Kansas elk 2023

I've downloaded some photos, so here goes, in sorta chronological order over my first three trips of hunting elk on the post......

Most likely a prescribed burn

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Early morning spider web spotlighted by a shaft of light

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Detritus of former lives strewn about

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A metal bedframe is my guess, as I have an antique bed frame that resembles this one

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Super dry conditions, and the creek is reduced to stagnant pools

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Fall is almost upon us, sumac turning colors. Every old timer mentions sumac tea, I've never had it

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I really enjoy kansasson's company. He didn't choose wisely, as his wedding anniversary and wife's birthday as both in the middle of September. Sitting here, he still doesn't know that they are having a girl in March. 030.JPG
 
THEY IN THERE!

This bed is at the top of a steep bank, looking over the adjacent grasslands of the top of the Flint Hills
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She is hiding in here. Bugles and cow calls.....human or real??

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They were laying here some days/weeks before I cruised by in the middle of the "alfalfa" field

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I had a poopy weekend

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As promised in the "As they lay" thread, a story about a miraculous wallet lost, searched for and found....

I was going to go in blind into a zone that is reportedly a zone known to have a fair number of cow elk. I parked at the end of the road, and plunged down into the dark dark woods, knowing that I had to find a creek crossing to get to where I wanted to be as the day was dawning. Weaving through the woods, I first hit the creekbank, and found myself to be 15 feet above the creek's surface. Turning the red headlight to bright white, the entire creek here was not crossable. Moving downstream, I was wanting to find a sloped bank on both sides, with a shallow depth of water.

Bashing my way through the underbrush, I veered back to the creek. Steep but doable slope to the water's edge, and switching back to white light I see eating size catfish and a couple of gar cruising the creek. Too deep for boots/gaiter, but if I was in waders I would have easily crossed here.

Continuing downstream I finally found what I was looking for, a simple place to cross with barely flowing water oozing over a gravel bar. Checking OnX and dropping a pin to find this crossing again, I was able to shift over to a tank trail and continued along for a couple of hundred yards towards the "alfalfa" field as indicated on the iSportsman map. Arriving only a couple of minutes before legal shooting time, I was sitting there for a couple of minutes, and thought I heard people talking.

I located what I took to be a father/son sitting in a treestand 50 yards away. Acknowledging them, I tried to melt away and give them space. Moving through the woods, I started seeing beds in the field edge. Beds that are too big to be deer beds. And some of them have elk poop in them. Happy feet as I moved along!

Getting far enough away from the hunters in the tree (I could no longer hear the kid talking) I found a place to drop my pack and stop moving. With the creek behind me, the wind coming from the hunters up field, I knew that realistically my best chance of seeing an elk today would be an intercept of a cow heading to bed from where I had just come from. I set an artifical time limit for how long I'd sit here, and tried to think elky thoughts.

At the aforementioned time I decided to move further along, finding an elk trail cutting through the "alfalfa", I made my way to the other side of the field. More beds, more poop. Still hopeful for the morning to pan out in a sighting. Creeping along, the field edge started to move away from creek bank, and I thought that there may be bedding locations down along the creek. Looking ahead, I saw a large log laying there, and I decided to park myself there and listen to the woods, consult with OnX, and decide where I would lay in wait for an elk encounter.

Seeing that I had less than 50% battery life on my phone, I pulled the charging cable and battery out of my pants pocket, my phone started to ring. Checking to see who was calling, it was a number that wasn't in my contact lists. I sent it to voicemail. In a hot second, the phone started ringing again, and it was the same number. Once again, sent it to voicemail. In a few minutes after a drinking and "watering the bushes", I felt the vibration notice of a voicemail delivery.

A patient was calling, and saying that she was in extreme pain, asking if I could call in some pain meds for her.

As an aside, I cannot begin to tell HuntTalk how the way prescriptions for Scheduled Medications have changed over the years. No longer are the days where a phone call to your friendly local pharmacist would suffice, or even a fax Rx, but now it must be transmitted within an approved app, with two factor authentication for the "good stuff".

My cellular connection was varying from "SOS only" to one bar, and the App would not connect no matter how long I waited for it to initiate. Feeling conflicted in wanting to help this patient, and feeling like there was still time for elk to be moving, I gave myself ten more minutes to lie in ambush, and then I'd have to navigate my way back towards the car, so I could get out to better cell connection.

Time's up, so I headed back. I was patting myself on the back for dropping the pin for the stream crossing, and I laughed when I realized how close I was to the SUV, after crashing through the dark woods for thirty minutes earlier.

As I started to get out of my hunting clothes, I transferred phone, keys, earbuds, hand sanitizer, glasses and, and, and.......NO WALLET?!?!?! I hoped that I would find the wallet underneath my shorts/T-shirt in my front seat, but nada. I checked and double checked all the other pockets. Did I put it in my pack? Is this the pair of pants that has a small hole in one pocket and the wallet slipped out? Panic started to rise. I started to search in greater earnest, checking underneath the front seats, and moving junk around in the car where perhaps I had dropped it. Maybe it fell out when I went to the bathroom at O'dark thirty just up the road in the city park? I did a 360 around the car. And then did another one. I tried to remember where I dropped into the woods, just a few feet from the car.

And I had to remember that I have a hurting patient wanting pain meds called in. How could I forget, as she texted and VM'd me multiple times after our first conversation.

A truck with federal government plates was pulling up, and a game warden got out.

"Elk hunting?" (seeing my non-traditional muzzleloader, as the current deer season was archery or "traditional" muzzleloader).

"Yes"

I went on to have a chat with him, and we had a nice conversation about his last name, as it belongs to a very famous old-time dentist, who has a family of instruments named after him. He was aware of the connection to dentistry, as every dentist he's ever had talks with him about it.

I told him that I had discovered that my wallet was missing.

"That sucks"

Boy did he understand only a portion of what I was envisioning might happen if I couldn't find the wallet. The $180 cash, a couple of gift cards, would be a loss, along with my hunting licenses (although I have electronic licensing in Kansas), federal duck stamp, would hurt. I'd have to renew my driver's license. And worst case scenario, I panic visioned someone figuring out away to use the personal and business debit/credit cards, and the hassle of cancelling and replacing it all.
 
I drove back to the park, and went into the men's room. Searching the toilet stall, looking into the trashcan, and searching the park's other trash cans (hoping that a finders keepers person might take the cash and gift card, but not want to try the credit cards) to find no wallet anywhere.

I went back to the car, and pulled everything out of it. While I was doing this, I drained the icemelt from the coolers, and guzzled some more water. My head was feeling some sort of way. And oh, yeah, you've got a patient back in Wichita that is texting, calling you, and later I found out she is calling the pharmacy as well.

I texted the family group text: "I can't find my wallet.....PRAY PRAY PRAY!"

Failing in my first attempt at locating the wallet after emptying the contents of the front and back seats, I decided that my next step had to be getting the app to work for the pain meds for the patient.

Driving back to Manhattan, I found a empty church parking lot that had enough bars to allow me to initiate and connect to the app. Such a #$%^))Q hassle to input all of the required patient info, find a pharmacy on a rarely used app that isn't particularly intuitive, and my brain is all fuzzed out by the wallet debacle unfolding. Finally pushing send, now the two factor authentication process starts. The app texts back a 6 digit code, which allows the next step to start.

I now have 3 minutes to log in to an authentication app (separate from the RX app), which requires a non memorized user name/password, and then requires a random number generator that rolls over with a new number every 30 seconds to prove that I am who I say I am, and that yes, indeed, please dispense some narcotic pills to this fine, fine lady.

I learn something about this whole process today....two factor authentication on a cell phone requires a second device to allow for two factor ID. And my iPad is hotspotting to my iPhone, and thus doesn't allow for DEA happiness. Revving my engine in frustration, I continue to drive into Manhattan to do siphon off some Wi-Fi from McDonalds so that the iPad is connected without the iPhone.

I think I've got it, and then something is not accepted. I try again. Double check my password. Discover that the 6 digit randomized 30 second life span key has three numbers, a space, and then three more numbers. Wallet missing foggy brain didn't catch that at first.

Wait, my phone is ringing. WalMart pharmacy. Bob the pharmacist is calling me, because my patient is calling them every five minutes asking if they have the RX. I explain to Bob how my day is going, and I tell him that I'm about ready to throw my phone out of the window in disgust of the app. He comes to a partial rescue, as he suggests that I could voice authorize a lower schedule narcotic, bypassing the *&#^% two factor ID that was getting the best of me. Finally rid of my responsibility to my patient, I can once again try to figure out where my wallet could be.

Driving out of Manhattan and back to the city park, I hope that perhaps I've overlooked a sneaky hiding place and decide to dismantle the car once again. Finding a bit of shade, everything goes out. Flashlight search commences. Still nothing. Brain fog not lifting, but getting heavier.

Think kansasdad THINK!!

Maybe a drive to clear my thinking and cool myself off after reloading the car for the second time today. Driving along the north east side of the fort, I leave the highway and drive some gravel roads. Phone rings, and once again its the pharmacist so I pull over. The antibiotic chosen could interact with some heart meds. Secondary options discussed and authorized. I once again text the patient to review renewed instructions.

My phone rings again, this time it is Mrs kansasdad, wanting to encourage me that she knows this wallet will be found. She asks questions that get me talking. Getting dressed, tromping through the woods, setting up and moving ambush spots, sneaking along the woods, seeing the big log that offered a nice seat to sit and check OnX, and PULLING THE CABLE AND BATTERY OUT OF MY POCKET!! The pocket that has my wallet in it.

A wave of relief ran over me. Brain fog lifting. I know what I did, and what I need to do. Now all I have to do is to retrace my steps as best I can just in case the battery/cable withdrawal isn't laying next to the log, and go find that valuable piece of leather and plastic.

I go straight to the creek crossing, glide through the woods, once again finding treestand hunters in almost the same position as this morning, move past the elk beds, swing around and slow down, looking for the big log. Finding the log, I walk along just as I did the first time, and come to the other side.

Thar she be!! The BEST EVER "As they lay" item in my life.

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As I was fully geared up for hunting, and leaving would once again have me nearly walking underneath the treestand hunters, I stuck it out until the end of legal shooting light, neither hearing or seeing any elk. The deer blowing at the hunters to my south was amazingly persistent. But I only had thoughts of how I was going to send meme after meme to the family group chat once I got back to cell service.
 
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My kids haven’t razzed me about it yet, but my mantra of “phone keys wallet” as we are leaving somewhere (home, hunting spot, restaurant, movie theater, etc etc) is imprinted deeply upon them. And they in turn have taught their spouses. If only I practiced what I preach yesterday, how different a day I would have had.
 
but my mantra of “phone keys wallet” as we are leaving somewhere (home, hunting spot, restaurant, movie theater, etc etc)
I pat myself three times before I go anywhere - once for my phone, one for my wallet, and once for my keys. This practice is further reinforced by the fact that my wife will often leave the house without money/credit cards and ID - at least she needs me for something.

Good luck!
 
I pat myself three times before I go anywhere - once for my phone, one for my wallet, and once for my keys. This practice is further reinforced by the fact that my wife will often leave the house without money/credit cards and ID - at least she needs me for something.

Good luck!
Pocket, pocket, ass

Cracks my wife up but it's second nature to me.
 
Longtime HuntTalk member, (now deceased) @Topgun 30-06 regularly hunted the west side of the Bighorns with a Wyoming native friend who has become a friend of mine. John texted me this morning that an amazing coincidence has occurred, as “another dentist in Kansas has drawn an elk tag, and posted on MM”.

Turns out, a member there with 9 posts has copied/pasted my first entry of my HuntTalk thread . I don’t know if I should feel flattered or angered. I suppose that it is a good reminder that forums can be smoke and mirrors.

I told John to go ahead and nuke the plagiarizer “Thinglee9254” in any manor he saw fit, after I got my screenshots.


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HOT and exciting Friday and Saturday!

The alarm to get rolling was ridiculously early, as I have a 2 hour drive to get to the jumping off point. I would be driving Mrs kansasadad's Highlander, as earlier this week I was told the sad news that my car has a blown head gasket, and the remedy is a new motor (yeah, right....a new$11k motor for a 2009 Suzuki with 187k miles on it). I have drained the coolant, add a bottle of "head gasket sealer" and will keep it for the 5 mile commute to the office for as long as she lasts.

Arriving at the only zone that I've actually seen live elk with a plan to sit on ambush alert where two tank trails converge and soybeans standing behind me, hoping to catch elk coming back to bed, or later getting stirred up by deer archers leaving their stands. Walking in the temperature was a humid 77 degrees at 5:30 a.m., with a predicted high of 95. Setting full moon....the headlight was not really necessary.

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I was able to find the trail out of the woods that funneled the elk in and out of the western woods. There was a treestand about 30 yards from this trail on adjacent trail. Sadly I found no trail cameras to flash my elk sign to the cameras.

As the clock rolled up to 9ish, I strapped my shooting sticks and 3 legged chair to my pack and went for a walkabout in the woods. Finding the most defined trail heading into the woods, with a favorable wind, I pushed back into the woods, hoping to find fresh sign, and maybe get super lucky and smell/find a bedding area.

Consulting with OnX, I could see that there were several areas seeming to have more sparse tree canopy, and the trail seemed to be heading that way. Searching ahead for positive deer or elk sign, I thought to myself how I've yet to find any rubbed trees.

The trail was a bit meandering, and at times the thickness of the undergrowth allowed for very little sight clearance. And then my nose, which has never been super aware of odors, smelled "barnyard"! Freezing, I slowly lowered to see if I could see under the tops of the knee to waist high understory. There were a lot of cedars ahead, with the bottoms of those trees bare of needles. Seeing no elk or parts of elk, waiting for a couple of minutes, I decided that it was time to ease forward. The wind was fairly constant, and I was able to ninja my way past the cedar wall to come into the most open area in the middle of the woods. Looking down at my feet, I saw the source of the "barnyard" smell. Fresh and glistening, I was hoping for less than 24 hours old.

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Lots of elk beds strewn about the area. OnX pinned, I was happy to find evidence of elk presence, I just want to see one again in person.

Finding another trail leaving the bedding area and generally heading back towards the soybeans, I wanted to continue learning the nuances of this part of the post. As I was almost back to the the tank trail, I flushed up a nice buck who lowered his rack to run through the woods. So low that I was concerned he might hook his nose on a log and wipe out.

Not a bad morning at all, but the temperatures were rising and the wind was only going to be stronger from the south thoughout the rest of the day.

PS: I will confess that I must have reached to check for "keys, phone, wallet" at least ten times!
 
Entry onto the post when going through a guarded gate is done via drivers license. Parking your vehicle in the recreational zone requires a license to be placed on the dash. I have registered both of my cars on the iSportsman app, but my parking license clearly states the plate of the car, as well as the elk and hunting licenses, and the two safety briefings that I have completed. So my concern about using my wife's car caused me to drive over to the Environmental Office, which houses the post's biologists and game wardens as well.

I was able to talk with Mike Houck, the posts supervising biologist about the issue, he told me that as long as my iSportsman number and various licenses/briefings are displayed, he didn't have any concern about the different plate number. After clearing that up, Mike wanted to know how my hunts had been. I talked about seeing elk every time up, and he shared with me some of the places that more elk have been killed over the years. He said that those antlerless tag holders holding October tags are likely to have large areas of the post off limits for hunting, but my November tag will have probably have less constrictions.

Sitting on top of his filing cabinets are some massive elk sheds found on the post. So dark, I wondered if they had been through a prescribed burn, but the tips are ivory. He also had a photo of himself with a massive buck. He lit up when he told me the story of how his buck was tending a doe, along an adjacent treeline. As he was trying to get his rattling gear out to try to pull this giant in, he looked down and saw three smaller bucks directly under his treestand. One of the smaller bucks started to make a move on the doe, and the big boy was running this upstart back to where he had come, and stopped slightly quartering away at 30ish yards. Mike pulled out his phone to show me a couple more views of the Euro mount....an awesome buck.

After showing me his buck, I told him about my wallet, and the miracle of finding it. He told me that where I was hunting, there are a few elk, but more were to be found further west, and pointed out a field that had a good success in years past.

He also shared that this year there were 29 tags for hunters, and he thought that next year probably more than that. He was hoping that a flying survey this winter would help with a population estimate that would be quite precise. We also talked about surrounding areas known to hold elk, and how there has been an increase in nuisance calls from the post's neighbors.

Several rooms were dedicated to education, with lots of taxidermy display, and explanations of how man has lived on the landscape for thousands of years with archaeological information and findings on display. Another room was dedicated to taxidermy of poached animals. The caption on these bucks reads: your opportunity to harvest this animal was stolen by a poacher. Report wildlife crime Call 785-239-game"
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This photo was taken in the men's room in the building. Tecnu for the poison ivy, and the post is thick with it!

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I found the on-post Burger King to get a 2 for $5 (no tax!!) and I headed north towards the areas that Mike had just shared as likely spots to hold elk should those areas be open for hunting should I need them in November.

Driving up the old highway north, I could see the results of fairly recent range burning. Sprouts of green grass awaiting any kind of moisture to come to actually produce a late push of green before winter hits. The four most closed areas on the post (HKLO) or in military terms Hotel, Kilo, Lima and Oscar, are the areas used most by elk for shelter and feeding. Valley bottoms with trees and water (usually) and flat hayfields are where the largest number of bulls hang out. There are also many water catchments and ponds in the area for animal use, as well as fishing (when filled).

Driving these roads and trying to imagine a time before "civilization" was brought to the plains, it is easy to see large herds of bison, as well as elk and antelope thriving here.
 
Heading north for the evening's hunt, I drove along the edge of the "impact zone" with all of the relevant warning signs. It is obvious that the impact zone has many training areas on the periphery, and as I was driving, there was some artillery action further south. Parking just off the tank trail (gravel road) I left the car running, set my alarm and got in a fitful nap. The wind was so gusty that the car was rocking. I also slept fitfully as my gas tank was approaching empty, and I didn't want to run the car so long that I would run out of gas before getting back to Junction City.

The car thermometer said 95 degrees as I headed downhill onto the hayfield, with plans to descend into the forest in the bottoms and ease up to the elk hotspot. OnX showed how the field implements were able to get into this field, but taking that road with have me walking with the gusty wind at my back. Walking to the edge of the hayfield I started seeing elk beds just inside the treeline. These seemed quite old, but a welcome sign.

Picking my way downhill I was happy to not get cliffed out. Reaching the forest floor, I was not happy to find the wind acting funny. Creeping along with OnX in hand, I made it to the creek, finding as expected no flow, but it is holding decent water. Crossing points should I want to come in from the other side were marked. Creeping along, I had fun seeing squirrels doing their thing, not particularly concerned with an orange clad dude slipping through the woods.

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Can someone tell what type of mushroom is this?

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Coming up out of a tributary dry bed, I found myself in a more mature section of forest. Enough tree canopy that little trees were not much of a thing, I could see further, and slowed down even more. And then I saw tan and horizontal tan off in my periphery. The white end on the right, the head facing left. Freeze. Un-sling gun. Close enough that offhand would do. Head completely obscured by trees/vines. Brain computing.....way bigger than a whitetail. For sure an elk, its size says youngster to me. Sneak binos out of chest carrier.

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Elk moves a couple of inches forward and bends head down to feed. Did I see antlers?? Scope is set for the two pellets/bullet in the CVA. Body and head obscured, do I contemplate a neck shot? Bino focus, head still masked by undergrowth now. Head swings up.....for sure spike antlers. Scan left/right, near far.....is he accompanied by his mama somewhere??

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Now slowly slinking to my knees, keeping the spike in my vision, I keep looking to see if I can find other elk. This spike seems completely relaxed, shaking off a bug, slowly scanning and eating a bit. He moved forward, and turned his body a bit, now paying more attention in my direction. My camera and its autofocus are focusing on the foreground brush, and not the beautiful head of a spike looking directly at a starstruck kansasdad. Trying to will some other elk, I'm stuck here until this elk spooks or wanders away.

15 or so minutes later I think the swirly wind finally sent just enough of human scent his way that he decided to slowly walk away. I'm super glad that I didn't shoot first and ask whether this elk was legal later. What an afternoon I had already had, and I was hoping for even more as the edge of the "hotspot" field is just another 150 yards east of me.

Setting up on the ag field ("alfalfa" per the map) I enjoy a lovely evening of distant deer and lots of duck action along the creek behind me. Serenaded by whinging insects and distant military artillery, I reflect on wonderful day in the elk woods, while still holding out hope for my spike's momma to walk out onto the field.

Walking out on the trail in the full moon light, I reflect on how for the first time ever I had my muzzleloader hammer cocked and elk fur in my scope. Hopeful for tomorrow, I drive back to my sleeping spot for the night, and stretch out in the back of the highlander.
 

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ANOTHER HOTTTTT ONE


Sleeping in the highlander, the alarm goes off and for a moment I think.....well, this is it! Last day of September and the archery/muzzleloader segment of my Kansas elk season. My plan is to hunt this morning based on the intel found from my walkabout yesterday. Hopefully the depositor of the lovely pile of poop will get close enough to give me a chance. I for sure hope it happens this morning, as the forecasted high is once again mid 90's and this will be a DIY effort to get her out.

Headlight more for effect than need, I reach my destination without seeing any other headlights or hearing any cars on the road. Sitting down I drink my first water bottle even though I didn't feel like I needed it now. I've tried to set up to be able to watch for elk leaving the open at first light, but feel it is likely that they have been feeding nocturnally, and probably need to leave the post to find water on surrounding private lands. A pond that is "never" empty per the biologist is down to its last mud, and the creek bottom draining the impact zone is like every other stream bottom on the east side.....dry.

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No elk seen this morning, I waited longer to leave than most people might. I notice this about myself when duck hunting as well. I'm generally one of the last ones to leave a morning hunt, long after the ducks have quit moving, hoping that this morning it will be one of those mornings when one or more late flocks will grace your hidey hole.
 
My plan to hunt from the north side of my "spike unit" means that I will approach from Manhattan this last hunt of September. Stopping at Wallyworld to get a small bag of ice and some wet wipes to stave off swamp butt (its 95 degrees on the last day of September for Pete's sake!) I get to the closed gate and park in a bit of shade. I was able to hotspot my iPad to do my Wordle, Worldle, and Quordle for the day and forced myself to drink more water than I would drink in a week of sitting in my air conditioned dental office.

Finally deciding that I need to get the camo on, spray down and get going, I remember at the last second to add some water bottles to my pack before taking off. There is a large field of leafless soybeans, and beyond that is the creek. Yesterday afternoon I saw that crossing the creek would be fairly easy, but I wanted to document multiple options for getting myself and 200+lbs of elk safely over if it comes to that.

I crossed at the first crossable spot and continued down the valley towards the hotspot. Seeing several other crossing spots, I marked them on OnX as well. The creek here is quite twisty, and at the base of a large Flint Hills hill. Up top the wind was SSE, but underneath the lee of the hill and in the trees, there was less predictable wind movements on the forest floor.

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I had been seeing lots of butterflies yesterday and today, with most of them being Monarchs. I presume that they were just hanging out in the forest waiting for some good northerly winds to sent them southward towards Mexico. Envious of the photos captured in the "Butterfly" thread, I decided that the next opportunity to capture some images would be a good way to slow me from my rush to get to the hotspot.

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Moving on from the butterflies I was sneaking along in ninja mode along an elk/deer pathway in the woods when my un-silenced phone text alert rang. As I looked down to grab the phone out of the chest harness, mentally kicking myself for my un-ninja like move of a phone ding when I saw movement towards the thicket off of my right side.

Swiveling towards the movement and moving my gun towards my shoulder as my brain registered the thought "ELKKKKK!!" I had my scope on two cow elk as they exited angling from right to left. (Left to right crossing birds are my favorite be they clay of feathered).

Thick saplings/understory and two cows running shoulder to shoulder meant I had no shot, even though I was on the cow closest to me. They were under 30 yards when they started their run and in sight for less than five seconds before the thick stuff hide their escape.

WOW! ELK ARE BIG!!

First thoughts in my brain as I tried to freeze into my memory what had just happened. You ninny....phone left unsilenced?? Silence that thing right now! Could I have seen the elk before they heard the phone, or was it a swirly wind that gave me away? Was I moving too fast? Are you sure they were both cows? (they for sure were).

Ok, lets go over to learn something here, at least make this a learning experience. I popped a
half-hearted photo of the elk's starting spot. Now I began to question myself....were they bedded down, or on their feet? Where exactly were they at when they took off?

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I was in a thicker part of the forest, with lots of underbrush/saplings coming up. I moved over to where I thought they were bedded, but never found a definitive bed location. Playing the video over in my head, I asked myself if there might have been more than two? I don't think so.

WOW, ELK ARE BIG!!

Of course I know this. I've seen elk lots of times. Estes Park, Yellowstone, Kansas game farms, Wyoming hayfields and mountain sides. But, this is the second time in two days that I've had a Leupold crosshairs on an elk with an e-tag on my phone.

Grab a water and drink it down. Ask myself if I'm really sweating in the heat? What next?

I drop a pin on the cow encounter and head towards the "hotspot" field. Slowing my forward progress and scanning more completely, I have a decision to make as I get to the open forest of last nights spike. Do I stop here or move to the edge of the field? And do I really want to kill an elk tonight??? 95 degrees. Can I part her out and not lose any harvest? Only a creek crossing and a soybean field to negotiate. For sure I want to get one tonight.

No further appearances of an elk tonight.

My September hunts got better as I learned more about hunting the zones, and better elk zones were actually open after kansasson and I tried that first long weekend. I have seen elk in two different zones, endured too hot to hunt elk temperatures, heard some bugles (real or man-made?) seen turkeys, coyotes, whitetails (several I'd have been thrilled to take home) and twice had elk in range, once with the hammer cocked on a non legal for me elk.

I might end up doing a late October scouting visit before my elk season opens again in November. I will help Outdoor Mentors with an antlerless whitetail hunt. I might not do any deer hunting at all. Kansas ducks have very limited surface water so that is questionable whether I go do that. It is the fall of elk for kansasdad. And I like it.
 
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