Here’s a great story of a truly incredible young man, Clay Craft. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both him and his dad, and they are two of the nicest individuals you could ever meet and two of the best big buck hunters as well! Clay is the most succesful young hunter I think I’ve ever met and he’s continued that trend this year. Read on for details on his exciting 2011 hunt, and keep your eye out for more. I think we’ll be seeing a lot from Clay in the weeks and years ahead! – MK
“Some of you may remember reading about Clay Craft in a previous story about the incredible season this young man had at age 10. It looks like he may be on track for another. To start things off this year, Clays story caught the eyes of the producers of Heartland Bowhunter TV and was privileged to share the turkey blind this season with Shawn Luchtel and Michael Hunsucker.
After a few close calls and a well placed arrow, Clay managed getting his first longbeard with a bow on film with the HB boys and was invited to be the newest member of Heartland Bowhunter TV. This by itself was a dream come true for the now 11-year-old young man. Clay quickly realized that what he had committed to was bow hunting only! He said it would be a challenge but he was up for it!
“Clay wasted no time showing the boys at HB he could produce for them. On the first afternoon out in Kansas, Clay’s arrow hit the mark on a mature doe and his first hunt for HB was in the can! Now it was time to concentrate on getting one of his buck tags filled. Against my will, Clay had set himself a lofty goal of a minimum 140 inches. Given that we were limited on the range he could effectively harvest a buck ( 20 Yards max ) I knew this would be hard to do but, Clay is the luckiest kid in the world, so why not set high goals. Clays hunting this season would include a trip to Nebraska to hunt on the Big & J proving grounds and farms in Kansas and Missouri. With an itinerary like that I figured with enough hours in the stand we might have a shot at fulfilling his goal.
From our preseason scouting in northern Missouri, Clay had set his sights on a great buck we found back in August we named the Big 9.
After thousands of Reconyx Pictures we thought we had found the spot where we could intercept the big 9. We hung a set of Muddy lock-on’s for a North West wind in a staging area the buck was using before heading out to the alfalfa field. All we had to do now was wait for the wind to get right. What we didn’t know was that it would be two weeks before we got the right wind to get in that set. It was Thursday Oct 13 before we had a chance of the NW wind. As you know Thursday is still a school day for Clay but with some sweet talking (begging) to his mom we checked him out of school and made the 2-hour drive North. After settling into the stand it wasn’t long till the deer starting moving. We eventually had several bucks including the Big 9 in the food plot getting ready to head to the crop field. We waited for what seemed like hours but in reality was a long 20 minute wait before the buck would offer Clay a 20 yard shot. It’s probably a good thing it took so long because Clay was shaking so bad when the Big 9 stepped into the field, he probably would not have been able to get his bow back. As the buck exited the field on the trail we were set up on, the Big 9 offered Clay a perfect broadside shot. Clay was able to make the shot and the Big 9 fell within sight. Clays reaction was priceless! I don’t want to give it all away so make sure to tune into HB5 to see all the action first hand!”