The last few days have proved to be a challenging race against time as I stuff my suitcases plump full en route to Wisconsin before year’s end. I’ve been chilled on stand for five sits now. The weather was picture-perfect. The hunting has been incredible; buck sightings above average, and doe speckle the agriculture fields everywhere.
We just haven’t had the stroke of luck to put a trophy buck on the ground. The problem that has stripped our ability to pattern bucks has been the abundance of food availability. Custom food plots work wonders when temperatures dip into the teens, but not exactly when there are other food sources in the area, such as standing corn.
Thousands of acres painted in golden rows blanket the rolling terrain of Northern Missouri. Standing corn has been the main culprit to hiding the giant whitetail that roams this vast landscape. Giant whitetail is what I’m after. Due to soggy weather conditions across the Midwest this year, many farmers have found themselves drenched with bad luck. The moisture levels in crop corn have been unusually high thanks to a lot of rain and wet weather during the harvest months of fall season. Several farmers across the country, including my uncle, had to leave their corn standing hoping that moisture would drop significantly before paying unreasonable amounts to dry it at the co-op. Many farmers are just beginning to break out the combines and do work on the snow infested fields. My uncle just started his up yesterday.
We’ve battled stormy blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures on a daily basis, but last night spurred to be our best evening sit yet. The stands wrapped around a tree that overlooked a standing cornfield. Hundreds of acres of corn, thousands of golden cobs, and a spectacular location amounted to our most deer sightings yet. Twenty doe funneled into the field before sunset, while the bucks waited a little longer before entering the field. A small eight-point with a handful of yearlings drifted towards the center of the field toward all of the doe. Every deer was within a hundred yards, which would make an ideal shot for the muzzleloader. Unfortunately, the big boys didn’t step into the shooting lanes until later in the evening when camera light dwindled.
As I peered through my scope at the 4-½ year old ten-point, my teeth chattered as my heart sunk into my throat. This was a perfect example of the con’s involved in capturing a hunt on film. Video cameras can’t record quality footage during low light conditions. I watched the buck disappear into the cornfield, while I faded into the back of my stand’s seat, heart broken.
I’d just like to thank Mr. Hill and guide Dustin Fortner for providing a fantastic hunting adventure to cease the last trip of my 2009 season. The year has been a whirlwind of broken success, shattered dreams, and the occasional enlightenment that has kept us going. I wish everyone luck as most states continue their late season hunting until mid-January. God bless and good luck.