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Lockdown can be one of the most discouraging times to hunt a mature whitetail buck. They travel less, they ignore calling and the balmy weather of early season is a distant memory. You need to be where they want to go.

The challenge of lockdown didn’t keep Matt from his tradition of heading up to hunt the family farm during the opening weekend of Missouri’s firearm season.

Tucked deep in the interior of Terry’s farm with his Winchester Model 70, Matt spent Saturday in a blind near a pond and saw plenty of good deer, but no shooters. The water was a draw for deer run tired and thirsty by the sheer physical stress of breeding. Food, water, bed: the trifecta for killing during lockdown. In addition to being in the right location, cold temps and a high barometric pressure had pushed deer activity into overdrive.  Younger bucks were still chasing does, but the mature deer were tending their does back in the timber.

Matt decided that he’d hunt a different blind Sunday morning. This blind was situated near beans and surrounded by multiple bedding areas. He wouldn’t have to sit long. As the grey morning light lifted into the start of shooting hours, an old ten point buck stepped out into bow range. This deer had been showing up on the Reconyx cameras and was on the hit list as a management buck.  He was so close to the blind that Matt had to let him walk a bit before hitting him with a round of Winchester Deer Season XP in 270.

The old buck bolted for 45 yards before dropping. Matt had tagged a good management buck on the opening weekend of rifle season at the family farm during a difficult stage of the season. Lockdown leaves many deer hunters shaking their heads and calling off hunts. If you position yourself where the deer naturally want to be, you’re more likely to be notching your tag too.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik