Rack Magazine

Stick & String

Stick & String

By Greg Hicks

Kansas gets a new king for one of its hills.

Lynn Beaty, a “semi-retired” logger from Haughton, Louisiana, discovered the perfect bow setup nearly 50 years ago, and he still sees no reason to switch to curved limbs or cams.

Lynn and four buddies from northwest Louisiana spend a fair amount of time bowhunting deer in Kansas. They have access to four milo and alfalfa farms in the south-central part of the state.

“We like to glass the alfalfa fields to spot the mature bucks early,” he said of his routine. “The alfalfa is a real good attractant in the early season. We actually saw the buck I shot in 2015, along with another good buck, back in August.”

In addition to the alfalfa, the group planted 6 acres of milo in the fall, which is also a great attractant when the plants produce seed heads.

Lynn was very optimistic before the 2015 season opened, but he got a late start.

“Opening day of archery season in Kansas was on a Monday, and I was in Montana, hunting antelope with my longbow,” he explained.

Stick & StringHe got back to camp in Kansas about 2 a.m. the following Friday. After a quick rest, Lynn set out for one of the monster bucks they’d located earlier in the year.

With the wind just right on Sept. 18, Lynn settled into the homemade 6x6 box stand they call The Honey Hole. It’s made of cedar slabs from a sawmill.

“We won’t hunt unless the wind is right, and everything was right that day,” he said. “I didn’t see anything for a while. I actually took a little nap.”

When he woke around 6:00, Lynn tuned into the landscape. He focused for several hours, hoping to see one of the shooter bucks he’d dreamed of for a month. He saw nothing until the light began to fade.

He noticed the antlers first.

“I picked up my binoculars. When I noticed the fork on this buck’s P-3, I knew which one he was,” he said.

The deer has significant characteristics, including a multi-pronged brow tine, that make it an easy one to identify.

“We actually named him the Fleur-de-lis Buck because of his brow tine,” he said.

Stick & StringLynn eased his A&H Archery longbow up, drew, and dropped the string on the buck at 18 yards. He watched as the 200-grain broadhead and 300-grain arrow sliced into the deer, but he knew immediately it hit slightly farther back than he’d intended.

The buck jumped and ran, but it stopped after 50 yards at the edge of a freshly plowed and replanted alfalfa field.

“He was obviously too far for a follow-up shot, so all I could do was watch him,” Lynn said.

The deer stood on the freshly broken ground for almost an hour. Lynn could only watch and wait.

Finally, as the sunlight faded, the buck walked slowly toward the alfalfa field.

Lynn immediately called his buddy, Sid McCullin, to discuss a game plan.

“We decided the best thing we could do was to leave him alone, to not even think about looking for him until the next day,” he explained.

After a long and sleepless night, the duo set off after the buck. They studied the spot where it had stood for so long and tried to follow the blood, but the fresh dirt seemed to have swallowed every drop.

“We couldn’t see anything in that field. Plus, there were deer tracks everywhere, so we decided that we were going to have to just walk and look. We were going to find that deer,” he said.

Stick & StringThe pair walked the area for 45 minutes and then split up to cover more ground. Lynn went north, and Sid headed east toward a little creek.

A short while later, Lynn glanced up and saw Sid walking back toward him. He knew his friend had found something.

“When we met, he told me he’d found the buck, which was still alive. He had walked within 30 or 40 yards of it and then eased back out of there. My first question was ‘Is it big?’ And Sid said ‘It’s bigger than anything you’ve ever shot!’” he laughed.

The plan was for Lynn to circle behind the deer while Sid stayed back and videoed the recovery for their television show, “Old School Outdoors,” on the Sportsman Channel.

With his primitive bow in hand, Lynn did his best Mohican stalk and got within shooting distance of the buck, while his buddy Sid videoed the whole thing. After a quick coup de grâce, the buck expired and the hunt was finished.

When it was all over, Lynn realized the buck had gone about 150 yards from the initial shot.

“I like to shoot a 500-grain arrow (broadhead included) with this longbow. That helped me get a complete pass-through on this deer,” he said. “We’ve matched these arrows and broadheads up real nice.”

Hunter: Lynn Beaty
BTR Score: 180 2/8
View BTR Scoresheet

This article was published in the June 2016 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.

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