November 23: Bailey Klemmensen

The Brown County farm where Bailey hunts sees a lot of pressure so I knew going in that harvesting a mature buck wouldn't be easy. All that really didn't matter because Bailey and I get to spend time with good friends and family when we're here. My dad put out my Reconyx for me a few weeks before the hunt so the first order of business was to check them when we rolled into camp on Thursday night. It was a night stealth operation due to getting in late after Bailey played in a basketball game for his seventh grade team. The cameras showed a few good bucks; however very few pictures were taken during shooting light. Taking the pictures into consideration and talking to the hunters that had been there all week, Bailey and I selected the location for our Big Game blind; a little grass strip that had been cut and bailed located between timber and a cut corn field. That strategy proved effective and on the first night we had an opportunity at a 130-140 class 8. Unfortunately for Bailey, the flu shot that his mom had taken him to get didn't include the Buck Fever!! Bailey had it bad, and try as I might to slow him down, he shot and missed the buck at a mere 35 yards. We were both shocked!! He is normally a true marksman but now he had experienced what every hunter does as some point....that awful feeling of the miss! Needless to say, he was devastated.

After the hunt it was back to Bloomington for another basketball game on Saturday morning. Immediately following the Evan Eagles win we headed back to the woods. On Sunday we decided to move our blind to another location that had been neglected by the other hunters and which the Reconyx showed good activity. Bailey was content on harvesting a doe. You see, Bailey also likes to make venison jerky and he knew he was low on supplies. Soon 8 does and fawns piled out of the timber 60 yards from our setup. After changing his mind on which one he wanted to shoot several times, they spooked and ran. Lucky for Bailey, six of them stopped at 90 yards to take one last look at the 12 year old wrestling around and making noise in the clump of brush nestled in the tall grass. I focused the camera on all of them since Bailey is sometimes indecisive like his mom.....I didn't know exactly which one of the does he had the cross-hairs on. BOOM went the TC..........Bailey missed again!!!

Perseverance always wins in the end. Although Bailey wanted to pack up, leave, and retire from deer hunting, I implored him to stay. We had 40 minutes of hunting left and prime time was close. Lucky dad was right. With about ten minutes left in our hunt, this old bruiser stepped out and Bailey put him down. It always amazes me how much hunting brings us together and teaches us all important life lessons.