Kase Blackburn was hunting with his dad, Billy, during the Kansas youth season. This is the sec-ond big buck Kase has taken on Billy’s birthday
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||September 4, 2023|
|Place:||Neosho County, Kansas|
Kase (left) and Billy Blackburn are all smiles behind the Kansas monster that 11-year-old Kase took toward the end of his hunt at the Lil’ Toledo Lodge in Kansas, which also happened to be on Billy’s birthday. Image courtesy of Holly Rickner
Deer-hunting fathers: Can you think of a better birthday present than having your child shoot a monster buck on your big day? I’ll bet not. That happened for Billy Blackburn this September when his son, Kase, put down a Kansas whopper with a freaky double-beamed antler. And that buck isn’t the first one that Kase has anchored on Billy’s birthday. He did it in 2021, too.
Billy has been hunting with Lil’ Toledo Lodge in Neosho County, Kansas, for about 10 years now. Two seasons ago, his son Kase was 9 years old and drew a Kansas tag, allowing him to hunt with his father at the Lil’ Toledo. On September 4, which is Billy’s birthday, a tremendous 9-pointer offered Kase a shot opportunity, and he connected with a great hit that put the buck down quickly. Happy birthday, Billy.
After sitting out in 2022, Kase drew another Kansas tag this year and was back in the saddle for the early September youth hunt. The Lil’ Toledo guides had pictures of a 200-class buck, and Kase wanted to hunt it, but he and another youth hunter drew cards to determine who’d get to sit in the hot seat. Kase drew the low card, so the other hunter pursued the deer. Ray TenPas, which you’ll read about in a separate Rack Report, eventually killed that buck the following week during the early muzzleloader season.
The Blackburn buck sports velvet and stunning character. Image courtesy of Holly Rickner
But Kase still had some nice bucks to chase. “On our first two sits of the trip, we were hunting for a big 10-pointer,” Billy explained. “At one of the stands, that buck was on a pattern. Both afternoons, we saw lots of different bucks, but the 10-pointer didn’t show up. We even saw a buck with a silver coat. I’ve never seen one with that color before. He was totally silver. On the second hunt in that spot, 22 different bucks came out. The biggest one was probably in the 140s. I told Kase that he could take his pick if he wanted, but I also told him that we had two more nights left. He had the discipline to hold off.”
After the guides pulled the SD cards from the cameras, everyone learned that the 10-pointer had come in about 3-4 hours after dark. So after those two sits, the father/son team switched to a different spot. Billy mentioned that it is a spot where his mother, brother and he had all killed bucks on previous hunts. While the Lil’ Toledo Lodge manages several thousands of acres, there’s just something about this spot for the Blackburn family.
The buck was a frequent visitor at the stand where Kase put the finishing touches on his 2023 Kansas hunt. Image courtesy of Holly Rickner
“We got in the blind for a morning hunt,” young Kase said. “There were lots of mosquitoes. My dad told me that we had about 10 minutes left before we’d leave. Then, I saw a nice buck out of the corner of my eye. My dad told me, ‘It’s a mature buck.’ So, I shot him.”
Billy said that his son made a great shot. The buck ran only about 90 yards and piled up. Once again, happy birthday, Billy.
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