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Terry knows that when Phase 8 rolls around, the sequence for finding bucks is to find food, then find the does. The bucks will be nearby, desperately seeking their next mate.

Terry and his camera guy Forrest had been out on November 14th chasing bucks during Missouri’s firearms season and encountered incredibly high mid-day activity, particularly between 1-3 pm. The activity was in part due to how early the moon was rising. They knew they’d want to be out during that same timeframe the following day.

The morning of the 15th found them in a blind experiencing very little movement. The guys decided to take a quick break for lunch and pull some cards on the way back to the house. Terry was anxious to see what had walked in front of one particular camera, since it had been sitting for over a month.

Back at the house, Terry ate as he poured through over 1,000 images. Shooter after shooter flashed before his eyes until November 8th. The camera dried up at that point, likely because the bucks had locked down with hot does. A full week later, he knew the bucks would be ready for another mate and on their feet. One shooter had actually been by the camera shortly before Terry came to pull the card that very day.  Their MRI told them to hustle wrapping lunch and get back out to the field.

The field they chose was strategically planted with multiple types of crops in an effort to induce deer to move in front of the blind. Terry and Forrest climbed up and got settled in around 12:45 pm after placing a doe decoy in the field. The doe decoy seemed to put other does and young bucks in the field at ease.

Around 4:15 pm, Forrest picked up on movement and recognized a shooter buck feeding into the field. It was the same deer that showed up nearby just hours earlier on Terry’s camera.

At 80 yards, the buck turned, offering Terry a broadside shot. The five-and-a-half-year-old buck’s massive frame took the hit violently as he ran 40 yards and piled up.

Everyone loves the excitement and opportunities during pre-rut, but for those willing to work a strategy, mid-day hunts during Phase 8 can be absolute killers…just ask Terry!

Gear Used:

Winchester XPR

Winchester Deer Season XP

LaCrosse Footwear

Outdoor Edge Knives

Nomad Clothing

Leupold Optics

Mossy Oak BioLogic Green Patch Plus, Clover Plus, Maximum, Winter Bulbs & Sugar Beets, Deer-Radish

- Tim Kjellesvik, DeerCast Editor-In-Chief