I’ve had the good fortune to be able to hunt with Keaton Kelso of K&K Outfitters the last two seasons. I would highly recommend the experience if you get the chance. Keaton’s lodge is located in prime whitetail country in SE Kansas and it is top notch.
The food is delicious and accommodations are very comfortable. Keaton manages his properties in a way that maximizes the trophy potential of the deer and he has many well placed and well maintained blinds. Keaton and his guides (Doug, Jeremy, Mark) are some of the best people I have ever hunted with. Keaton is straight up honest and he does his best to make your hunt a good one.
Last season was particularly memorable.
I was hunting the last week of the season and we were hit with record setting warm temperatures. The big bucks simply were not moving during the daytime. They had their winter coats on and were not interested in leaving cover in the daylight hours. For four days, I sat in blinds in the morning and evenings, not seeing anything over a two point. Then, the last day of the season – it started raining. This bit of weather change gave us a glimmer of hope. Maybe something would be moving. We went out for the morning hunt and it was the same old story. I saw two does. We went back to the lodge for lunch and were kind of resigned to Mother Nature beating us this year.
We went out for the last evening hunt without a whole lot of optimism. It had been raining hard all day, but was still very warm out. Keaton put me in a blind that I hadn’t been in before, but he had a hunch about it. It was a tower blind with a nice open field in front of it and a tree line about 200 yards away. There were several head of cattle in the field grazing, but no deer yet. Since it was our last hunt, we had got into our blinds early, so I sat from about 2 pm to 5 pm without seeing anything on four legs except cows. Legal shooting light ended at 6pm, so it looked like this hunt was going to go the same as the last several had.
At a little after 5, deer started coming out of the tree line. There were several does, a couple of fork horns and one 6 point. The cows were down on that end of the field and were mingling with the deer. A few minutes later, I couldn’t believe it, but a monster stepped out. I didn’t know how big he was, only that he was the biggest whitetail I had ever seen on the hoof. I had stared at trees and field for so long without seeing a shooter buck, for a minute I thought I was imagining this. I got my rifle up ready to shoot and of course that was when the cattle walked in front of him, blocking my shot. For what seemed like an hour (it was probably 5 minutes), the cows moseyed along, grazing and taking their sweet time. Finally, there was a space and I shot between the cattle and he went down. Scared the crap out of the cattle.
I got down out of the blind and slogged the 200 yards through the mud to look at my deer. I looked at the time and it was 5:15 pm. The last hour of the last day of the last week of the season and it finally came together. I guess that shows that you should never give up. Keaton had a great hunch on this one.
If you get a chance to hunt with K&K Outfitters, do it.