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December 4: Pam Shults

With a needed break from work and an Illinois tag in my pocket I was ready to head to the farm! With the forecast and the weather I knew the hunting should be good but I was not looking forward to the cold weather. Cold weather mornings and getting out of bed are definitely not my strong suits.

From the time we left home to the time we got through St. Louis it rained which was making for a terrible trip, but as we hit Hwy. 61 and headed north the rain turned to snow! It was the first snow of the year that I had seen and it was beautiful. As we got to the farm it was still snowing hard and as I stepped out of the truck the cold north wind cut into me like a knife and I thought “I am going to have to get out in this and hunt!”

As the morning came I awoke and was ready to brave the cold because it had been 2 years since I had took a buck off of the farm. Joe told me that we were going to a blind he had set up looking over a Biologic food plot next to the silo set. He said that the blind would help knock the wind off of me and he had a heater for me as well to help keep me warm.

As morning broke and after a 40-minute wait the first deer came into the food plot. Soon after here came 6 more. All were bucks except for a lone doe. I was disappointed that all the bucks were only 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old bucks. Then the rest of the morning’s hunt was slow so we called it a morning and went to the house.

That evening we went to the quad pod blind behind the house overlooking beans and wheat. With my Thompson Center and my heater in hand we headed out to the blind. It did not take long for the deer to start moving, but all we saw were doe and small bucks. Even though I had a doe tag I wanted to get my buck on the ground first before taking my doe.

The next morning we went back to the blind overlooking the Biologic food plot. The morning was slow, but I watched a few small bucks come into feed as the frost left the ground. That evening the cloud cover broke and we seen the sun for
the first time on the trip and Joe said they should move good this evening. Boy was he right!! We had not been in the blind 10 minutes and the deer starting filtering into the field at a steady pace. Then from the east came a nice buck into the field. When I got my Nikon binoculars on him I knew he was the one I wanted! As the buck fed, deer were still coming out into the field. Then he decided to just bed down in the open field. I could not believe he did that, but he stayed there for 20 to 25 minutes. As he laid there deer where walking by the buck toward us. Then he stood up and started feeding our way. As he was coming I started getting my Thompson Center into my shooting stick and getting into position to make the shot.

When he finally was in front of me a 1 1/2 year old buck just kept standing in the way. Finally as the small buck stepped out of the way the buck was not broadside yet. As I waited and waited he finally moved and I ask Joe if he was on him and he said yes. When I got the green light to take the shot I let the Thompson Center roar! As the smoke rolled I seen Joe following the buck with the camera then I heard him say "Yes" and I asked if he went down he said yes! I was so happy that he was down in the field and tracking was to be done. It was my first buck in two years and I was tickled to death to have filled my tag.

After killing my buck I got to sleep in the next morning and Joe took me to breakfast. It was a well-needed rest and a good hot meal to start the day. That evening it was time to try and fill my doe tag. That evening the deer movement was slow, but I knew we would surely see a doe in front of us. After a 2-hour wait for her she came feeding her way to us. As soon as she gave me a good shot I took it and Thompson Center let the smoke roll again! As the smoke cleared the doe was down in sight and tracking job once again!!

Although the weather was cold the hunting was good, I saw snow and filled 2 tags in 24 hours. It was an awesome trip. I would like to thank Coon Dog and Joe for all their hard work that has paid off for all of us this year. Now the 2-year drought for me is over in grand fashion!!!