Today’s story comes from Jason Cleveland of Whitetail Properties. Jason worked hard all year on his farms improving habitat and setting the stage for close encounters with giant whitetails, and finally late this fall it paid off with a great 150 class Ilinois buck. Congrats Jason! – MK
So far this season I’ve had an unbelievable year, harvesting a great Southern Iowa buck and a monarch in Pike County, Missouri named the Dink. How could my season get any better? I’d been chasing a buck on my Pike County, Illinois farm that I named Number 11. He was a big 11 pointer and was clearly a mature animal. I had spent many days during the rut on stand and tucked away in the trusty Banks Blinds with no sightings of this bruiser. I had 10 Reconyx trail cameras on my farm all fall and I kept getting pictures of him, but just couldn’t close the distance. The Illinois shotgun seasons came and went and still no luck. Finally a cold front was scheduled to push thru just in time for the Illinois muzzleloader season. I checked my cameras the day before the season started and there he was in my 3-acre standing bean patch on the north side of my farm. I knew just where I needed to be on opening night.
Opening night was finally here and my cameraman and I snuck into the Banks Blind in the middle of my standing beans undetected. It was bitter cold out and I just knew they needed the grain to keep warm. After a short amount of time we started seeing does file out of the timber and into the food plot, the plan was working perfectly. After about 45 minutes of non-stop doe action I spotted a nice 9 point coming out of my sanctuary. We had discussed shooting him…but I just wasn’t convinced that I had no chance on Number 11. The 9 point fed in the standing beans for a good 3 or 4 minutes before I finally spotted our target buck. He strolled right out of the sanctuary just like he was supposed to. The plan was coming together just like I had rehearsed it. I let him feed for 5 or 6 minutes and we got some beautiful footage of him and finally I decided it was time to close the deal on Number 11. I opened the window on the Banks and he offered a broadside, 15 yard shot. I touched the trigger on the ole TC and down he went. Finally…satisfaction. I hunted him hard all year and finally on December 9th, we got him. – Jason
For more, visit the Whitetail Properties website.