addition to our Iowa operation, so we want to make sure that we dot all of our i's and cross all of our t's starting in Kansas for the 2021 year. For 2020, this season will be more so like a "test run" with me and the other guys hunting as we are sharing all of the hunting costs on a personal basis (leases, corn, cameras, etc.) and not professional. Yet, we will still post updates on our social media pages with the Kansas stuff.
I knew that I liked Kansas. Putting boots to dirt really amplified that feeling yesterday. Here are some photos from the walk. Unfortunately, the Governor issued a state-wide stay-at-home order while I was at the farm, and with already present stay-at-home orders issued by the counties, nobody wanted to meet in person to allow for me to walk other farms. I'll be back, but it'll be green during the spring & summer. So, I'll have to get more photos during the fall when it is actually hunting season.
Kansas is freaking beautiful. There are some similarities to southern Iowa, and then there are stark differences. I'm sure that we can implement the right hunting and management strategies to succeed here, and for that, I am excited for this fall.
Things to note & ponder about Kansas (vs. Iowa):
• Soil quality & food plot possibilities + needs
• Ability to bait; Need the "right bait" in right spots
• Deer act differently in Kansas than Iowa: movement patterns & bedding
One of the big things that I noticed was that throughout this particular 30+/- acre chunk of woods, there were very little hardwoods but a ton of locust trees & hedge apple trees with some eastern red cedars. It's definitely big buck habitat, but unlike what I'm use to in Iowa. Also in this chunk of woods, I noticed deer trails literally everywhere going all different directions, and there wasn't just a few monster trails like I would see in Iowa. This makes me think that the deer here are less congregated and are much more free roamers. Deer in Iowa move with intent. There is a lot more bedding here in Kansas, and I think that is what creates this scenario. Bedding in Iowa is much more isolated where we hunt. So, I'm anxious to see how our strategies work for us.
If you are considering hunting with us in Kansas in 2021, follow along with us this year to see how our hunting goes. We hope to have 4-6 shot opportunities at big mature shooters, so hopefully we can knock them at least a few down. Be ready to book starting February 1st, when we launch the new site (give or take). If you want to talk about Kansas, my personal 2020 outlook, and our operation 2021 outlook, call me at 563-320-6875 sometime after Nov. 20th to discuss how things went in Kansas during the early season, the pre-rut, and the rut.