November 11: Tim Seigler & Andrew Bennett

Opening day of rifle season is always a special event in Missouri. It’s practically a state holiday. For Tim and Andrew, the 2017 opener will be one they’ll never forget.

Tim had two primary target bucks he’d been chasing on his Missouri farm. This story involves the hit-lister nicknamed “Jackpot.”  Andrew was set to run camera to film the opener but before they headed to the field, Tim gave Andrew the green light to shoot any one of the five other mature deer they may come in contact with.

Suited up in their Nomad gear, the guys headed to a double stand before daylight in an oak flat near a cedar thicket. The morning was busy with lots of bucks making appearances, but no opportunities for target deer. With the high buck traffic, Tim figured there was a hot doe back in the cedars so they made a plan to push further into the timber to get closer for their afternoon hunt.

It didn’t take long for the action to begin after the guys climbed up into their new set around 2:30 pm. More bucks continued to show and then at 4:30 pm, one of the five bucks Tim had given Andrew permission to shoot showed up…a deer nicknamed “Jasper.”

Andrew and Tim swapped camera for gun and once they both got dialed in on the buck, Andrew put a Winchester Deer Season XP round through him at 30 yards. The deer dropped within mere steps of where it was shot. After giving it a half hour, they climbed down out of their stand and gingerly walked over to inspect their kill.

They approached quietly because they knew there were still other deer in the area. As the guys stood over and admired Andrew’s kill, Tim heard a twig snap. Looking up he saw a doe and trailing behind her a massive set of antlers. It was Jackpot, a buck Tim had known for years but only through pictures. Never had he laid eyes on him.

Quickly, Andrew turned the camera on as Tim began to contort his body to get in position for lacing a shot through the timber at the buck standing 40 yards away.  The hit was good, striking both lungs eliciting a mule kick from the Jackpot just before his short run. Both guys would get their hands dirty field dressing that evening.

Two great bucks hit the dirt in one day. Tim and Andrew could never have scripted a hunt like that, it just happened; which is why this season opener is one they’ll never forget.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.