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November 9: Mike Klemmensen

Some locations hunt better in the morning and others in the evening. Klemm had an evening spot he wanted to hunt in the morning, so he and Tom cooked up a strategy to make it work.

Klemm had been hunting hard for two weeks and had yet to notch his Illinois tag. DOD team member and buddy Tom Ware knew of a good buck roaming the property. The deer had earned the nickname “Uno” because he was the first trophy deer to show up on the Reconyx trail cams over the summer. The only problem with Uno was that he had gone M.I.A. for some time and drifted out of Klemm’s mind.

November 9 found Klemm hunting from a ground blind over a bean field in a spot that had earned a reputation as an evening location. The field was located between to larger tracts of timber providing opportunities at deer passing through and at deer coming to feed. Activity was good that night with five bucks coming to the decoy, just no shooters.

Sensing the spot would continue to see traffic the following morning, but knowing it would be difficult to get to early in the day without bumping deer, Klemm needed a strategy to get the best of both worlds. Since the deer were accustomed to seeing vehicles around the property, Tom offered to drive Klemm directly to the blind.

That morning, armed with his PSE Evo 7, Klemm gently closed the door to Tom’s truck in the pre-dawn darkness, setup the decoy at 20 yards, and stepped into the blind. Around 7:15, the buck that had slipped off the radar showed up at 80 yards in a wooded draw cutting across the field.

Uno made his way to the field edge where Klemm grunted at him. The buck stopped to look, but couldn’t see the decoy. A doe began blowing in the timber, dividing the deer’s focus. Eventually, he saw the decoy and began moving in for a confrontation.

Klemm watched as the buck bee-lined for the decoy. Uno turned broadside at 20 yards as Klemm came to full draw and set a pin against the buck’s vitals. The Rage Hypodermic hit home, busting through both lungs and out the other side for a full pass through. Uno spun and attempted to backtrack to the woods, but fell short at 60 yards.

There’s no telling if Uno would have showed up later that evening if Klemm had stuck to the pattern of only hunting that location later in the day. He and Tom’s plan to get in without spooking deer paid off by flipping the script.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.