It’s the holy land of whitetail hunting – the South-Central Plains Region. Stretching from the southern half of Minnesota down to Mexico, this territory undoubtedly accounts for more Booners than any other region. It’s in the heart of the Midwest and contains heavy-hitting states like Iowa, Kansas and Texas.
Although the deer in the northern half of the South-Central Plains Region are considerably larger in body size than deer in the southern half, both share one thing in common that draws hunters from the entire United States – impressive antlers and in most places, a very reasonable amount of hunting pressure.
The deer hunting in certain parts of this territory has reached nearly mythical proportions, but traveling hunters would be wise to not expect a buck behind every bush. Or deer that will blindly run into every rattling sequence.
The South-Central Plains whitetail is a still a whitetail, and while hunters-per-square-mile in many places will be much lower than many of the East Coast states, the deer still get hunted hard. Long seasons and an influx of nonresidents can temper some of the luster that is part of the region, but that is in no way meant to say it’s not as good as anywhere in the country. In fact – without a doubt – it offers the best chance at a mature buck.
One hunter who has taken more than his fair share of those big bucks is Don Kisky. Don, along with his wife Kandi and son Kaleb, live in Iowa and have made a name for themselves filming huge bucks hitting the dirt. His penchant for filming has led Don to develop a hunting method that is still evolving.
“Although I love to hunt from treestands, I’ve started to hunt from ground blinds a lot. We brush them in to standing corn in our food plots on land that we own or lease. A lot of the plots are three or four acres and we very meticulously brush a blind in at the edge of the corn. We did this originally because suitable stand trees were hard to find and we needed good footage.
“We then realized that we could use the corn behind the blind as an effective way into and out of the blinds. Now, we put a blind on each end of the cornfield to hunt different winds and we wait until the right chance to sneak out. If we do it right we don’t blow out our fields, ever. Because of that we don’t burn out our best spots.”
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Kisky prefers to put his blinds in early and leave them throughout the season, which is good advice for anyone using ground blinds for whitetails. If you don’t have acres of food plots to work with, you can still use Kisky’s strategy. Leased land or private land where you’ve secured permission might allow you the opportunity to brush-in a corn blind. Of course, you don’t need corn. Hunters have started to use ground blinds in more situations as they realize that as long as they are brushed-in and seasoned, the deer will eventually accept them as part of the landscape.
If you’re traveling to a new spot and plan to use a ground blind it’s obviously going to be very tough to “season” your blind.
This necessitates a serious brushing-in session, and while you’re making your blind disappear, it pays to remember your scent. Rubber boots and rubber gloves sprayed down with a scent eliminator are a good idea. This might not be enough to fool all of the deer, but you just might fool the right one.
To brush his blinds, whether he’s on his own farm or traveling, Kisky has a few tips.
“I always use the natural habitat,” he said. “You can use zip ties to secure brush to your blind but bailing twine works better. I also always make sure to stake down my blind, even if the forecast doesn’t call for strong winds in the immediate future. One of the most common mistakes I see is that hunters open their shooting ports or windows way too wide. You’ve got to keep it dark in the blind and that means narrow shooting ports.”
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Get This Great Cooler/Dry Box and You’ll Be Set!
Whether you’re going to the beach on vacation, relaxing at the fishin’ hole or sweating your butt off in summer at a deer camp work day, this Engel Cooler/Dry Box will be a great benefit.
Three sizes are available and they all come with these great features:
- Quality injection molding and high-grade molded polystyrene foam insulation keeps your food and drinks cold
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- No foul smells, thanks to stain and odor resistant surfaces
- Easy to clean with a non-absorbent surface
- Compact and lightweight
- Self-stopping hinge
- Includes a convenient hanging accessory tray