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November 16: Cody Thurston and Brycen Thornton

With Brycen already tagged out in Kansas, he had been filming me for the past week with some good encounters but no kill. So on the morning of November 15th, we decided to change things up and try to do the almost impossible.

We split up and were attempting to self-film kills out of a tree stand, myself in Kansas and Brycen heading to one of my spots in Missouri. If that’s not bow madness I don’t know what is! My plan was to sit all day near water and pray one of my shooters walked by. I was really hoping for “One eyed willy”, a 7 year old monarch with one eye, a hole in his throat, and a chunk out of his ear. People call deer warriors, this guy was the warrior of all warriors in the area. Seeing a buck like that makes you really wonder of all the knock down drag out battles he’s been a part of. It was an amazing morning for buck activity for me. 8 bucks came cruising through looking for love, however, nothing over 3.5 years old. Then I receive a text from Brycen at 8 o’clock saying, “your boy is tagged out in Missouri!” A nice 8 point freshened up a scrape right in front of him, rubbed some trees and put on a real show! Initially, he let him pass by but as they say they always look bigger walking away. He had a little remorse. However, for whatever reason the buck turned around, came back, and freshened up another scrape at 5 yards. Brycen knew he wasn’t going to let him walk by again. So he waited patiently for the buck to give him the perfect quartering away shot and let the Rage do its job as Victory arrow flew right into the boiler maker! The buck didn’t go 15 yards and piled up! All on film! I couldn’t believe it! He was tagged out in Kansas and Missouri and I wasn’t even tagged out in Kansas yet. I was definitely re-thinking everything I knew about deer hunting at this point. Until noon o’clock came around and there he was, it was one eyed Willy! If he walked in front of me, his right side with no eye would be facing me so I knew I would have a chance to get it done self-filming. But Willy had other plans as he looped behind me. This wasn’t going to be easy to say the least. Luckily the tree I was hanging in was a behemoth and let me turn around, get the camera swung around and get re situated. I was still thinking I was somehow going to mess this up. Every time he started walking I had to swing the camera around making sure he was in view of the camera and trying to find a hole I could shoot through. This process repeated itself a few times and went on for what seemed like an eternity but in reality only about 10 seconds. I strung the needle and my PSE Evoke sent the victory arrow and rage broad head right into his lungs and he piled up within 15 yards! I couldn’t believe it. At this point I wasn’t even sure if he was on camera or not. Luckily, when I reviewed the footage he was! I called Brycen and gave him the good news. What are the chances? A double on the same day all self-filmed. In my opinion, it doesn’t get much better than that! It’s definitely been a season of “firsts” for the Thornton and Thurston crew. Brycen and Tiffany’s first kills as a married couple, my dad and I’s first kill together on film, and Brycen and I’s bucks we self-filmed out of a tree stand.