9/14/12 - I arrived at the north MO farm around 1:15pm on Friday afternoon to pull camera cards and jack around before opening day. I was very pleased with what I saw on the cameras.There were multiple shooters using the wash out to the south, including a new giant that I haven't seen before; looks to be in the 160-170's range and running with the short tined 10 that was one on my target deer.
9/15/12 - Opening morning found me set up in the Retarded Genius stand. I've had two target bucks coming through on the regular around 7am along with numerous does and I'd been planning to hunt that stand for the last month if the wind was out of the south at all, and it was. I'd planned to get in early to avoid bumping anything, but that backfired. There was a doe bedded right under the stand and she let me get about 10yrds away before she busted. She ran west about 30yrds and proceeded to stomp and blow at me for several minutes before calming down and working back in front of the stand prior to legal shooting time.
There were a couple does feeding in the field at first light, but they worked off to the south end towards the sanctuary before cutting into the timber. Just before 7am I caught more movement on the field edge and watched the first gray fox I've seen mouse around the field for several minutes. I tried squeaking it in for a closer look, but it was preoccupied with finding breakfast in the field. At 7:25am I spotted a single doe working down my entry trail off the field. She came all the way up to the base of my tree, before back tracking towards the pond. At 12yrds she starting angling to the SE and gave me a perfect quartering away shoot which I took full advantage of. I put a great heart shot on her and she piled up inside 40yrds right on the field edge and the start of my entry trail, bless her soul; no dragging required.
Based on the camera pictures and a SE wind gusting to 20mph in the forecast for the evening, I was headed to the Water Way stand. I was settled in by 3:45pm and just sat back and soaked up the scenery for about three hours.
Just before 6:45pm I spotted the first deer of the evening, a doe with twins. They came right up the drainage ditch under the stand and chased each other around for several minutes before heading up to the pond. Right at 7pm I spotted a big 140" class 8 point working out of the timber across the levee. I have several pictures of him and had already decided to pass him, because I believe he's only a 3 year old. From that point on deer poured into the field from the timber and out of corn. Around 7:30pm I spotted the short tined 10 step out south of drainage. He stood and surveyed the field for quite sometime before making a move. He finally started walking the bottom side of the levee towards my stand, but he kept stopping and checking his surroundings and eying all the other deer in field. With almost 20 other deer, including two other target bucks in the bean field I was sure he'd head that way. Luckily I was wrong and he decided to about face and walk up the drainage towards the pond. When he cleared the right side of my cover tree I grunted at him softly and he stopped to check it out; my arrow was on the way almost instantly. The hit was great and the buck mule kicked and exploded out of the drainage to the south. All the other deer erupted out of the field and it was kind of chaotic watching them run in every direction, but my buck was already staggering before he got on top of the levee. I heard him crash up top and start coughing, so I just gathered my gear and quietly slid out of the area.
After meeting the Walkers and Pat for a great dinner we headed back to track Ol' Boy. As we drove across the levee I could see him laying just inside the timber just off the levee road, so we where able to drive within feet of him. He was a known 5 year old on the farm and had an enormous body, but was just never going to amount to much score wise; but I was still tickled to death killing him. It was an amazing start to the 2012 season and more than I could have asked for on opening weekend.