November 7: Mike Klemmensen

The weeks leading up to my Iowa hunting trip were tough ones at work; I truly needed the healing therapy of spending time with my buddy Tom chasing whitetails in the deer woods. There were a few bucks on Tom’s farm that we were hoping to encounter; I particularly had my sights on a buck called “JOKER”; A big 6-year old who had been showing himself regularly on Reconyx. Tommy himself had almost harvested him a few days before I arrived, but JOKER managed to slip away. The first few days I had the wind to hunt JOKER’S core area. In fact, we had him a 36 yards on my very first sit, but we didn’t have good camera light so I decided to pass. The subsequent two hunts, we encountered him again; first on the timbered ridge he likes to run and the second was a mere 25 yards from the stand. Unfortunately, he was standing that 25 yards from the stand with a doe as we were trying to sneak into the stand before first light. Again, we maybe could have shot him, but not with good camera footage; only my aging memory. We didn’t want to put too much pressure on him; and coupled with a change in wind we decided to focus our efforts on a different farm where we had three bucks on our list: Stilts, Brush Pile, and Can Opener. As we normally do on

November 8th, we eased into the stand early. We were located in a natural funnel located between a large bedding area and a cornfield; an ideal spot to lay and wait. Our first encounter was with a group of cows. The fence behind us had come down and these cows were heading to that cornfield. Shortly thereafter a doe came scampering through the woods and hot on her trail was a younger buck. That buck ran almost straight into those cows and decided to end his pursuit. Whew! Lucky for us that buck wasn’t a shooter. I learned something about my best friend and hunting partner that day……not only is he a good husband, father, and friend, he can also rustle cows and fix a fence. Yes, Tommy crawled down out of the tree and fixed that fence. I’m sure the farmer will be as happy as I am…Thanks Tom! After seeing a few more does and young bucks, here comes Can Opener; only his signature can opener (a crooked flyer in front of his brow tine) had busted off. The buck followed the same path as the others and I had already ranged the 32 yards with the Nikon numerous times. The Nockturnal helped my old eyes follow my arrow as it delivered the Rage to impact. Can Opener ran less than forty yards before he expired…..and luckily up out of the ravine and on to the field edge; this made for an easy recovery……which was good because my partner had been fixin fence all day!!


Hunt Safe!!