November 7: Kyle McClellan

My Bow season in Illinois was a short one this year but ended on a great note. I purchased a new farm last year and couldn’t wait to take the first mature buck there. It finally happened a few days ago…..

During the archery season I spent many days in tree stands trying to get a feel of the property and how the deer were using it. I was also getting an inventory of what was around. Based on my Reconyx pictures I didn’t have many mature bucks but I did have a lot of up and comers. I passed three different 3 year olds. As the days went on without a buck it got harder and harder to keep passing these that I was seeing within shooting range but I knew it was the right thing to do. The one shooter I had disappeared on November 11th and I ended the season without a buck.

This season we made some adjustments on the farm to help draw more bucks to the property. I bought out my crp and put it in corn. I planted a Biologic Maximum field, a clover field, and broadcasted maximum into some standing corn that didn’t do very well because of the drought.

I have stayed off the north end of the farm because I knew it was my best spot and I didn’t want to disturb it. I didn’t put up cameras or anything until November 5th. I was waiting for the right time and wind and that time came on November 7th.

I hunted my 1 acre plot which has the standing corn and maximum. The movement the past 3 days had been slow thanks to a low-pressure system hanging around. The High pressure was supposed to roll in on Wednesday and I had the north wind I needed for my stand there. We got into the stand and the first deer we saw as at 6:45. It was a mature 4 ½ year old 8 Pointer. I had just put a camera on the north end two days before and I had a picture of him the first time all year. As soon as I recognized him I knew he was a good one to shoot. I have pictures of bigger ones score wise but to me a 4 ½ year old is a trophy no matter the score.

I put a bad shot on him at 40 yards but the rage was the equalizer for me. He went 150 yards and bedded down. Due to the bad shot placement we gave him plenty of time to expire and once we went back at 1:00 that afternoon he had expired and I was able to put my hands on my first buck on my farm and I couldn’t be happier.

I have to thank Hadley Creek outfitters and Jared Heller for helping me run the farm. Due to my schedule with baseball I am not able to plant my food plots maintain my stands and all the things that need to be done to get ready for hunting season. These guys helped me out a ton and I can’t thank them enough.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your season!!