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January 1: Blake Shelby

Down to the last night to hunt, Blake’s hunt would come down to one buck that had a flair for the dramatic.

Blake was bowhunting with DOD team member Adam Anderson running camera at the legendary Honey Brake Lodge in Louisiana. They had a week to make something happen and after a few slow days, a few close encounters, they were down to their last evening to hunt.

A couple days prior, the guys decided to move their Muddy blind to a different field. The Reconyx cameras they setup at the new location began immediately capturing images of shooter bucks in daylight. The move looked to be a good one.

When Blake and Adam got to the blind at 2:30 pm on their last evening, there were already deer in the field. The barometer was high and the wind was perfect for their setup. The guys were optimistic about their odds as they settled in for the hunt.

More deer continued to enter the field as the evening progressed. Then, at 4:45 pm, a shooter buck stepped out on the far side of the field at 200 yards. Their entire trip had come down to this last evening and potentially, this one buck. Two football fields away is quite a distance to draw a buck in, but this guy continued to close the gap. Blake picked up his PSE Expedite and started prepping for a shot.

Finally at 30 yards, the buck stopped and Blake came to full draw. Executing the shot, his Rage Trypan hit the deer deploying through liver and out the other side. Knowing the shot was a little back, the guys confirmed their suspicion by reviewing the footage at the lodge.

On the blood trail the next morning, it didn’t take long to find the buck. He’d only made it 90 yards off the field and expired in the only bed he made. Though the hunt came down to the wire, this buck came in on a string and made for another incredible trip to Honey Brake.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.