Heading into the second weekend of MO's firearms season I was up in the air on where to hunt. While talking to my cousin who owns about 1000 acres in southwest MO, he basically said the farm was empty for the upcoming weekend except for one other hunter. That pretty much made up my mind on where I'd be hunting.
I arrived at the farm around 5:15am and briefly talked with Jim about which stands I could hunt. He gave me the green light to hunt Blind 1, which is usually off limits because of the blinds owner. Right off the bat I had deer moving through the area as a doe and mini were headed right at the blind. The action remained steady all morning as smaller bucks chased does and minis all around the timber. Around 8:30am a spotted a big shooter to the north but couldn't manage to get a shot off.
After grabbing a quick lunch I headed back into Blind 1 hoping that the evening action would be as good as the morning's. With the warm temp and high winds I decided to take a little nap, so I'd be ready for the late evening action. I woke up around 2:50pm and immediately spotted a doe to the east of me. I watched her for about five minutes and no other deer showed I so figured it would be a good opportunity to fill another antlerless tag. I settled in and let the .06 do it's thing and she dropped in her tracks. I got down so I could get her gutted and pulled into the shade and while looking for a creek crossing I spotted a big set of antlers. It was a big mid-130s nine point that had been shot by an archery hunter during the 2010 season and obviously not recovered. I saw eleven more does that night, but no bone in pursuit of them.
Around 9am I caught some more movement to the north and spotted a decent buck working his way through the thick stuff. I was starting to panic because there is a big tree top down that obscures a lot of my field of vision and shooting windows and the buck was headed right towards it. The buck was broadside at about 180yards and my only shot was to stand on my tip toes and try and free hand a shot...I can assure you shot #1 didn't connect and I felt my heart sink. The buck briefly disappeared but he popped back out about 35yards farther away. I let shot #2 rip from my tip toes again and thought I may have hit him, so immediately got down and headed up there. As I approached the area he was standing when I shot I saw the buck and doe staring right at me just before they bolted. I took off running to the north and caught them crossing an opening on the property line. I cut shot #3 loose and nothing again...shot #4 same results, NOTHING!!! I realized I only had one bullet left so I settled in and let shot #5 go.....and down he went! I was pretty wound up after all the commotion and elated that I put a decent buck down. This was by far the best hunt I've had on the farm the the biggest buck I've taken off it. It was a great close to my 2011 season....I'm out of contract days!!!