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The Hog Panel 8

If I could some up this season in just a few words, I would have to say that it has been one of the toughest of my life!! I was very fortunate to draw an Iowa archery tag this year, after putting in the previous two years. I could not wait to hunt! Especially after seeing what we saw on my dad's hunt last year, I was jacked! My season had started in Iowa on October 5th. The first night i had sat in the blind overlooking a Biologic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets plot, i knew i was in for something special. I killed a big doe the first night, which i was lucky enough to have my wife, Kimberly, film for me.

After the doe kill on the first night, and seeing several deer, i decided to stay out of the area until it got closer to the rut, or a major cold front rolled in. I really never got the cold front i was looking for, so October meant lots of work, and more time off in November! We first started hunting in Iowa on November the 6th, and the first morning i passed two bucks in the mid 140s! I was really trying to hold out on a giant, and seeing so many great bucks the year before on dad's hunt, I knew I could be patient!

The rut came and went, fast! With very little cold mornings, and SLOW mature buck movement, i was starting to maybe second guess passing the bucks in early november. After running our Reconyx cameras for a couple weeks, our food plot was telling us it's time to get back on the green!! I got back up hunt on December 21st, after the archery season had reopened. The first night was slow, and evening two was looking like the wind was going to change. The food plot is really set up for a south wind, and with north winds coming, we had to come up with something fast!

My good friend, Cody Gillette, had made the trip up to film and we came up with a great plan! We went to the MFA store and bought a 16' hog panel, and cut it in half. Then, we stopped in a ditch on our way to hunt and pulled high grass to brush it in, and man it looked AWESOME! We totally disappeared! After setting the blind up around 1:45, we were rushing to get in it! We finally got situated, and it looked like another slow night. Then just before dark, a beautiful 4 year old 8 point stepped out!

After being at full draw for around 45 seconds, i finally was able to get a shot off! The buck was hit hard, and ran out of sight. We started tracking after waiting for my dad, and saw that the blood trail had went onto the neighbors. We decided to back out and wait until the following morning. After speaking to the game warden, we had received permission and it wasn't too long after, we had found my buck! We had such a tough season, I cant tell you how relieved i was to find my buck! This was Cody's first time running a camera, and he did a fantastic job! I'm sure it won't be our last hunt together!

Moral to this story is, don't be afraid to try something crazy to kill 'em! Sometimes that's what it takes!

One thing that made this hunt special, was the first day i got pictures of this buck, was also the day my daughter Brooklyn was born. So actually the toughest fall of my life, was also the best!

CP