Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tagged Out

Boom goes the Dynamite!!  Just like that, my 2011 Kansas buck is in the book and I am now chasing ducks and geese up and down the Central Flyway.

Pic from trailcam the Friday before
Last Sunday, despite a beautiful crisp fall morning, I had a slow start in the stand, the only thing out moving within eyesight was a pack of coyotes. Reaching what I believe is the half-way point of the Midwest rut, I was starting to feel the pressure.  I was fully aware in 11 days (Thanksgiving), would mark the beginning of the end and the big boys would start a return to their senses. Walking back to the truck after striking-out, I decided to check one of our Moultrie Game Spy M80x Mini Trailcams.  I popped back into the timber and reviewed the images on the camera.  I was shocked to see all of the activity which had been recorded on the device, including a couple nice bucks which had been caught hanging out in the area over the past few days.  Despite knowing the bucks were merely visitors just cruising the area for does, I decided this would be the spot for my evening hunt.

After knocking out family pictures and re-stringing some duck decoys, I suited up in my M2D Camo and headed to the stand.  Within a few minutes of getting situated, deer started to appear on our Buck Forage Oats foodplot.  An hour passed and 7-8 deer were peacefully grazing in the oats when all of the sudden they all started to scatter.  Next thing I know, a nice 8-point was chasing a doe in and out of the timber.  The commotion ended when the pair disappeared into the timber.  A few moments later, I heard a twig snap behind me and turned to see an exhausted doe sneaking down the creek channel, she was cautiously moving along but had spotted me perched in the hedge tree.  After taking a few steps, all the while keeping her eye on me, she bolted to the north.  When the doe took off, the 8-pointer I saw in the foodplot earlier, darted from the timber in hot pursuit.  I was completely preoccupied watching this act of nature unfold when movement to my right side caught my attention, it seemed I was not the only spectator interested in the chase taking place in the prairie field.  I lost my breath when I looked down and saw nothing but antler.  I instantly recognized the rack as one of the bucks captured on the trailcam and knew without a doubt he was a shooter.  The marked target patiently watched the relentless efforts of the younger buck as I readied myself for a shot.  As if he was positioning himself to get a better view of the action, he took a few steps from the timber and stopped perfectly in a shooting lane at 25-yards.  The shot was near perfect, nicking the heart and passing through both lungs.
25-yard shot w/ clean "pass through"
He fell 40-yards away after being poked with a Magnus Stinger Buzzcut.  Once I knew he was down, I honestly thought a blackout was coming and the shakes set-in.  I was shaking so bad I dropped my phone to the ground while trying to text.  After gaining my composure, I climbed out of the stand, made a few texts and followed a blood highway to a massive rack sticking up from the grass.  The rest is history, with help from Steve and Danny we loaded the trophy into my truck and had him caped and processed by 11PM.  The next evening I delivered the rack and cape to the taxidermist for mounting (much to my wife's disapproval).  I figure it will be at least a week before I return to earth and back to reality, in the mean time I am quickly burning my way through a new case of BlackCloud FS Steel #3's!             

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