October 27: Mike Klemmensen

The story of the Rodeo Buck goes back a few years with Reconyx photos and video. He got his name last year when my huntin’ partner Tom Ware passed him as a four year old. The buck had stood just a few feet below Tom for quite some time. Tommy said that it reminded him of a cowboy preparing to ride a bull and thus, the buck became known as Rodeo. Now again, Rodeo was patrolling the “308” field, leaving no doubt to any onlookers that he, and he alone, was in charge of this bean and Biologic Maximum food plot.

Until late October, I had been biding my time; I wanted to save my vacation days for when things would heat up. Slowly the days were checked off the calendar and October 28th, my first day in Iowa was here. As luck would have it, I was scheduled to work until 10 pm on the 27th. That meant not getting to Iowa until the wee hours of the morning or waiting until the next day to make the 5 hour drive. As most deer hunters heading to Iowa would have done, I drove through the night instead of missing my first morning hunt. As I made the trek from Illinois to Iowa, I thought of the words Tom had said to me earlier in the day; “you need to get here, it’s happening!!”

We had a great hunt in the morning but did not see any shooter bucks. Mid-day we watched video of Rodeo in the 308 field that Tom and taken earlier in the week; and because the wind was right again, we would hunt there. I took a short nap to replenish from the drive the night before, gathered my gear, and off we went….hoping that Rodeo was commanding his kingdom.

Almost has Rodeo had read the script, he shows up in his usual manner. It seemed like an eternity, but he finally offered us a 35-yard broadside shot. I drew back my trusty PSE X-Force and prepared to introduce my “little friend”, Mr. Rage to his vitals. I checked with Tom to see if the camera was on him and…..he took off after a doe….game over?? Not yet!! I let down the bow and watched as Rodeo chased the doe. He stopped the chase at about 80 yards and the excitement started all over again. Slowly he worked back towards our stand. Finally, everything was right and my arrow found its mark; Rodeo was mine!!

As a bonus, Rodeo ran past a Reconyx camera while trying to make his escape. These pictures added some pretty cool icing to this already delicious cake!!