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December 1: Cody Thurston

With much excitement this is my first entry on the Drury Outdoors journal due to the curse of the head cleaning tape. When I was 16 my dad took me out for our first filming adventure with my bow. He told me to get the camera ready so I put the tape in and had it charged up. That evening he filmed be shoot a nice 10 point buck and as we reviewed the footage there was nothing there. Long story short, I put a head cleaning tape in the camera and not a regular filming tape. Ever since then it seemed not matter what we did I couldÂÂÂÂ’n't get a kill on film, until this year.

Muzzleloader and bow season open on the same day in Kansas, September 14th. My buddy Brady and I are at my parentsÂÂÂÂ’ farm, The Lazy D Ranch and we chose just to take my PSE because itÂÂÂÂ’'s Bow Madness! Due to me being away from home most of the summer I wasÂÂÂÂ’n't able to hang a stand ahead of time. It was a warm and extremely windy day, perfect conditions to hang and hunt. So Brady and I trampled through the chest high beans with my bow, all the camera equipment, and two Muddy tree stands, and climbing sticks. Luckily for me, Brady happily volunteered to hang the double set. Finally, in the stand we had a few deer filtering in the beans and disappearing instantly due to how tall the beans were. All of a sudden I saw “Crab Claw” pop out at 75 yards. He would have been a dead deer if we had our Traditions muzzleloader but we just had the PSE in hand. That was the last day I was going to be able to hunt until November, I was hoping to catch back up with him then. However, due to the farmer putting cattle on the property I wasn'ÂÂÂÂ’t able to hunt him for a while.

Now, fast forward to December 1, back at The Lazy D, my dad and Brady were going to a staging area just off a biologic green field IÂÂÂÂ’m hopping in a Muddy Redemption ground blind, no more cows, the beans are cut and now thereÂÂÂÂ’s a green field on the other side of the beans. Phase 10 itÂÂÂÂ’'s all about the food and refueling from the rut. I was filming myself so I had to carry in 2 cameras, a tripod, a chair, and my bow, talk about Bow Madness! I was hoping it would all be worth it! At 4 oÂÂÂÂ’clock I get a “contact mister!” from my dad. I couldnÂÂÂÂ’t believe they killed that early. I had a feeling it was going to be a good night. At 5 oÂÂÂÂ’clock the wind had laid and it was turning into a nice evening but I still had not seen a deer. As I was admiring the Kansas sunset out of nowhere “Crab Claw” appeared. He munched on the beans for a solid 10 minutes. Those ten minutes seemed like an eternity as he was facing directly at me not offering an ethical shot. So I waited, and waited, and waited. I just knew he was going to go to my left and offer me a perfect broadside shot. However, he started walking straight away from me! I couldnÂÂÂÂ’t believe it. At that point I thought it was all over but he turned a little my way and I bleated and he turned a little more and stopped so I let the PSE and Rage eat him up. He was quartering away at a high angle and I heard the arrow hit and watched him leave the field. I wasnÂÂÂÂ’t sure of my shot so we let him lay overnight. As Terry Drury always says, “When in doubt back out”, so we did. He will only be deader in the morning.

The next morning after some walking, DadÂÂÂÂ’'s cameraman and tracker, Brady, yells, “here he is!” I couldÂÂÂÂ’n't believe it. My Dad and I doubled up on the same day! What a memory IÂÂÂÂ’ll cherish forever. The curse of the head cleaning tape has finally been conquered.