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September 5: John O'Dell & Dave Reisner

Well it was the morning of September 3rd and Dave and I found ourselves racing to Kentucky. Dave was headed East from Iowa and I was headed west from Virginia. We were on invitation from our good friend Ben Maki of Mossy Oak. We would be joining our good friends Ben and Shed as well as some of the other camera guys from Mossy Oak. Dave and I had decided that whoever arrived at Ben's farm first would get to hunt first. If you're not first your last so there was no way I was going to let Dave beat me there. Especially since Ben had been sending us Reconyx pictures of several mature deer that where coming to our stand locations on a regular basis during daylight hours.

Day 1 Well luckily for me I arrived first and so I was batter up! Unfortunately for me it was a 100 degrees and the wind was variable. After checking the wind at the farm we made the tough decision to skip the opener even after getting up at 3:00AM to drive all the way to KY to be there in time for the evening hunt. We just felt it was the right thing to do because the stand that we were going to hunt had so many mature bucks coming to it that we did not want to screw things up by hunting with an inconsistent wind.

Day 2 On the second day of our hunt a front had moved in and temps had dropped 20 degrees from the prior day. The only problem was that there was a major front moving through the area and it was bringing thunder storms and heavy rain along with it. So we pulled up the weather forecast and found a window of about 1.5 hours that we could hunt. When we climbed in the stand I was more confident that I would get soaking wet than I was that we would see a mature buck. Well to my suprise the deer did move well in spite of the nasty weather. At primetime a 4.5 year old 20" wide 10 pointer came onto the scene. Long story short he came right within bow range of my tree but he was quartering to me and I will not take that shot. After what seemed like forever he finally turned broadside so I drew my bow. Just as I drew back my PSE Dream Season Evo the lucky buck turned so he was facing me. When I let down a doe right under the tree busted me and the gig was up. The good news is that we got back to the truck right before the heavy rain started coming down in buckets.

Day 3 Well the third day of our hunt will go down as one of the most memorable deer hunts I have ever experienced. The temps were in the upper 60's and the wind was perfect for the same stand that we hunted the previous evening. So Kentucky had near record high temps on opening day and now 2 days later near record lows. I just felt like that had to get the big boys on their feet early. I was hoping that the wide 10 or one of the other mature deer from the Reconyx pictures would show up in time for me to harvest a deer and then switch places with Dave so that he could shoot one too. You know what they say about the best laid plans but for once it worked. We climbed up into the stand early and we had not been in the stand very long and when the deer started to move. At first it was does, fawns, and small bucks. We had not been in the stand for a full hour when I looked up and saw the 20" wide 10 pointer headed toward our stand. When he got to 25 yards and turned broadside I sent my Rage tipped Bow Madness arrow on it's way. As usual my PSE did it's job as I watched him fall after a brief 60 yard death run. I was super excited and told Dave that he should get his bow ready just in case another shooter showed up. Not 15 minutes later a giant 10 pointer came into the field. It was Flat Iron a big fully mature heavy horned 10 that was easy to recogize from all of Bens photos of the deer. Well apparently he had read the script because he walked right in and Dave let the air out of him with his PSE Dream Season Evo at 22 yards. We had just harvested over 300" of antler in less than 20 minutes! Wow!

To say that Dave and I were pumped would be a huge understatement. This was the deer hunt of a lifetime! To be with such good friends in a great camp and take to mature bucks from the same tree within minutes of one another is the stuff that dreams are made of and luckily for Dave and me those dreams became reality! A HUGE thank you goes out to Ben!!

The great thing is that this is only part one of the story as Ben is joining us during gun season in Iowa in December and we can't wait. Stay tuned to the D.O.D. journal to see how that hunt turns out.

Good hunting!
John and Dave