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December 14: Brooke Dinnen

Sometimes in whitetail hunting we try so hard for so long without success and then we’re surprised when things come together too quickly and seemingly too easily. The latter was Brooke’s Texas hunt.

Just one more day!

That’s all Brooke wanted to stay on a mature whitetail she had been chasing in Kansas, so she extended her hunt and actually saw the buck again on the next final night, but didn’t get an opportunity at him. So close.

This time, she couldn’t tack on another day as her filming skills were required on a job down in Texas. She had to leave the buck she had come so close on in Kansas and head south to the Lone Star State. Thankfully, everyone on the crew tagged out giving her the last evening to hunt, though she didn’t really expect anything to come of it.

Brooke climbed into her box blind around 3:30 pm, unpacked gear from her Tenzing pack and sat quietly for a few minutes to let things calm down from her hike in. She watched the dry grasses and cactus as the Texas sun sank lower in the sky. In the days prior, bucks were coming to rattling antlers so she hit hers. Six minutes later, a hunt that seemed like a formality would become more real than she anticipated.

Her eyes caught movement in the distance and through her Leupold binoculars she saw a mature whitetail headed her direction. As the deer approached 125 yards, Brooke shouldered her rifle and found the deer in her scope. He was quartering towards her so she settled the crosshairs on his shoulder and pulled the trigger.

The buck shuddered and stumbled ten yards before falling into a cactus patch. Still in disbelief that it all happened so quickly, Brooke collected her thoughts after waiting a bit before going to recover her buck.

It only takes one instant for the momentum of a hunt to change. That’s part of what makes hunting so magical. Brooke had logged her time in Kansas and came away empty handed. She had barely sat for an hour in Texas and was laying hands on a beautiful mature buck. You just never know what will come of each trip afield, but Brooke knows you have to be in the field in order for anything to happen.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.