Kyle Lamore and JJ Kolesar had been exploring options to hunt outside of Illinois.

When Kyle’s college roommate extended an invitation to come hunt north Missouri they decided to do a little scouting in August. After studying maps, they put boots on the ground and found some real promising areas. Before heading home, they hung some stands and placed a few cameras around to keep an eye on movement in the area.

The peak of the rut in Illinois holds a special place for Kyle due to his past success during the second week of November. He knew he would have a tough decision if he wanted to be in Missouri for the rifle opener. After much debate, he decided the opportunity and adventure to hunt new territory out weighed the sacrifice of a few days on familiar ground.

Kyle and JJ loaded up and hit the road after work Friday to drive through the night. They had not set foot in Missouri since August and were anxious to be in the woods on fresh set when the sun came up to welcome rifle season.

After a few hours of sleep they climbed into the stand Saturday morning. The cold front welcomed them to Missouri with a northwest wind in their face while dropping the temperature into the low teens. Kyle said it felt more like January than November. They toughed it out and sat all day seeing one nice buck with a few does too far away for a shot. Overall it seemed that the deer were in shock and laying low due to the bitter arctic blast.

After a good nights sleep and a little thawing out, they headed to a blind Sunday morning to face the bitter cold. With no deer activity by midday, they made the executive decision for a quick run to the local greasy spoon. The quick trip provided them with a warm lunch and much needed mental stability while they thawed out.

With a warm meal they were rejuvenated and headed back for an afternoon sit. They found a big cedar tree and brushed in a makeshift blind. As the sun was setting they started doubting their set up choice as they saw a group of does with a nice buck 400 yards to the west.

Thankful to be out of school on Monday for Veterans Day they headed to a stand near where they had seen the shooter the day before. They knew they needed to sit tough all day but Mother Nature was testing their will with a cold wind whipping straight across the field. Three hours into the morning and seeing just a few small bucks they decided to get out of the stand. Instead of heading to town they made the tough decision to set up a blind and stick it out all day.

While JJ went to the truck to grab a blind, Kyle began cutting some cedar and oak branches. Within 30 minutes they had set up and brushed the blind. And the heater going was making the sit until dark more enjoyable.

About an hour in the new blind, they got a new blast of warmth and hope when their number one hit list buck crossed the alfalfa patch. Knowing he was in the area got them excited but they realized that they may need to act quick if he appeared again as he was moving with a purpose.

About 11:30 with hunger pangs starting to hit, JJ spotted the big main frame 10 with split brow tines out of the corner of the blind. Kyle shifted to get a better look and instantly saw the buck looking right back at him. He was not spooked but something had caused him to raise alarm.

JJ turned on the camera as Kyle prepared for the shot. The buck entered the field but never checked up. He was on a mission and walking at a good pace, so Kyle bleated to stop the buck but instead he picked up the pace. Kyle steadied the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. The deer bucked and bolted off. Although the shot may have been a little far back due to his movement, it was a deadly blow.

With snow on the ground and cold temperatures, Kyle opted to back out and grab some lunch to avoid pushing the buck. Three hours later Kyle was able to hold his first deer ever with a rifle.

If Kyle had gone with what was familiar and taken the easy road, he never would have been able to get a shot at this massive 170.5 inch deer. Toughing it out and taking a chance definitely paid off.

Gear used:

Muddy blind


Winchester firearms

Winchester Deer Season XP



Scent Crusher

- Dr. Brooks Tiller