I’d been to the farms in Missouri twice before. Once to set up trail cameras, and once on our way back from Colorado for a quick hunt with my boyfriend. It was owned by my boyfriends cousin, and now, finally, I would be hunting here.
We made good time on our way to Missouri, with one stop for lunch at a Wendy’s where we saw a bunch of guys from Hadley Creek, and another stop to buy me a license at Wal-Mart. We were at the south farm in time to be in our stands that night. I sat in a hedgerow between a soybean field and a grass field, and had does around me almost as soon as I was in the stand. But, it was about 70 degrees out, and the bucks weren’t moving.
We stayed in a motel that night, and left for the north farm, about an hour away, early the next morning. I sat in a ladder stand over a food plot, the same one that my boyfriend had shot a doe out of in September when we were on our way back from Colorado.
I was tired, and very nearly fell asleep as the sun came up and shone directly on my stand, keeping me warm. Then, I saw a small buck come out of the hemlocks about 70 yards away, into the food plot. He didn’t stick around very long, but I videoed him for a while before he disappeared into the hemlocks again. About ten minutes later, a doe came out. I didn’t even bother to pick up my camera. Stupid me, I didn’t even think a buck could be right behind her. And, he was!
A huge 8 point came out of the hemlocks directly behind her. They were too far to shoot, and gone in a few seconds, but I knew that the buck was a definite shooter. The rules my boyfriends cousin had for anyone who hunted the farm was that if you shot a buck it had to be over 140 or you paid a $500 fine. This buck was for sure over 140.
I waited, but he never came back out. I tried the snort-wheeze, since my boyfriend said it worked wonders here in Missouri, but it only brought the little buck back in. I sat there until about 9, when I was supposed to meet my boyfriend back at the road for him to pick me up.
That day it was nearly 80 degrees. It felt like summer again. My boyfriend and I set up a groundblind near where the deer had crossed and camoed it in for me to sit in that night. There were three heavily used trails crossing there on the food plot, so I had a feeling it would be good.
By the time we finished putting up the blind it was nearly time to get back in the woods. We drove back to our spot where we parked the camper, and my boyfriend decided that he should take a shower. There was a 15 gallon jug of water with a spout that had been left in his camper, so taking it outside he set it up on top of the camper and stripped down to his underwear. I sat in the camper and texted my sister while I waited for him to get done.
But, he had other plans. Coming back in shivering, he suggested that I should take a shower too since we were staying in the camper that night and not going into the town that was a half hour away.
Reluctantly I agreed and stripped down to my underwear and stepped under the trickle of FREEZING water. I was only there about a minute, I hadn’t even used soap yet, when I heard a tractor coming up the road. Where we were, there was NO traffic what so ever. We were in the middle of nowhere. What were the chances of a tractor coming by, JUST when I started to shower?
“I’ll go block his view” my boyfriend volunteered.
I stepped behind the camper where I wouldn’t be seen, thankful for the towel I had brought with me. Shivering, I waited for the tractor to continue on by so I could finish my frigid shower and get back into the warm dry camper. But, instead, the tractor stopped. Then I heard it shut off and heard my boyfriend talking to him.
Great. Here I was practically naked and freezing and my boyfriend was out there talking to some farmer. The whole situation was hilarious.
Luckily I managed to finish my shower and wrap myself in a towel when the farmer left. Then, it was back to the woods. I saw a lot of does that night, and some small bucks again, lots of turkeys, but no big bucks.
We spent that night in the camper, with a Heater Buddy running on propane to keep us warm. I thought about it that night: there we were, literally in the middle of nowhere. No heat, no running water, traveling 20 miles to town to one place that served food, waking up at 4 in the morning to sit in a treestand for most of the day and freeze, pretty much no phone service, 18 hours from home and the only person I saw all day was my boyfriend. Honestly, I was happier than I’ve ever been. Of course, the possibility of shooting a big buck just made it better.
The next morning was our last morning hunting Missouri. We got up extra early since my boyfriend wanted to put a stand up for himself before it got light. I sat in the blind again, and I was so tired that I curled up on the floor of the blind and fell asleep until the sun came up.
I saw no deer that morning, though my boyfriend saw some deer where he sat. That afternoon we moved the blind to another location for rifle season, and moved the ladder stand I had sat in the previous morning, which took us most of the afternoon.
Our last night I sat in yet another ladder stand in the middle of a swampy area near the road. I was only there about an hour when deer started coming from everywhere. Bucks were chasing does in every direction. One nice big 8 point stayed in the swamp long enough for me to video him for a while, but no shooters came close enough for me to get a chance.
That night walking back to the truck, I was a little disappointed. A week in the mid-west and no deer down. But, I had had the time of my life. I honestly can’t remember ever having been so happy or having so much fun. It was an experience I will never forget, and next time hopefully I’ll be dragging a deer out of the woods!
For now, it's time for me to return to the woods of NJ and shoot Mr. Big, since he is STILL ALIVE!!