November 19: Kelly Turner


Pure persistence enabled Kelly Turner to take his second target buck for the 2019 Illinois bow season.

The buck Kelly was after was the best on his farm in 2019. “It had been a light year on the farm in terms of big deer,” he said. “The buck I was after was the most mature buck on the farm that season.”

The buck had been a regular on the farm all season, until the rut began,” Kelly said. “Then it disappeared all of a sudden. I had hunted the buck three or four times with no luck. I was actually in my driveway one afternoon getting some hunting gear ready to go out that afternoon. It was midday when I looked up, and that buck was going through the edge of my yard!”

Kelly became worried as the buck headed towards the neighbor's farm a half mile away. “The buck left my place and went onto the neighbors farm,” Kelly said. “Oh my gosh,” I thought. “I knew the buck had been chasing does, but I did know that it was in between does. I decided immediately to begin hunting that buck again.”

Kelley hunted his second target buck for the next four or five days. “I almost never do that,” Kelly said. “I’m very particular about being careful to not hunt a buck too many days in a row on the same food plot for fear of educating them. I hang a lot of stands and try not to burn a spot out. It really felt weird to hunt the same spot so many days in a row, but I had confidence that the buck would eventually show itself. The entrance and exits to the field were pretty bullet proof for that time of year too. I still felt  like I might be messing the spot up.”

“I hunted the stand for several days and finally, on the fifth day, it all came together,” Kelly said. “The buck actually blew in from a direction I never expected it to come from. A few does came through a few minutes earlier. About 30 minutes after them, my cameraman Ralph told me there was a good buck coming.”

Kelly looked over and the buck was coming fast. “That buck was on a mission,” Kelly said.  “Ralph got the camera on the buck and I stopped it. It offered a perfect shot and I killed him with my PSE Thrive Crossbow.”

The stand Kelly hunted had BioLogic Clover right under the stand and that was surrounded by two areas covered in  brassicas. “As good as the food plot was, my buck did not have food on his mind. It was chasing big time and everything fell into place in a short moment. It felt great to have my persistence pay off with such a nice Massac County, Illinois buck.

-Bill Cooper - DeerCast Senior Writer