This season started off pretty rough for us in Missouri this year. After working our tails off all summer long and planting more food than we ever had before, we had high expectations. Unfortunately, a lot of the deer we were hoping made it through never showed up. We still had several mature bucks to chase, but other than one close call on September 17th with a giant old buck we had a slow start to the season.
Needless to say, we were excited for the rut to roll around. Seemed like something magical was in the air the evening of November 3rd. A front had just come through and the wind had died when I got a text from Shawn saying his dad had just shot a buck. I was in the middle of getting my engagement pictures feeling guilty because I only had one thing on my mind…hunting! Clayton and Skyler were also on stand giving me the play by play. It wasn’t too much longer when I got another text from Skyler saying that he too had shot a big one! I couldn’t believe it – two bucks in a matter of about an hour. I couldn’t have been more happy for the guys, but I got to admit I was a little jealous that they were in the stand that night and I wasn’t! Two awesome Missouri bucks!
The next morning I knew exactly where we were going to sit. Shawn and I have a set in the middle of an awesome funnel between two blocks of timber that is a perfect spot for when the bucks start cruising. It wasn’t long after light when we heard some grunting and chasing and then spotted a buck that we call Traveler. He followed the does that skirted the edge of the field and eventually came to 38 yards where I was lucky enough to make a great shot!
If I could have picked one deer to shoot this year, it would have been him. Just a big, mature bully of a buck that we have quite a bit of history with. This particular deer showed up for the first time on my cameras last October (2010) and then disappeared after the rut.
Ty ended up finding his shed on a farm that he hunts several miles away and then getting pictures of him this summer. On opening day he was filming his dad and they actually had an encounter with Traveler, but couldn’t get a shot off.
When October rolled around, I was excited to see if he would show back up on my place since Ty hadn’t seem him and sure enough, when I pulled cards on the 22nd of October I got pictures of him cruising on the end of one of my foodplots. A few days later I got pictures of him again, but this time he was missing the end of his right beam. I knew the rut was right around the corner if he was fighting hard enough to break off his main beam! It was clear that he was establishing his territory and I had a feeling it wouldn’t be long before we could see him from the stand.
Little did I know we would shoot him the first time we did finally see him from the stand. I was so pumped to get on the board with a Missouri buck right before Shawn and I loaded up for Iowa.
Things are rockin up here…look for an update soon!