November 20: Chad Kilmer


Every deer hunter faces disappointment and frustration. Chad had his share of each, but, kept hunting, and it paid off.

Kirksville, Missouri Team Member Chad Kilmer lives in the heart of Missouri’s big deer country. Rich soils and vast croplands equate to big bucks, and Kilmer is no stranger to them.

Chad spent much of his fall chasing a 170-inch buck, but shot opportunities never materialized and the buck faded into wherever it is big bucks fade to. Disappointed, but still in the ball game, Chad perked up when a big 8-pointer began to show itself.

The 8-pointer quickly became Chad’s  target buck, but disappointment raised it’s ugly head once again on opening morning of the Missouri Firearms Deer Season, someone else wrapped a tag around the 8-pointer’s leg.

“It was a bit disappointing,” Chad said. But, it’s north Missouri right? “I went to another farm where, which I knew held plenty of deer. I din’t have a lot of experience with the farm, but felt confident that I could take a buck there.”

We moved to a 20-acre soybean bottom below a bluff line on the evening of opening day,” Chad said. “I spotted what looked like a good 8-pointer through my binoculars at 420 yards. We were on the wrong end of the field. I had to watch as the buck fed and chased at the other end of the field.”

A couple of days passed without Chad sighting a buck, but on Monday afternoon Kilmer was set up to self film. The buck was already in the field before 3 p.m., so he had to sneak into the blind. “I filmed a bit too long,” Chad said, and failed to pay enough attention to the doe with my target buck.”

As so often happens when self filming, Chad got busted. As he moved slightly to adjust for the shot, the buck threw its head up. The doe had moved much closer without Chad realizing it. The doe spooked, with the buck in tow. More frustration.

Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons brought no buck sightings, but Chad and his cameraman enjoyed the frolics of 20-plus does each evening.

The guys climbed into the blind at 2:30 pm Thursday, after having patterned the buck as an early arrival each afternoon. “That buck liked to arrive early, and then leave the field after all the does showed up,” Kilmer said.

Just before 3 pm, the target buck entered the field, right on schedule. Chad spotted the buck 200 yards down the bluff line. “It slowly made it’s way in our direction,” he said. “When the buck gave me a clear shot through the standing beans, I settled the crosshairs of my Leupold, an the Winchester .270 worked it’s magic.

The big buck dropped in it’s tracks. “I love those kind of tracking jobs,” Kilmer said. His buck turned out to be an old 134 and 2/8-inch 9-pointer. 

Once again, Kilmer proved the old adage that despite disappointment and frustration,  perseverance pays off!

Gear Used:

-Winchester Model 70

-Winchester Ammunition

-Leupold Optics

-Nomad Clothing

-MossyOak Clothing

- Bill Cooper