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November 12: Adam Wainwright

Last year I had the pleasure of jumping on board with Adam on a lease he had in Missouri that he attained through Matt Robinson and the Hunting Lease Network.  Adam has limited time with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball schedule so Aaron Bennett and his brothers and friends had been helping to manage the property for the 2 years before that.  I looked forward to getting involved with the strategizing and planning moving forward.  The piece was really nice, it just needed those few years for us all to get it dialed in!  This year, year 4 of Adam having the lease, we finally started getting it where we wanted it!  With the Cardinals rolling along to a 100 win season and Adam rehabbing from his early season injury...he didn't have any chances to hunt until the Cardinals exited the playoffs in October.  He was able to get in for 2 hunts in October before he and his family moved back to Georgia for the off season and had the chance to take a nice mature doe with his bow in the Muddy Redemption blind!  He was really excited to kill his first deer on the lease in 4 years and especially excited because he had his oldest daughter in the blind with him!  

 We had a 3 day period in the heart of November that Adam was going to be back in Missouri for.  We had 1 day to get it done with a bow and then the Missouri Firearms season was going to start and he had 2 days to hunt during it!  We felt pretty good leading in to this period because I had been hunting in the weeks leading up to this date and really started to see the lease come alive, not only on our Reconyx pics, but also with some great encounters during my hunts!  

The story of "Blades" started last year on the lease.  He showed up in mid November on our Reconyx cameras and we knew right away he was a buck we wanted to target!  Never saw him last year during the season, but had him all over our cameras.  This year on my birthday, March 18th, Aaron Bennett and I went to the lease on a shed hunt...found out my Reconyx camera was stolen :( and that the property was shed poached!  After walking the whole lease we were about to give up....but by some weird twist of fate we found Blades' shed!!  TOTAL STUD!  We had him somewhere in the low 160's based on that shed.  

All summer we were running Reconyx cameras in hopes of getting Blades.  He just never did show up unfortunately, but we hadn't lost all hope.  After all, he wasn't on the lease until November last year.  I've seen it happen to Mark and dad time after time where a big deer shows back up the same time of year as when they had him the year before...so we held out hope!  In late October I had changed my Reconyx camera over to this great scrape on a gate gap right next to the heart of the property.  I had 3 bucks show up that I hadn't seen since summer....and then a week later I was in there hunting and decided to check it on the way out of the stand.....and guess who showed back up on October 29th....BLADES!  To say we were all excited was an understatement.  I had been texting pics to Adam and keeping him up to date all season, but this update was the best one yet!  

The morning of Adam's first hunt of his 3 day trip was starting out with several doe and young bucks all over his stand!  The bucks were feeling the "itch" and about mid morning Adam spots this tail on the ridge over from them.  He and Aaron look up and can instantly tell it's a big bodied deer with a good rack.  Adam grabbed the MAD Rip Growl and gave a couple of grunts.  The buck came running straight to their stand barreling through the under brush looking for a fight!  He stopped dead in his tracks about 20 yards from Adam and Aaron looking for the buck....and Adam let the PSE X-Force Axe and Rage 2.3" Chisel Tip Xtreme fly!  The shot was low, but the Rage sliced the buck open!  Adam and Aaron elected to give Blades time to expire....which ended up being a wise choice!  They came in the next day and with the Missouri Firearm season in full swing, wearing orange and after a long grueling track job, they finally recovered Blades!  

This is Adam's best buck ever and to have the great story line to go with it is even better!  Adam was as proud of the fact that he was able to donate the meat from this buck to Missouri's Share the Harvest Program and help some local families for the upcoming months as he was about the hunt itself!  

Thanks to Aaron Bennett for filming and all the help/work he and his crew (Andrew, Timmy, Justin, Randy, Jeremy) have put in over the years on the lease!  We're just getting started!  Huge congratulations to Adam on a once in a lifetime buck!  He went 183 2/8" and is the 9th Gross Boone for the Drury Outdoors Team this Fall!  

Safe hunting -Matt Drury