Two Great Bucks in Two Great Days

I have been hunting for 22 years, and I have experienced some real success through deliberate hard work and patience while hunting. Prior to the fall of 2006, I harvested a couple 150- and 160-class bucks along with a handful of 130-class bucks. These all came as a result of passing on many smaller bucks.

In 2006, true luck took over when I found a lucky horseshoe. My luck began in southern Illinois on a bow-hunt beginning on Nov. 8. My timing of the rut seemed to be perfect, but warm weather had slowed deer movement considerably.

The morning was actually quiet. I only saw about 10 total deer, none of which were shooters. That afternoon, I moved to a different location over a food plot and saw about 20 deer, but still no shooters.

Walking out that evening, my heart sunk as I realized that I had broken the fiber optics on my bow site while walking through some thick brush a little too quickly. That night, I scrambled to try and fix my site at the lodge. I had limited success. The fiber optics were back in the metal pins, but they were damaged and not as bright as they once were. I was a bit worried about possible low-light shooting opportunities and feared that I had really handicapped myself.

The following morning started quickly and I had deer around me. At about 10:30 a.m., a hot doe led a mature, high-tined, white-racked buck passed my tree stand. A quick grunt got him to stop perfectly in my shooting lane. My shot was true, and I recovered my trophy about 50 yards away.

The buck was a mainframe 10-point with two extra kickers at his massive, gnarled bases, making him a 12-pointer which scored 164-inches. I thanked my lucky horseshoe for the buck and the performance of my broken bow. I now packed away my bow and prepared myself to drive to northern Missouri for a rifle hunt.

After the six hour drive to the Missouri-Iowa border, I was ready to hunt the next morning with my rifle. The morning hunt was very slow. I only saw three does. I drove into town at lunch at a local diner, and returned to the same location to prepare myself for the afternoon hunt. I was a little tired from the combination of the previous night