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October 23: Steve Filley

I suppose everyone has a story to tell or even a list of things they would like to do before they die. I too, am one of those people who have what we call a "bucket list". That’s why when Chuck and I received the news that we had been selected for Dream Season 8: Workin Man,’ we were ecstatic. I had always dreamed of being on television and had no idea that it would come true. Having watched every episode of the past seven seasons, I knew that I also would get the opportunity to hunt at Hadley Creek Outfitters in Pike County, Illinois. I could now add that to my "Bucket list" and that is where this story begins.

On to the morning of October 23rd, we woke at 3:45 a.m. for preparation showers, breakfast and were ready to meet our guides and leave by 5:00 a.m. As we walked outside, we met up with our guide Justin Waack. Chuck and I could tell at that point you would never meet anyone more passionate about his job than this young man.

We walked outside and instantly felt the wet air. We packed the gear into the truck and headed to our first hunting location. By the time we arrived at the farm the rain had started to come down a little heavier. We got out of the truck and put our Scent blocker clothes on, which is a practice that Chuck and I do religiously.

Wouldn’t you know that on the way to the stand the lightning and the thunder started to get a little more aggressive. Being the tough guy I am, I told Justin to leave us. I knew that if we wanted to kill a big buck we would want to be there as soon as the rain ends. We saw four does and a little buck so we at 11:00 am we headed back to the lodge.

Back at the lodge, we dried off and discussed our plan of attack for the afternoon hunt. The rain cleared out and the clouds stayed overhead. On the way to the farm Justin described a buck that had been seen in the area that he really wanted to take off the farm. He said it was a mature eight point buck with short brow tines, short tine length, and mediocre mass. He asked if we had a problem taking him off the farm. Well let me tell you, I didn’t have a problem shooting a deer especially a "management" deer.

Chuck and I made it to our afternoon stand and got set up. I don’t think we had been there twenty minutes and I looked over across the ditch and saw our first deer, it was a doe fawn but never the less it was good to see a deer come by so early. At about 6:00 pm, Chuck told me he had seen a good buck that resembled the deer Justin described as the one he wanted taken out of the herd and he was coming up the ditch just like we were told he would. He stopped to make a scrape about ninety yards to our north and I asked Chuck if he thought it that was the deer.

We watched the buck for what seemed like and eternity, all the time trying to decide for sure if this was the animal I was supposed to kill. By the time I made up my mind the buck was at exactly twenty-three yards. I asked Chuck once more while I was at full draw with my PSE Bow Madness. You guessed it, I unleashed the arrow and the rage tipped, carbon force missile found its mark as the green lumenok directed the path. The buck lunged forward and ran a total of forty yards before falling over on camera into the bottom of the ditch.

I called Justin to let him know that the celebration is about to commence and he was invited to attend. I was pumped!!!! I could not wait to get there and tell the guys what I had done. Shortly thereafter, we found out that the deer I had shot was actually a two year old deer and was not the actual deer that Justin had wanted killed. Chuck and I were completely in dismay and disappointed as we had not only killed a deer that was well below the 140” minimum, it wasn’t the management deer we had anticipated shooting. I would like to say sorry on our behalf and let everyone recognize that we paid the appropriate fine and that mistakes do happen. In no way do we blame anyone but ourselves and have a great respect for Hadley Creek Outfitters.