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Although he normally pulls duties as the chef, David Cates decided it was time he harvest a big buck in Tom Ware’s Illinois camp.

As a new member of the hunting group, Cates had never shot a mature buck with his bow. A big help on the farm doing chores and tasks in the summer, Ware pulled Cates into a food plot in the timber to test his luck.

The “killing plot” was approximately 3/4 of an acre. With a steady North wind, Ware and Cates were able to sneak into the blind situated over the plot without jumping deer. Not long after getting settled, deer started moving through the plot. Then, a doe came running into the plot with her mouth open. Ware knew there would be a buck behind her, and told Cates to get ready.

It took longer than expected, but Ware finally spotted the buck. It was a buck they knew well. He had one huge side, but the other was gnarly and full of junk. Cates knew it was the buck he wanted. The mature whitetail was following the trail of the doe.

Cates went to open the window lock and it creaked. The buck stopped and backed up. But instead of leaving, he turned right toward the blind and came in to 10-yards. Ware put the window down and stopped him. Cates let his arrow fly and it was true.

The deer ran downhill about 150-yards, with momentum and adrenaline fueling him, before piling up. Cates was absolutely thrilled. “He was a 45-year-old man acting like a 10-year-old boy,’ Ware said. And that is what it is all about.

Ryan Miloshewski, DeerCast Senior Writer