2011 ended up being a pretty great year for our friends over at Reality Driven Pursuits – as they knocked down a handful of dandy midwest bucks this season. As some of you may remember, I hunted down in Nebraska with Chad Searcey of the RDP team several years ag0 and since then I’ve always been excited to hear about each of their successes. This past November, I definitely was thrilled to hear that Brett Lesniak had put the hammer down on a beautiful Missouri buck. And I’m equally thrilled to be able to share his story today! – MK

“The second weekend of the Missouri gun season started out with high hopes as temperatures during the week dropped and buck movement really began to pick up.  But the motivation level of the hunters in our deer camp quickly plummeted as temperatures rose to 70 degrees on Saturday, November  19th. To make matters worse, the winds were gusting up to 40 mph! The forecast did call for a cold front to move through late in the evening so Chad Searcey and I packed our gear and headed to a piece of property well known for harboring big bucks. Chad and I were hopeful the front would make its way through our area prior to sunset. The property we were going to hunt was the same stand location that RDP teammate Jordan Mathes shot his buck one week earlier. Chad also filmed that hunt, so I was hopeful that his luck behind the camera would continue!

As we slipped into our stand, the winds were howling out of the South…perfect wind for this set up. As Chad slowly climbed up the tree first he looked down and said “buck, buck”. There was a buck and a doe already out in front of the tree stand. Chad determined it wasn’t a shooter and the buck and doe eventually walked out of our sight. We settled into our tree stands and held on tight as the winds rocked the tree making it feel like we were on a carnival ride.

Over the course of the next two hours the winds shifted out of the northwest. The cold front was directly over us and now we were holding on tight to the tree we were in and shivering as neither of us were dressed for the 20 degree temperature drop that had occurred during our sit.  Temperatures were now in the low 50s and the wind chill was even colder.  To make matters worse, the wind was now at our backs. Normally we wouldn’t hunt this stand with a North wind.

Even though we were both cold, we knew this temperature drop was a good thing. As the sun began to set, our anticipation of seeing a buck moving began to rise.  We were both hopeful the Dead Down Wind Evolve 3 would do its job if a buck traveled downwind of us.  At about 5:00 p.m. I looked up and saw a shooter buck appear just from the edges of a dried up pond about 75 yards away.  He was traveling on a trail that passed 12 yards in front of our stand. I looked up at Chad and he had his jacket pulled up over his head because he was so cold! With excitement I told Chad, “BIG BUCK, BIG BUCK COMING!” Chad got the camera ready and the Missouri Monarch, with his nose to the ground, walked to within 12 yards of us. Chad gave me the green light and I squeezed off a round from my .270. It was a perfect double lung shot, and we watched the buck crash a mere 50 yards away.

Because we were so cold, it didn’t take us long to get down out of the tree and make our way towards the buck. As we walked up on the big boy, we noticed he had his head up and was looking at us! Turns out he crashed in a perfect position that made it look like he was still alive! After some intense moments, we concluded that the buck was in fact dead.  After getting back to the lodge we found out Jordan Mathes and Blake Kramer had an encounter with this same buck at 50 yards two weeks earlier from the same stand while archery hunting. Jordan didn’t take the shot because it was so windy during that hunt.

The end of the Missouri gun season was an exciting one for us at Reality Driven Pursuits. You can check out this hunt and Jordan’s on our website at www.realitydrivenpursuits.com  ” – Brett Lesniak