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I think I am going to turn this into a multi-quest for me.  My goal is to introduce my wife, Ashley, to the world of Whitetail Deer hunting.  We have been together for six years and married for two of them.  She is a fantastic person that I never want to spend a day without.  And that is the reason for my multi-quest.  I love hunting, but I always hate leaving my wife behind all weekend.  It makes hunting a little less enjoyable when she’s not around.  Over the past few years, she has been getting more and more comfortable with the fact that I am an avid hunter.  This past September I was actually able to get her to say that she would go hunting, but that did not necessarily mean that she would be doing it anytime soon.  It’s a start at least.  Since she is now more accepting of the idea, everyone around her needs to start giving her encouragement so it isn’t so taboo for her.  How sweet would it be to bag that record booner with my wife by my side?

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Exciting Footage

I am backtracking a bit here to this past October.  I got some decent footage of a good size doe and her two fawns.  The video may be deceiving, but these deer were literally no more than five yards at their closest point to me.  Since she had two fawns with her, I decided to pass on them.  Any other year I might have taken a shot at her, but since my wife and I are battling fertility issues I thought it would be a bad omen to take a mother away from two fawns.  Check out my wife's blog on infertility.  It is great and informative writing.  www.speedbumpbabybump.blogspot.com  This footage was taken on my first day out this season and I figured I had plenty of time to get a deer better suited for harvesting.  I was hunting with my Hoyt Alpha Max 32.  It is an incredible bow that knows how to smoke a deer.  My treestand is a Summit Viper.  I love this stand, but I'm contemplating purchasing a Lone Wolf climber stand.  Let me know your opinion on this if you have one.  My video camera is a Canon FS100.  It is not much to brag about, but it did a nice job for a beginner videographer.


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The purpose of this blog is to document my every step towards taking that buck of a lifetime.  I have been hunting public land in Missouri for the past13 years and I don't have any trophies to show for it.  I don't like to consider myself the lazy hunter, but at the same time I have never put a major emphasis on scouting and preparation.  Typically, I head out into the woods and hope for the best, but usually get the worst.  I have made it my quest from here on out to make every effort possible to bag a record booner.  I will document everything down to the gear I purchase, to private hunting land requests, to hunting techniques, and to the final moment to where I can proudly hang that booner buck on my wall.

Even though we are in the middle of the Missouri rut I am already thinking about next season.  So far this year I have hunted three times; two weekends for archery and one weekend during the November firearms season with no luck.  When I proposed to my wife I had sold my guns to pay for her ring.  So, I am forced to archery hunt during rifle season.  Yesterday, I went to a local gun shop to see what's out there.  I was hellbent on getting a 45-70.  A Marlin 1895XLR to be exact.  I wanted a rifle with a ton of knock down power, but was ideal for the short range brush hunting I am use to in Missouri.  It turns out that Marlin has relocated their offices and is way behind on orders.  I have been contemplating a 30-06 too.  Since I cannot get the 45-70 that I want right away, I settled on the Browning X-Bolt.  This rifle is incredibly sweet.  Check it out.  Browning X-Bolt This rifle has everything I was looking for and the gun shop was selling it for next to nothing.  I am happy with the decision of going with the 30-06 because of the wide range of bullets it can handle.  My old 30-30 was limited to just one type of bullet.  Overall, my new Browning X-Bolt 30-06 was a perfect choice that won't fail when that shot at a record booner comes up.

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The Brow Tine Debate

Over the weekend I shot, according to my standards, a subpar Whitetail Buck.  The short version of a long story is that he was trotting at a moderate pace through the woods at 85 yards when I shot him and he appeared to be a respectable 8 pointer.  When I got up to him and put my hands on him, I learned that I had shot a perfectly balanced 6 pointer with no brow tines.  Immediate disappointment flooded me.  It was overwhelming that I had just shot a buck that was much smaller than many other deer I had let walk this season.  After some time of feeling down-and-out, I decided that what had happened, had happened and that I had best accept it.  So, the search for the silver lining began.  Suprisingly, there were many silver linings, and one of them led me to write this blog entry.  Here is the list:

1.  He is going to taste great!

2.  I won't have to worry about my increased work schedule affecting the outcome of my season.

3.  The $24 I paid for my Firearms tag won't go to waste.

4.  He is still a mature deer.

5.  I'm saving money that would have been spent at the taxidermist.

6.  His inferior genetics have been eliminated from the gene pool.

The last reason is the focus of this blog entry and is debateable.  I have heard that if a 3 1/2 year old deer doesn't have brow tines, he never will.  Others have told me that maybe he will have brow tines at some point, but will probably be a maximum of 1 to 2 inches long. I've been told that this is a genetic trait and it should be eliminated from one's hunting area if they didn't want bucks around with little to no brow tines.  Indiana's regulation of 1 antlered deer per year leaves little opportunity to cull deer with poor antler genetics.  So, I found comfort in knowing I had done my part in removing this undesireable antler trait from the local herd.

So, I'm now at peace with taking such a small antlered buck.  Sure, I'm getting a lot of teasing from my buddies, but I'm okay with it.  It will also give me a lot of motivation to do my homework during the offseason and my wife is happy that I will be able to focus on things that need to be done around the house.

Hopefully, you all kill record book bucks and don't have to relate to my list of reasons for being okay with killing a genetically inferior buck.  But if you do, rest assured that it isn't the end of the world, and there are a number of reasons why you can be okay with it.

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The Hunt For Hunting Ground

Whether you're a weekend hunter, seasoned pro, or a beginner, my rule is you can never have too much hunting land or too many ponds to fish. I wanted to share some of the things that I have done in the past to gain access to new hunting grounds. The first thing I do is figure out where the best looking spots are in my home area. Keep in mind it's easier on your wallet and your truck if you can gain access to ground that's closer to your home. If you have to drive far distances, then that's ok too, but the closer the better I always say. Once you have an idea of where, you then need to use the Internet maps like google earth to take a closer look at the grounds from above. Then you can judge the size and the crop to woods ratio.

Once you have made a decision on where you want to focus your efforts, it's time to gain permission. You don't want to disturb a farmer that's hard at work in the field by driving right up to him and slowing him down. Keep in mind he has a lot more to do than you, so that's why he's working and your not lol. That will get you an instant no, I can guarantee it. What you do is you pick a nice rainy day when you know he's not planting or in harvest depending on the time of year. Then in the evening you simply knock on doors being very polite and respectful to the land owners. I just simply tell them who I am, what I do, where I'm from. I ask them if they allow permission for bow hunting only on their property, along with a lot of small talk about crop prices and things. They are more likely to give permission for bow than gun, due to the fact that most people don't want a stranger with a gun on their property, makes since. So that's good news for bow hunters.

Now remember you will get a lot of NO's but you will get yes's as well. I knock on twenty doors every preseason and might get two yes's and that's a lot of time and gas but it pays off big when you create great memories in the great outdoors. If you can just be patient and persistent good things will come. Stay after it and gain any piece of ground you can and hunt hard as long as you can. It's hunting, its the chase not just for big bucks but for the right piece of land, the right tree, the right food source and the right time. Its all about what you know and a little about who you know. I thank god every time I get to climb into the stand. Also, make sure you thank the farmer that lets you hunt his land because after all, he is the one paying the taxes on your hunting paradise. Good luck to all and be safe.   

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