January 2: Steve "Coon Dog" Coon

Was this hunt my last hunt of the year or was it my first of the season. No matter how you look at it, it was a hunt of all hunts. It first started back in the summer of 2009 when I was contacted from Drury Outdoors that I had won a hunt and the hunt was either on one Mark’s farms or Terry’s Missouri farm.

The choice was a tough one, because I knew that all farms were strictly managed and an opportunity at a really big buck was possible at either farm! Knowing that I had two tags for the great state of Illinois “ archery and firearm” and my home state of Missouri, I thought I would roll the dice and pick Mark’s Iowa farm and by what I mean on rolling the dice is trying to obtain a non resident tag is like winning the lottery!

So my choice was made and all I could do was wait and see if I won the hunter’s lottery. As I was waiting for Iowa to put out the lucky winners, I was playing a little lottery myself and that was the Missouri Lottery. On that one hot summer day I went to a store in town to see if I could retire early, but the only thing I found out was my new nickname loser!

Well I had heard from Terry that Iowa had posted the names of the people that had drawn a tag, so I went as fast as I could to a computer to see if my nickname was still loser, but guess what, it wasn’t I had just been picked for a late season tag so I went from being a loser to a winner and man was I pumped, I could not wait to call Mark and let him know.

Now on with the hunt, after Joe and I had another great season it was time to wait for December to roll around. While waiting I was checking the Drury Journal everyday watching all the big bucks that the other team members were putting up and I was just hoping that I would have my turn on the wall of fame.

December 21st I was driving to the great state of Iowa but first I was meeting Mark at his Missouri farm and I would follow him on up. Once we arrived it was time to get ready, Mark said that we were going to a field that he shot his awesome buck in and he told me that their were two to three shooters that were still using this food plot and we had to be there by 2 p.m.

As we climbed into the blind it wasn’t log before the movie started, it was like every deer read the script and then the two stars shown up, but as luck would have it they also left, because someone missed and it wasn’t Mark. Mark right away used his favorite line,” If You Want to Rob a Bank Go to Pevely When Dog’s Working”.

Well we laughed it off even though I wasn’t any a laughing mood, but that’s hunting. The next night found us over a corn field and we did have some deer show up, but none were what we were looking for.

In my mind I was thinking did I just blow my opportunity, but Mark just looked at me and said don’t worry just come back and we will get it done.

OK I’m back driving to Iowa and its January 2, 2010 and the weather is brutal. I’m talking below zero temps and wind chills near 20 below with over two foot of snow!

First night was a nightmare from getting stuck in the snow to walking to the stand. Once at the stand it was another night of great deer movement, we saw 50 to 60 deer, but no shooters.

When we got back to the house we did find out that someone saw a shooter, it was Taylor. While I was with Marks cameraman Joe, Mark took Taylor to Missouri for their late season youth hunt and Taylor was able to put an awesome buck on the ground. Not to mention Tracy cooked a great supper that we all enjoyed.

Next day brought a new game plan, after Chris Comstock arrived. Mark said we had a perfect wind for a food plot that he had scouted and he knew from his Reconyx trail cam pics, that this field had a shooter coming to it. Well our first mission was to figure out how we were going to get there because of all of the snow. So the decision was made we were going to use Marks tractor. So if we didn’t look like the Key Stone Cops or the Clowns at a circus, just think about it!!!

We now are in the blind, we had two cameras running, and deer were coming in and out of the field. Mark turns to Chris and tells him that he see’s horns. During this time I hear their conversation, but I don’t pay much attention because Mark likes to mess with me and he tries to get me a little excited, like I need any help. Anyway Mark tells Chris again Big Shooter and Chris looked at me again and said no, really big buck. With that I looked in Chris’s camera screen and the panic button is pushed.

The buck came in with does and you would have thought the rut was still on the way he acted. After one quick bite of beans he was scent checking and pushing every doe in the field. At one point we had him at 40 yards, but when you’re trying to capture the kill with two cameras you wait. Once the buck came by at 40 yards he decided to turn and walk away. Even though I had a shot at the deer, I didn’t want to push the shot on a great animal and have a chance of losing him.

All I can say is that I’m glad I waited because the old buck decided to chase another doe, but this time he ran out to about 80 yards and I knew he was in trouble. So after Mark stopped the buck I was able to put a perfect shot on him! After the hit the buck put on a great reaction, “just like me” you will have to see it to believe it!!!

So Mark I hear Terry say it sometimes on how you spoon feed him on turkeys, I would like to tell you thanks on how you just spoon fed me on a awesome Iowa Giant and Chris thanks for being there also. WHAT A TEAM HUNT!!!!!!!!