ALL THE BUCKS WERE LOCKED DOWN WITH DOES
This was the exact scenario I faced during my first visit to Kansas a few seasons ago. The halfdozen bucks we’d seen from the truck were standing guard over hot does in the middle of the prairie. It was the peak of lockdown, and we weren’t seeing many deer from our stands. It seemed like the odds of getting a buck to within bow range were impossible. Yet guide Wade Shults offered some straightforward advice: “If you want to kill a big one, this is the time to do it,” he said. “But you’ll need to be there when the right one walks by.” Shults was exactly right. I saw very few deer. But when I did see a doe, a giant buck was right on her tail. She pulled him past my stand, and he had absolutely no idea what had happened when I drilled a broadhead behind its shoulder. Hunting the lockdown phase of the rut means hour upon hour of boredom interrupted by moments of pure chaos. Really, you're targeting doe movement. When bucks are locked down with does, they are not leaving them. The does might not move for days, but eventually, they will stir. You simply have to be there, and be ready, when they finally arrive.