Today’s W2H reader success story comes from Missouri and the lucky hunter is Joshua Overstreet. Joshua’s hard work paid off this fall with his successful harvest of the buck he dubbed “High Tops” and he was kind enough to share his story with us here today. Enjoy! – MK
By Joshua Overstreet
On November 23rd, 2013, in Missouri, during rifle season I harvested the buck of a lifetime , after having had a terrible bow season and making a bad shot on a 140 class buck I called Cheech. With that being the story of my previous season, I felt like I would really need to put in the man hours to have a successful 2014.
Starting in March I started freshening up my mineral sites and putting a few new ones on the 830 acres I hunt in the Missouri River bottoms just 40 miles east of downtown Kansas City. I then followed this up by placing my small army of trail cameras out beginning in June and checking them on a regular basis. All through June and July I would get off work and run out to check the cameras and glass the vast acres of soy beans that lay between the levee and the dense tree line that the deer I hunt spend most of their daylight hours. Through two months I had thousands of photos and began to shape my hit list of 4.5+ year old bucks that I have come to know all too well on the property.
By mid August I had my early season stands in place and my target bucks set. A buck that I’ve had on camera for a few years now was a unique buck I had named High Tops, due to his rack that set up much higher than most bucks on the property. He began to frequent the edges of a bean field I hunt during the early season, but into mid October he would only show up on a few mock scrapes at night. But he would always be with a couple younger bucks and he would always be bullying and sparing with those bucks. However on October 12th was the last time he showed up, just in time for the October Lull! That’s when I quit going to the stand all together and relocated my stands to sit over some doe bedding areas when the chasing and seeking phase set in November. I continued to check my cameras but all my bucks had vanished. On October 31st I finally decided to start hunting again hot and heavy.
After November came around I was watching the same five does come out of the bedding area every evening. I had shot my buck the year before chasing a doe in that bedding area so I knew that the bucks would show up eventually, but chasing and rutting behavior was non-existent for the first week of November. On November 7th I spent the evening on a stand that overlooked a funnel that opened up into a soy bean field. As the sun set I watched the farmer who farms the property bring all his equipment to the edge of the field and I knew he would be spending the majority of the next couple days harvesting those soy beans. That being the case, I skipped hunting November the 8th, the day I predicted in July that I would shoot one of my hit list bucks. But on November the 9th as I headed out to a stand I hadn’t hunted all fall because I knew it’d be a hot stand, I counted 5 scrapes along the tree line. I knew things had changed and the light switch had been flipped. The rut was finally on in my neck of the woods!
My stand sat at the crossroad of three trails that come together about 200 yards inside the timber and 30 yards from the banks of the Missouri River. As I sat in the tree for a couple hours I didn’t see any action, except for about 20 turkeys that walked around my tree for a good hour. But right at 3:00 I heard some crashing through the timber and watched as a doe came through and behind her was a younger buck and who else other than High Tops. I grunted at him as they ran passed, and the doe circled around behind me. High Tops ran right under my stand and was headed in the direction of the doe. So I grunted again and that got his attention, he turned and was headed my way. He cleared the brush and I got him to stop at 10 yards, after that I let my arrow fly. I watched that arrow disappear into his side and he trotted off into the tree line and crashed only 30 yards from where I shot him.
– Joshua Overstreet