Multiple influencers for deer movement were colliding into one afternoon, so Terry excused himself from the Drury family holiday festivities, gave one last longing look at the spread of home cooked dishes, then headed out for the farm.

What had Terry jazzed enough about braving the brutal cold to walk away from pumpkin pie? For starters, the day would bring the first southerly flow of air after a series of north winds. Add to that a moon waxing full that would rise around 1:40 pm, getting deer up and on their feet with plenty of shooting light. Compounding the meteorological factors was a field of beans adjacent to a cedar thicket. In those arctic conditions, calories were key.

Once he arrived at the farm and before heading out to the stand, Terry put a round through his Traditions Vortek Thirteen edition StrikerFire muzzleloader. Extreme temperatures can impact ballistics and he wanted to be certain the gun was still on. It was.

The mercury hovered around nine degrees as Terry, wrapped up in his Nomad gear, carefully approached the blind. The wind wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough and blowing into an area where few deer typically show up.

Does began piling into the field around 2:00 pm, just as he expected with the early rising moon. Terry continued glassing the field with his Leupold binoculars when at 3:40 pm, he caught sight of a monster.

Just out of the cedars at 105 yards away, Terry saw a shooter buck he’d known via Reconyx trail camera pictures. A heavy-bodied buck with main beams that swept around to the point of almost touching, the deer began to work his way into the field to feed.

Five minutes later, the buck had fed to within 80 yards of the blind. Wanting to drop him in his tracks to avoid a prolonged tracking job in the harsh conditions, Terry found high shoulder in his Leupold scope and dropped the deer in his tracks; a short hunt indeed during prime hunting conditions.

Terry cherishes time with family and it was no easy thing to tear himself away from the holiday celebration, but he knew that all the conditions were in place for a high potential afternoon in the blind, and that’s just what it was.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.