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When bucks begin showing up checking scrapes during daylight, you make the time to be in the woods.

But what if it’s the wrong wind?

That was Tom’s situation on his Greene County Illinois property. Knowing the timing was right but not the wind, he took all the pre-hunt scent-management precautions possible and trusted that his blind would provide another level of protection.

The other challenge was that his food plot was so large, he knew he needed something to draw a buck into range. Since it was pre-rut, he hauled a buck decoy with him and deployed it in front of the blind.

Early into the evening sit, one of Tom’s target bucks made his way out in field, but despite his grunting, the buck never changed course. 20 minutes later, a giant non-typical nicknamed “Cluster” stepped out. Tom’s heart began racing. This buck was one of the biggest non-typicals of Tom’s hunting career.

With both eyes locked onto the decoy, Cluster gradually worked his way toward the false rival. As he progressed, shooting light continued to wane until there were just nine minutes left on the clock. Finally, without any apparent aversion for the bad wind, Cluster was at 35 yards. Tom opened a window in the blind and held the gap between his 30 and 40 yard pins on the deer’s heart.

At the shot, Cluster ducked, sending the arrow through both lungs and into the far shoulder. He ran to the edge of the timber and quickly expired, all while Tom’s buddy and cameraman Brandon Churchill captured it the spectacle through the viewfinder.  

Mature bucks don’t often daylight, but when they do, you need to be ready to strike. Tom was and despite the wrong wind, still made it happen!

Gear Used:

PSE Carbon Stealth

Rage Broadhead

Leupold optics

Reconyx trail cameras

Scent Crusher Hunter’s Closet

Scent Crusher Laundry Detergent

Scent Crusher Field Spray

Mossy Oak BioLogic

- Tim Kjellesvik, DeerCast Editor-In-Chief