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I could not believe what I was seeing. A doe came trotting up to the natural funnel of recently cut tree tops that some loggers had left. She raised her tail and snapped her head backwards, as though she was being followed by a buck. "No chance," I mumbled to myself, just before I heard a soft grunt coming from a buck that was still hidden under the canopies of the trees. Approximately 60 yards away, I saw a flash of antlers through the leaves. I raised up the Nikon's to see what was keeping the doe's attention. "Oh my gosh, it's him!" I whispered to the camera man as I realized that the buck I was hoping to harvest was slowly heading my way.

I believe that every serious bow hunter begins the year with at least one goal. Some of us have goals that are definitely far fetched. I was slowly beginning to think that my number one goal was going to be far fetched as well. You see, my number one goal this fall was to shoot a gross P&Y buck in my home state of Arkansas. Not that it's impossible, but I knew that the task at hand would be difficult. Capturing it on film would definitely not make things any easier.

I was lucky enough this summer to get an invitation to join the Norris Hunting Club, located in the Mississippi River bottoms on an island that is known to most as "Big Island." The club is 1000 acres of bottom land that is known to hold some awesome whitetails, especially for southeast Arkansas. There are 12 other members that share this ground and it has been under a good management program for many years. I knew that the new lease could be the key ingredient to achieving my goal.

The first order of business was to get my Reconyx cameras out and start surveying for possible candidates. In July, I set up a camera on the edge of a 3 year cut-over which I believed to be the main bedding area. Upon checking the cameras, after 2 weeks of waiting, I was shocked to get a picture of a wild looking non-typical which I quickly named "Cactus Jack." I knew that this buck was extremely unique and he was quickly deemed as the buck on the top of my Arkansas wish list. As the season neared, Cactus Jack suddenly disappeared.

I was doing some last minute scouting the weekend before the archery season opened when I found a natural funnel between a windrow of tree tops on the edge of a fresh cut-over. I hung a Reconyx watching the small opening. On the first set of pictures, "Boom Baby!" Cactus Jack was back! He was about a half mile from where I had gotten the velvet pictures during the summer. Immediately, 2 Big Game treestands were hung overlooking the opening. He was in hard horn now and there were no daytime photos. I knew that it would take something drastic to catch him on his feet during the daylight hours.

Working 6 days a week, hunting was put on the back-burner until my construction job came to an end on the 23rd of October. I gave my good friend Chad Murphy a call and he was excited to come and spend a few days videoing me at my new lease. We left on the 26th for a 4 day hunt. With hot temps and very little deer movement, we knew that our best chances for harvesting a buck would have to be on Friday morning. A much anticipated cool snap was scheduled to arrive and could be just the break we needed. Sure enough, the cold temps arrived on our last morning. As daylight broke, we were seeing deer on their feet.

And now back to where the story began. "Shooter buck!" I excitedly said to Chad, trying to keep my composure. I checked him one last time with the rangefinder as he slowly made his way towards the small opening. "Shoot him," Chad said as he entered the shooting lane. I had to squat slightly to miss a branch that could have been a party crasher. I settled the 30 yard pin on the bottom of his heart. At the release of the arrow, as if it was in slow motion, Cactus Jack began to drop. The Lumenok told the whole story as the arrow struck the 9x4 non-typical directly in the heart! I wish I could tell you that I kept it together, but that would be a lie. I knew that the Rage had hit pay dirt. The buck ran out to about 70 yards and just nose-dived on camera! This of course was like throwing a match to gasoline. I absolutely exploded baby! After my initial reactions to watching him fall, my mind immediately went to my friend and Drury teammate Bric Steward. Bric had been injured in a tree stand accident just days before leaving for this hunt, and he was constantly on my mind and in my prayers. So, as I said in my reaction, "Bric Steward, this is for you man"....

Be sure and catch this hunt, complete with my new hit single "Bucks on the ground".... Guaranteed to make you roll on the ground laughing! Next stop, Kansas!

Good luck & kill em big!!!