Sometimes when the hunting is tough, it’s nice to know that with hard work, big bucks can still be taken. Given our current struggles in Illinois, reading the story below really put a smile on my face. Joe Subolefsky’s four year quest for this beautiful mature Maryland whitetail is a reminder to us all that hard work and persistence will always get the job done.

“I started watching and getting trailcam pics of this guy four years ago. I misnamed him that first year because of what I thought was a cowlick on the back of his neck that actually ended up being a mane. The first year I passed him a couple times, the second year once, but last year I never got the chance. This year at 7 1/2 years old,  I wanted him bad and his rack had really went down.

The first sit this year we came close to killing him on video, having him inside 20 yards for a solid 6-7 minutes. It was an intense encounter but he just never got in the right position or angle I felt comfortable with, so the bow was never drawn. We hunted him a couple other times when conditions were right, even had him inside 20 again but camera light was gone. After that he disappeared and was a no show on my cameras while I was away hunting IL.

Finally the wind got right one rainy evening, so I slipped back in the set. I wasn’t in the tree 10 minutes watching some does feed 60-70 yards away when I saw him rush in and push one out of the group and under my tree. About that same time the sky opened up washing away any hope of a blood trail. I was pretty sick tossing and turning all night, four years had all come down to this. The next morning I headed in the direction he ran right towards where I knew he lived in a hidden flat on a side-hill of mining spoils. He made it back home. In the end, he’s my lowest scoring mature whitetail, but I’m not sure I ever wanted one more”

– Joe Subolefsky