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When I left Arkansas & headed to Ks to meet Rod on Wednesday, I had no clue that the next morning we would be glassing the hillsides in Nebraska for Rod's nemesis "3 way". Rod had gone down to my lease in Kansas to see what bucks were on our Reconyx cameras when a call came in from Kevan "Flee" Hueftle of Hidden Hills Outfitters. It was the call Rod was waiting on. Kevin was out glassing around the same time Rod was pulling the 1st card in Kansas. "3 way", the buck  that Rod had several encounters with since Sept 1st, was standing in a fresh cut corn field approximately 70 yards from Rod's blind. Rod called me while I was in route to Kansas and our plans changed immediately.

Rod had spent all but a few days of his hunting season at Hidden Hills Outfitters of Broken Bow Nebraska. It just so happened that on one of his "off" days away, he managed to arrow a 208" buck in Missouri. For the most part, he was already having a season of a lifetime in most hunters eyes.

As good as it was to kill the giant in Missouri, his mind had been going back to Sept 1st when the Nebraska buck "3 way" had walked in to 17 yards. The buck was on edge when Rod released the arrow which was extremely high and struck the giant velvet buck above the spine. The next day, the search party found exactly what they expected... No deer. One week later, 3 way was back on the Reconyx and appeared to be in great shape. This meant that he would be tougher to kill now, but a challenge that was easy to accept.

After 5 trips, numerous encounters, and even wounding the buck, the rifle season would even the odds on getting one more chance at the giant whitetail. 

We arrived at 3 AM early Thursday morning. Sleep was just a nap, & at 5 AM we were waiting in the Nebraska hills for daylight. Kevin went Thursday evening and caught a glimpse of him in the West canyon & provided us with a starting point for the next day...The next 2 sits would provide no sightings of the buck for Rod and I. 

On Friday, a huge cold front was pushing through and the winds were over 30 miles per hour from the north. We decided we would go to the East canyon and climb to a vantage point for the best view possible. We found a good cedar tree to hide in. As we were trying to get set up, I spotted a cedar tree up the hill about 10 yards and told Rod I was going to crawl up there and see if it would possibly offer us a better view of a fingered draw from the main canyon... When I turned to get Rod's attention, he quickly threw up the Nikons and went into panic mode... "There he is! Get down, get down!" Rod was looking to the west and I quickly sat down and tried to get my act together. Turning the camera on I scanned the hillside and found the buck skylined nearly 300 yards out. I gave the "anytime" to Rod as the buck made his way straight to us. The buck began to trot right at us . At 100 yards he stopped, turned broadside and offered up the perfect shot. As the Winchester ammunition struck paydirt, the buck turned and ran head down for 50 yards before crashing into a cedar tree and falling on camera. Rod was ecstatic as I turned the camera to capture his reaction. It was an awesome end to a phenomenal animal who seamed to have 9 lives... 

It was 1:54 pm when we sat down & spotted the buck almost immediately... By 1:57 it was all over with!

Special thanks to Jacob and Kevan Hueftle of Hidden Hills Outfitters for the awesome job they did. Thanks also to Nicole and Julie for the awesome food and hospitality... God bless everyone and stay safe!

- Doug Hampton