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October 23: Kyle McClellan

This is a hunt I will always remember. I arrived at Hadley Creek Outfitters on October 21st trying to bring home my first buck. On October 24th the fourth day of my hunt it all came together.

It started out with a tough decision. I hunted the “Killin Tree” in the morning and didn’t see a whole lot, but had a good feeling about the afternoon. I called and talked to Mark Drury about where to go in the afternoon and he gave me two choices and one of those was a ground blind about 80 yards from the “Killin Tree”. Tim, the camera man, and I talked to Stacey Ward from Hadley Creek about where we were going and we talked about maybe hunting the “Killin Tree”. We ended up taking chairs out to the ground blind and wanted to check the wind in the field and make our choice. Even though the wind direction wasn't good for the spot we wanted to go...we had confidence in our Scent Blocker gear so off to the “Killin Tree” we went. Once we got in the stand we saw a lot of does eating in the field in front of us and some small bucks. Later we saw two bucks fighting and a nice eight point at the other end of the field. Right after 6:00 pm we heard a big crash and me and Tim jumped up and two does came up over the hill. Right after that a big shooter came up over the hill. Once he came out into the field I used the range finder to find out he was at 42 yards and got ready to shoot. I pulled back and let it go using my 40 yard pin and I knew that I had a hit and thought it was maybe a little low but thought it was going to be good. I was so excited to finally have my first buck... as long as we could find him. That’s the second part of the story………………..

We waited about 30 minutes to get down from the tree and went back to camp to look at the shot on film. We looked at the film and it was a great shot and I was anxious to go get him. Stacey came over to look at it and made the decision that he thought he was already down and we could go find him. We went out there with some of the great guides at Hadley Creek and looked for him. We found blood and followed the trail into the woods and he had bedded down twice in 100 yards so we decided to pull out and look for him in the morning. After a sleepless night we got back after it in the morning. We think we spooked him the night before and he ran up a steep hill into a turnip field. We followed the blood to there and lost him. We made the decision to call in Tracking John with his Blood Hound Jesse. Jesse got there and it was incredible to watch her follow that trail. Once she got to the turnip field it took her a few minutes and off into the woods she went. She followed the scent straight down a steep ravine and went right to my buck!!!!!! I was so excited to get my hands on him and get some pictures. It was an awesome hunt and one I will never forget.