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Success is often found in the details and so are the trophy bucks. Steve proved that on an Illinois hunt that required planning right down to the hour.

Samson was a five and a half year old, 176 6/8” deer that was at the top of Steve’s hit list. The Reconyx cameras on the property showed the buck on his feet progressively closer to shooting hours in a BioLogic Clover Plus Field.  This buck was on his way to being killable, but precise timing was going to be the key to getting in on him.

Steve needed an east wind to safely hunt out of the stand over his clover field. A quick check of his weather app showed the wind would change direction at 3 pm, giving him the breeze he needed. The plan and timing were set; they’d head out early in the afternoon and sit through the evening.

The evening started out slow, with a few does grazing through the clover early on. At 5:45 another doe stepped out, only to be nudged by a deer named, The Slick Eight, a 140” three and half year old deer.  Minutes after The Slick Eight entered the field, Samson came charging down a four wheeler trail into the clover.

He wasted no time running The Slick Eight off then proceeded to check some scrapes on Steve’s side of the field. Eventually Samson closed the gap between him and Steve down to 30 yards. Steve ranged him then came to full draw with his PSE Dream Season Decree.  Samson took a few more steps and turned broadside at 35 yards.  The hit was low, but the Rage made an entry wound big enough to expose internal organs.

To be safe, Steve backed out that evening and went back the following day to follow the blood trail. Samson had bedded down in three different locations over the night, but finally expired at the end of a solid 400 yard blood trail.

Sure, you can get lucky and kill a trophy buck by happenstance, but if you really want the odds to be in your favor, you’ve got to pay attention to the details. Steve’s attentiveness to the timing of a shifting wind was the key to finally bringing Samson down.  

As told to Tim Kjellesvik