By Mark Kenyon
Today we’ve got a great story from my friend Shawn Luchtel of Heartland Bowhunter. After hunting hard through October and November, his persistence paid off with a great Missouri buck. Congrats Shawn! – MK
“This years rut has been a little more difficult for me. I felt as if I had to work a little harder than years past, however, there is always something that I learn. This year I learned and am also a stronger believer that the rut is very dependent upon good weather conditions!
I hunted every single day for 3 weeks straight prior to killing my Missouri buck. I was hunting in Northern MO on 3 different farms I had not hunted much prior to this year. My daily routine consisted of checking all weather conditions, checking my Reconyx cameras, evaluating aerial maps and trying to figure out deer travel corridors . Naturally, I was trying to pattern deer and always seemed to be a step behind. After seeing only 3 shooters in that 3 week time period and only having 1 in range (with no shot) I decided to go home and hunt the farms I knew.
Upon arriving home in Central Missouri I knew there was a cold front hitting that afternoon. Mike and I immediately got in a tree as the rain began to quit. We ended up seeing a nice 150″ 10 point that I would have shot but could not get a shot at him. The next morning we headed back into the same timber lot in hopes to kill the same deer from the evening before. With colder temperature and a steady north wind I knew we had a good chance! I rattled about an hour into the hunt and could hear a buck making a scrape in a thicket about 100 yards away. I let out a quick grunt sequence and here he came. He made a scrape at 35 yards and then offered me a broadside shot at 24 yards. I made a perfect shot followed by him falling over at 38 yards!
This is the first buck I have killed during Missouri Rifle Season, with a bow, so it will be one I will always remember. I put in a tremendous amount of time hunting the pre-rut, beginning of the rut and it all finally paid off! I also learned that post-cold front is one of the best times to be in a tree because the bucks are on their feet, looking for does and freshening scrapes. Following weather conditions seems to be my most important tactic all year long but most importantly during the rut!” – Shawn Luchtel
For more from Shawn and the HB crew, visit HeartlandBowhunter.com