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December 27: J.J. Kolesar

 

Louisiana greeted JJ Kolesar with pouring rain that looked to limit their hunting. The first morning at Honey Brake Lodge was a total washout but the rain began to slack off as they climbed into the stand for an afternoon hunt.

They settled into a stand in a swampy marshland that is part of the Wetland Reserve Program. Less than 10 minutes in the stand and a doe darted into a clearing about 180 yards away. Seeming she was being chased, JJ began looking to the timber edge behind her to see a buck. After a closer look through the binoculars, he knew it was a shooter buck.

Just as soon as they had appeared, the buck chased her off the food plot. But before the adrenaline of seeing a shooter could wear off the doe came back into the food plot with the buck in hot pursuit. Once again they left the food plot and never offered a shot.

Soon they reappeared for the third time. This time they paused in a clearing at 316 yards. JJ took aim and shot just under the buck. The buck retreated while the doe took off in the opposite direction.


As the disbelief that he had missed the buck was setting in, JJ saw the buck a fourth time. Just two minutes after the shot, it seemed the buck had already forgotten and was after the doe. JJ said, “That hot doe was our best friend”.

JJ couldn't believe it when the doe came out of the timber and finally enter the food plot. And she had the buck in tow for his fifth appearance of the day. This time the mature buck stopped to get a bite. JJ peered through the scope waiting for a clear shot. When the buck turned and presented an opportunity, JJ squeezed the trigger. This time he hit his mark and the 171 inch swamp monster ran about 20 yards into the woods and laid down.

While Honey Brake is well known for duck conservation, this 7-year-old buck is a testimony to Honey Brake’s discipline and dedication to whitetail deer. The fact that this buck, was 180 inches with a drop tine last year, and allowed to grow to be 7 years old is a testament to their focus on deer management and conservation. Allowing a mature deer to grow to his full potential takes discipline and hard work on all involved. JJ also expressed his gratitude to David Kahill from the Confluence Group along with Mike Corley and Drew Keeth from Honey Brake for this great opportunity.

Gear Used:

Leupold

Winchester firearms

Winchester Copper Impact

Nomad

Tenzing

Reconyx

onX

LaCrosse Boots

Outdoor Edge knives

 

 - Dr. Brooks Tiller