Written by: Garrett Schmidt | Hunter
It all started three years ago when my twin brother, Blake Schmidt, started asking around about Kansas hunting ground. Shortly after, I found myself in Southeastern Kansas up in a treestand. It was like nothing I had ever hunted before. Making a ten-hour drive from Houston, Texas was a big step for us, but we were determined to chase big whitetails! Our first year we both ended a disappointing season eating tag soup, but at least we learned a lot that year. The following year we decided to find new hunting land and dedicated more time and effort to harvest a Midwestern Giant.
The Big 10 | 2015
Not long after the November Rut was in full swing and I found myself making a solo trip to Kansas. I knew making this trip without my friends was going to be hard, but I was so pumped up I decided to make the trip anyways. On November 19th, 2015 I stuck my first Kansas giant!
Garrett with his 2015 Kansas Whitetail
The first three days I spent countless hours in a tree overlooking a bean field, I would rattle and grunt only to come up empty handed. I then decided to change things up and explore a new part of the property and found a rub line 500 yards long. The next morning, I would slip in before daylight and give it a chance. Just before daylight I found myself sitting on a hillside leaning up against a tree thinking to myself this will never work! Not 30 minutes after daylight I drew back on a 150-inch class whitetail and let the arrow fly. I couldn’t believe that I shot my first Midwest whitetail sitting on the ground leaning up against a tree.
A few of the rubs Garrett found along the 500 yard rub line
The Kansas Freak!
Fast forward to 2016, I was once again lucky enough to draw another Kansas buck tag. After hunting the farm for the first time, I noticed the deer were working the beans on the south end of the property. I needed a north wind to make a move on the deer the next afternoon. As luck would have it, the only day I was going to be in Kansas showed a north wind! So the next day I put a game plan together and put my boots to the ground.
Garret took a picture of the giant rack sticking above the beans before he began the stalk
I showed up around 3:00pm that afternoon only to be faced with 85-degree heat and a mile walk around the beans. I ended up a few yards into some brush just off the bean field with the wind in my face. As the golden hour approached, I continued to glass the bean field in the direction the deer funneled out the night before. Just before dark I was thinking I had made a bad decision leaving my tree stand, when I looked up only to see a giant rack sticking out of the beans. I didn’t have much light left and had to make a move on this deer quick!
The wind was in my face and I had the beans to hide in. I ended up belly crawling through the beans for about 100 yards, as I closed the distance on this Kansas Giant! Now there was only about 30 yards between me and the deer and not much light left. I had to do something fast, so I stood up out of the beans, drew my bow back, and let my arrow fly. It hit it’s mark and I could not believe what I had just pulled off! Nobody was ever going to believe me!
Pictured above is the path made by Garrett as he belly crawled his way into position.
Garret stands with his 171″ Kansas Giant
Honestly, four years ago hunting in Kansas was just a dream for me. But with a positive attitude and hard work I managed to harvest two P&Y Kansas whitetails that did not cost me an arm and a leg. Hunting big whitetails isn’t something you need to break the bank over. Trust me, I’m just your average middle class worker from Houston, Texas working in the chemical plants. There are plenty of opportunities to shoot big bucks like we see on T.V. if you’re willing to work for them.
The best part of setting out on this dream of mine was making some amazing lifelong hunting buddies along the way! My advice is don’t be afraid to do what you have always wanted to just because you are afraid of the unknown. Set a goal, work hard, and chase that dream until it becomes a reality!