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This year’s deer season has gotten off to a rough start. I’m trying to stay positive through an array of disappointments. It seems like it’s always something. My trail cameras keep disappearing, I find evidence of other hunters in my ground blinds, stolen tree stands, and the list goes on. It’s been a long 12 months since I’ve harvested a deer, and movement in Ohio has been slow to say the least. I was ready to get out of state. We had won a trip to Hadley Creek Outfitters during Dream Season and I was heading to Illinois.

This trip was going to be a little different from the previous. With this being such a busy time of year for Ben and Wolf Creek Outfitters, he wasn’t able to come. So I asked my wife Candice to fill in. I wanted to show her how much fun whitetail hunting can actually be. I didn’t want this trip to be about me. It was about her experiencing Hadley Creek.

We loaded up all our gear and drove 660 miles to Pike County on the 24th. The game plan was for her to hunt until she harvested. Lucky for me it only took two days!

The morning of the 27th we slid into a stand on a white oak flat with an east wind. We packed a big lunch with intentions of staying all day long. Since Candice was filming for her first time it took a while to get settled in. Once it started breaking daylight I took her through a quick camera school in the tree. My expectations weren’t high, but I was hoping we could pull it off. An hour after daylight I told her to film me rattling and then I grunted a couple of times. Before she could even turn the camera back off we heard a deer coming from the bottom. Out of the south a buck came charging in to investigate the horns. I could tell right away he was a good mature buck. Knowing that Candice was still rolling and getting good footage I watched him walk past the stand to about 10 yards. Then I decided. I couldn’t pass him up. I told Candice, “I’m going kill him”. Candice gave me the green light. She was on him and recording. I put a well placed rage right in his ten ring. Forty yards later he was down.
That was my 3rd buck in three trips to Hadley Creek. Having my wife there to film me made it that much more of an accomplishment. After a quick review of the footage in the tree confirmed that she had done a great job filming her first successful hunt.

With few high fives and a short track job our Hadley Creek Trip was complete with two deer down in only three days. That’s five deer down for Team Ohio with November right around the corner. A special thanks to Ben for allowing me to take Candice on this trip, it’s a memory we’ll have for the rest of our lives.