November 20: John O'Dell Sr.

Well this hunt has been a long time coming. After many tries and lots of bad luck my dad who will be 65 years old in February FINALLY harvested his first buck!

Here is the story. We only had two days to hunt in IL so luck would have to be on our side. After driving 14 hrs from Virginia we finally arrived in Pike County IL. We were the guests of Michelle and Stacey Ward Hadley Creek Outfitters. Dave and I have been fortunate enough to hunt w/ Hadley Creek in the past so I knew we could expect good things. Hadley Creek has a great combination of guides, accommodations, meals, and whitetail deer hunting. As an added bonus we were going to be joined in camp by Dave and Amy Reisner and Justin Lurk and his dad John so I knew that we would have a fun time in camp.

Day 1 The first night everyone was busy sharing hunting stories and eagerly anticipating the first mornings hunt. The following morning we found out that our guide would be Shooter Rick. Dave and I had hunted with Shooter in the past so I knew we were in great hands. I could tell my dad was really excited to be in deer camp for the first time in over 10 years and I was hoping that maybe today would finally be the day he could get his first buck. Well unfortunately after several encounters with young bucks and does the day came to an end. That night we heard from Amy and Justin that they had seen some nice bucks but no shots were fired.

Day 2 On morning #2 I knew that Shooter Rick was putting us on one of his best farms “Brushy Ridge” which took me back many years when I first started filming with Drury Outdoors. I used to film there when Terry Drury had that farm back in the 90’s. Well in spite of Shooters best efforts we could not seem to buy a break so we decided to make one last move at lunch to hunt over a Biologic Maximum field until shooting time ended. Well as you might have guessed with one hour left before shooting light ended a good buck showed himself in the Biologic field. The only problem was the buck came in dogging a doe and he was 160 yds out. Well it was now or never so John Sr. dropped the hammer with the TC Pro Hunter and the buck dropped in his tracks! I could not believe it. I think my dad said it best that he waited 64 years for that moment and he was as happy as I have ever seen him!

Overall we had a blast with the Lurks and the Reisner’s and the other hunters in camp. A huge thank you goes out to Shooter Rick, Stacey and Michelle Ward, and the rest of the crew at Hadley Creek Outfitters for making my dads lifelong dream come true! It was an experience my dad and I will never forget!

Good Hunting!