Photos by Ronan Donovan and Jeff Simpson
Its been pretty well documented as the Midwestern states continue fight this 25 year drought, but its one thing to see it on the news and another to live here in the heart of it.
Its day 76 of the drought. That alone is a ridiculous number, but another that is even more disturbing is that today marks the 22nd day over 100° this Summer. To put that in perspective, our average 'days over 100°' in Kansas City for the month of July is 5, August is typically the hotter month.
Pair the facts that the crops are beat down/wilted and water holes are evaporating daily, I've spent my July worried for my deer. Luckily, I do have one flowing creek on my main lease and some water left in the creek on my smaller lease, so we aren't in tragic stage yet.
The crops however.....they look terrible. I planted three acres of beans this spring to leave up all season long for the deer. My latest trip out to get cameras placed last week revealed that the beans never even germinated on our plot. Its dry dry dry where we are.
Now closer to the city on a buddy of mines farm....its the exact opposite. His beans look great (as you'll see in some of the pics). He is one of the lucky ones that has bottom ground next to a lot of water, so the moisture in the ground itself stays pretty strong, even in a drought.
After a night out scouting with him, its easy to see the deer are flocking to the places that have beans and water available. He's looking to have a pretty solid early season near that water, and I spotted the deer for him to chase. A great big 9pt with some serious old man mass.
As for my leases, regardless of the heat and drought, I'll remain optimistic. I know there are great deer in the area and we are going to continue to implement the old and some new management techniques to lessen the effects of this weather on our deer. As with everything in life, you play the cards you are delt.....and do your best to play them smart.
Safe and Happy Hunting!
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A Missouri corn field in bad need of water.
A pair of fawns tired of getting their picture taken.
Glassing from the beans.
Danny Wastler, lucky owner of the moist soil.
Jeff and Danny with several deer out.
iPhone digiscoping with the Zeiss DiaScope 85