November 6: Cody Thurston and Dan Thurston

Believe it or not, my dad and I have never got a kill on film together. Now, other people have filmed his kills and he’s filmed other people’s kills. When I was 16, I put a head cleaning tape in the camera and not a real recording tape and he “filmed” me shoot a nice buck with my bow. “The curse of the head cleaning tape”, has stayed with us, until now!

Typically my dad spends all season trying to get a buck down on film and usually takes it down to the wire. Whether it is a bow sadness event, wanting to sleep in once or twice, or managing other people's properties that he runs out of time to focus on his. Usually it’s a series of many unfortunate events throughout the whole season that, luckily for me I get to endure the brunt of them. Sarcasm? Maybe so.

I can say it’s definitely not his lack of determination! He did bless his presence with Brycen and good friend Dennis Tyson on a few hunts before he and I were able to hook up and go. Luckily for us, it only took us one hunt together to get it done this year! Can you believe that? Because I sure can’t! The stage has been set!

After helping out a friend planting BioLogic plots on his properties he gave my dad permission to hunt. On October 28th we picked a juicy BioLogic maximum and last bite field and boy was I pumped! I was not able to hunt until this particular day and I was pretty excited to film my dad. He said we were going after “shorty” a big framed 10 point with short brow tines. This deer was fairly sporadic, but there’s always that chance!

DeerCast said Great and was the first cold weather front with a wintery mix, we were hoping it would be a light switch for movement.

As a few does trickled in and began to feed, I figured it was about time to wake dad up from his usually nap in the blind. Then Out of nowhere “Shorty” shows up lip curling and nudging the does around. He was closing fast! Shorty got to 30 yards and my dad sent the Victory and Rage right into his shoulder.

Shorty took a couple bounds, the arrow came out and he continued running off out of sight. My dad had been cursed with little penetration and shoulder hits that haven’t gone in his favor.

After that shot, I imagine the emotions of my dad’s longggg season last year, all the work and plots for others that he wears himself out with, and the shot he just took , all came to a head because he was not happy to say the least. Everyone wants that perfect shot, the deer to go down on film and to have a happily ever after. It happens a lot, but there are many times it doesn’t.

We watched the film on the TV over and over, I was sure that deer would be fine. After about the 10th time my dad said, “hey I see blood”, I was thinking no way. Sure enough when he was off in the distance every time he took a step he pumped blood out! I mean pumped! DeerCast tTrack said that deer is dead, and after seeing the blood pump out I was sure of it as well. The Rage sure did its job. All of our down and out emotions were immediately reversed!

We let him lay overnight and got up first thing the next morning to look. The landowner Kim and crew joined us to track him and have a celebration. We just knew we were going to be celebrating. We found good blood for about 125 yards, then it slowly vanished. Surrounding this property is thick CRP. Finding this deer with no blood was like finding a needle in a hay stack.

My dad wore Kim, and Dennis out that day walking, walking and gridding the area from last blood. Many people would give up, throw in the towel on that deer and go hunt another deer. My dad has a love/ hate relationship with these animals but he loves them too much just to give up looking. These monarchs deserve us to exhaust all resources and possibilities to find them and that’s exactly what my dad did.

With DeerCast Track and Mark encouraging dad that Shorty was dead, he didn’t give up. The next five days my dad walked, walked, and walked some more. One day he decided to just look and observe. He noticed crows flying in just this one particular area about 400 yards from last blood. Could they be picking at Shorty’s carcass he thought? He called his buddy Dennis to help look in that particular area and what did they Find?! “Shorty!

Unfortunately, after all those days the crows and coyotes had stripped every spec of meat off of Shorty. We did it! My dad and I finally got a kill on film together. It wasn’t how everyone dreams of doing it, but its real life and these things do happen. I’m extremely proud he didn’t lose hope and didn’t give up! I know I would have. It’s not everyone’s story book ending but its dad’s and everyone that was a part of this journey, story book ending!

Congratulations Dan the man on a stellar buck! Sharing that time together and finally getting our first kill together on film means more than you know. Thanks to Brycen and Dennis on filming my dad when I couldn’t and thanks for Kim Klotz for letting him hunt. It’s hard to come by friends like you guys.