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Joe’s successful harvest of a deer he’d had his eye on for over a year is testimony to the power of strategic habitat improvement.

The buck earned its nickname “747” because of a 2016 Reconyx picture that caught him leaping in mid-air as if he were flying. He lived on a nearby farm for most of the year, but between Joe’s improvements to his land like a 22 acre CRP field, a new pond, and a food plot, the buck began living full-time on his property.

The upgrades were all in honor of this deer and continued the aircraft theme. The food plot was christened “The Landing Strip.” The elevated box blind became “The Control Tower.” The outbuilding where he hoped to hang him was renamed “The Hangar.” Joe was determined to bring this buck down.

And he had multiple opportunities to do so, but he wanted to do it right.

Archery hunting with his daughter early in the season, they had him at 30 yards, but he wasn’t confident in taking the shot. From there on, Joe had multiple close encounters while bowhunting…just not close enough. 747 was proving to be patternable (it’s a new word) however and Joe was confident there paths would eventually cross.

The afternoon of January 1 brought bitter cold onto Joe’s Wisconsin farm. -4 degree temps and -22 degree windchills caused him to only open one window on the Muddy blind he sat in. It was so cold he delayed getting to the blind until 2:30 pm to limit his exposure. At 4:30 pm, he’d forget all about the temperature.

At first, just a few does slipped out into the corn, then four bucks, one of which was 747 stepped out at 20 yards to join the does. With only the window on the bean field side open, Joe had no shot and could only watch as his target buck browsed.

One doe trotted into the beans and 747 followed her, getting just under 20 yards from the blind. Joe was at full draw on his PSE Axe when the buck walked into his shooting window. The Nockturnal illuminated as Joe made his release, forming an arc of light leading to the crease just behind the deer’s front leg. His Rage Trypan caught the top of 747’s heart sending him on a frantic 100 yard dash before tumbling over in the snow.

747 left one farm in favor for Joe’s, likely because of the habitat improvement Joe had made. For some deer hunters, deer season runs for just a few months. For Joe, the planning and land management make deer hunting a year-round discipline.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.

Joe’s successful harvest of a deer he’d had his eye on for over a year is testimony to the power of strategic habitat improvement.

The buck earned its nickname “747” because of a 2016 Reconyx picture that caught him leaping in mid-air as if he were flying. He lived on a nearby farm for most of the year, but between Joe’s improvements to his land like a 22 acre CRP field, a new pond, and a food plot, the buck began living full-time on his property.

The upgrades were all in honor of this deer and continued the aircraft theme. The food plot was christened “The Landing Strip.” The elevated box blind became “The Control Tower.” The outbuilding where he hoped to hang him was renamed “The Hangar.” Joe was determined to bring this buck down.

And he had multiple opportunities to do so, but he wanted to do it right.

Archery hunting with his daughter early in the season, they had him at 30 yards, but he wasn’t confident in taking the shot. From there on, Joe had multiple close encounters while bowhunting…just not close enough. 747 was proving to be patternable (it’s a new word) however and Joe was confident there paths would eventually cross.

The afternoon of January 1 brought bitter cold onto Joe’s Wisconsin farm. -4 degree temps and -22 degree windchills caused him to only open one window on the Muddy blind he sat in. It was so cold he delayed getting to the blind until 2:30 pm to limit his exposure. At 4:30 pm, he’d forget all about the temperature.

At first, just a few does slipped out into the corn, then four bucks, one of which was 747 stepped out at 20 yards to join the does. With only the window on the bean field side open, Joe had no shot and could only watch as his target buck browsed.

One doe trotted into the beans and 747 followed her, getting just under 20 yards from the blind. Joe was at full draw on his PSE Axe when the buck walked into his shooting window. The Nockturnal illuminated as Joe made his release, forming an arc of light leading to the crease just behind the deer’s front leg. His Rage Trypan caught the top of 747’s heart sending him on a frantic 100 yard dash before tumbling over in the snow.

747 left one farm in favor for Joe’s, likely because of the habitat improvement Joe had made. For some deer hunters, deer season runs for just a few months. For Joe, the planning and land management make deer hunting a year-round discipline.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.