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November 8: Justin Lurk

Persistence pays dividends...

Jared and I worked all summer putting in our food plots, hanging sets, trimming stands, putting up Reconyx game cameras and then transitioned them to the scrapes in early October. We hunted several weekends in early October during the cold fronts – but, no luck.

Fast forward to November 1st and two weeks of vacation penciled in at work – all I could think was, bring on the rut! We hunted every morning and every evening and just weren’t seeing the signs of the highly anticipated Iowa rut. We saw a few younger bucks chasing does, but the mature deer were not on their feet – yet. The Temps started to climb and weren’t ideal, but we were going to grind it out. I had several great encounters with 3.5 year olds, but Jared and I are both committed to harvesting mature (4.5 years and older). We like the results you get from passing the “good” deer so you can hunt “great deer”.

The morning of Nov 8th was slow, again, but we still had high hopes for an evening hunt on beans and maximum. The Reconyx cameras told us several big shooters where frequent visitors. Jared nicknamed one buck “Gorby” after Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Russian Prime Minister, because of the scar on his neck and face in the 2008 trail pic. He was all over the cameras in 2008, we did not get a picture of him in 2009; however our neighbors did. And then again this year, he appeared in October on the scrapes around our food plot, but would he get on his feet (during daylight) with these unseasonably warm temps?

Good thing we were in by 2:30pm because by 3:00 we had 4 bucks on the field, a button, a 2 year old and two 3 year olds. We noticed their moods were much different than days before. They didn’t each much, but were more interested in posturing, raking their antlers on saplings, and pawing the ground. Could it be...was this the night we’d see it break open?

At 5:00 pm we noticed some of the same younger bucks coming back onto the field – walking and looking. Additionally a few does too. Suddenly I looked at the opposite end of the field and immediately told Jared – SHOOTER. I have wanted to say that for SO long!! With his tall G1s, we quickly indentified him as “Gorby.”

He looked like a lost little puppy walking down the center of our bean field. He spotted the does on the opposite side and was on a mission! That proved to be his final mistake as I settled my 30 yard pin on him and squeezed the trigger. I was elated to see the PSE find its mark. He ran 80 yards as we watched him exit the field and crash into the creek!! Are you kidding me... that just happened! I finally harvested that “mature” whitetail I’ve been chasing for the past several years!

I can’t thank Jared enough for all the time he has put into making this moment happen and as always, I have to thank my girls at home (Mindy and little Liv) for allowing me to be away to pursue this passion. It truly is a madness that we live for each and every year!