We'd been warned that few, if any, velvet bucks remained in the area. As luck would have it, though, one came to within 25 yards of the author on the first evening of his hunt. Moments later, the hunt was over. Velvet buck achieved.
In a bit of a surprise, both fatal bullets were recovered. That's the author's there on the left, the B.O.R. Lock Lead. Brantley had zeroed his muzzleloader with the original B.O.R. Lock MZ Trophy Copper projectile, seen on the right.
If you're not a bowhunter, the odds of adding a velvet buck to your trophy collection aren't great. In most states, it's essentially impossible. Kansas is not one of those states. With an early muzzleloader season—beginning as early as the second week of September—those of us who aren't archers are given a rare opportunity to set our sights on bucks that still have a little something extra on their antlers. Even then, though, it's not a sure thing—a lot of bucks are already going hard horn as August wanes. So with high hopes and tempered expectations, I journeyed to eastern Kansas to join Federal Premium for a little warm-weather deer hunting. Check out the gallery embedded above to get a look at how I fared.