Bruce’s homecoming hunt saw the taking of the “G1 Buck” during the lock down phase. Deer movement was sporadic and anything could happen at any time of day.

Originally from the Show-Me State, this was Bruce’s first whitetail hunt in Missouri. To celebrate our new partnership with Leupold, Mark had invited the company’s CEO to come hunt his northern Missouri farm where Reconyx trail cameras were showing a mature buck with ridiculously long brow tines…hence the nickname the G1 Buck. The guys would begin hunting on Saturday, November 11th, the opening day of Missouri’s firearm season.

Since it was the lock down phase, Mark knew they’d need to log as much time in the blind as possible, since deer movement during this phase occurs at all times of day. They settled into a box blind overlooking a BioLogic field of Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets and watched the day play out. All totaled, that Saturday they saw more than 15 bucks…just no G1.

The next morning they headed back to the blind before sunup. Shooting light spread across the farm as the guys scanned for movement, hoping for a glimpse of their target deer. Eventually, Mark hit the rattling antlers and the G1 Buck popped out of a draw 150 yards away and came charging toward the sound. They kept tabs on his distance with the Leupold range finder and as he drew closer, Bruce leveled the Winchester XPR .270 at him. The buck paused broadside at 80 yards. Through his Leupold VX-3i scope, Bruce found the deer’s vitals and pulled the trigger sending a lethal Deer Season XP round into his rib cage.

His first whitetail hunt in his home state was a success thanks to solid scouting, quality equipment, and a willingness to persist throughout the day in the blind. Lockdown can be a challenging phase to hunt, but Bruce stuck it out and as a result, killed his very first Missouri whitetail.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.