Pesky Neighbors Don’t Stop Hunter from Getting His Dream Buck

Shawn Kelley

Shawn Kelley

If you’re like most of us, you’ve got neighbors, and sometimes they can try your patience. Deer hunter Shawn Kelley had to overcome some pesky neighbors to get a buck of a lifetime.

“A couple weeks before I got my buck, my game camera took a photo of a neighbor walking through the property I have permission to hunt,” said Kelley, who lives in Waterford Township, Mich. “He has permission to cut wood there, but he normally doesn’t go where I’m hunting.”

Kelley hunts on 40 acres in Oakland County, Mich., a stone’s throw from suburbia and hordes of humans. A large swamp runs through the property, with hardwoods interspersed throughout the parcel.

Fearing his neighbor had run off an 11-pointer Kelley had been pursing for two years, the real estate agent for Whitetail Properties stayed out of the area for a few days to let things settle down before trying again. When he did, he got another surprise.

Shawn Kelley's big 11-point buck didn't come without some tribulations!

Shawn Kelley’s big 11-point buck didn’t come without some tribulations!

“My popup blind had been stolen,” added Kelley. “There was a little snow on the ground, so I was able to follow the footprints back to the home of some teenagers who’d taken my blind.”

Kelley gave them a stern warning about stealing hunting property, then returned the blind to its rightful place.

Fast forward to December 15, 2016, when Mother Nature was staging a blitzkrieg on Michigan, slamming the Great Lakes State with high winds and temperatures in the single digits. Figuring the foul weather would get deer moving, Kelley went hunting – and came face to face with the buck he’d been dreaming about.

“He came from my left {the west] and walked in front of me through some tall grass that had been knocked down by the snow and wind,” explained Kelley. “I grunted at him several times, but he wouldn’t stop. Finally, he paused in a shooting window, and I shot.”

Kelley’s arrow hit its mark, sending the buck lurching away in distress. After waiting eight hours, Kelley followed a good blood trail into tall weeds, where he could hear something moving around.

“I figured I’d given the deer plenty of time to expire, so it was now or never,” Kelley said.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the buck moving about, but two coyotes beginning to feast on the carcass.

The 11-pointer gross scored 161 1/8-inches and is Kelley’s largest buck to date. His success proves that deer hunting is all about overcoming adversity – even when it comes in the form of neighbors!
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