By Mark Kenyon

In my last journal entry I mentioned that I was headed to hunt a new farm for the evening hunt, and just hours after publishing that article I was up in a tree. That hunt, unfortunately, was a perfect example of why you shouldn’t ignore your gut instincts.

Before heading out for the hunt, I’d identified an area on the aerial map that looked like an ideal set-up for the wind direction we had and the deer behavior I was expecting. It seemed like a safe area to sneak in and hang an observation stand, while also presenting a decent chance at good deer activity. A WNW wind would blow my scent into a nearby backyard, a large chunk of timber to my south would likely have deer bedded in it, and in front of me, the intersection of a standing corn field and beanfield presented what I thought would be a great combo of cover and food. I picked out my spot and headed in with a stand on my back.

But, being an idiot, when I got to my pre-determined location I got to second-thinking my original hypothesis. “This spot is awfully close to the house … that inside corner closer to the swamp sure looks good … that big oak tree might be dropping acorns…” All of these thoughts were running through my mind and after standing on the field-edge thinking for a couple minutes, I decided to push on down the line further.

Fast forward a few hours later, with 20 minutes of daylight left, I watched a big mature eight pointer step out of the standing corn and walk straight down the intersection of the beans and corn right into the timber, walking right past the tree I originally was planning on hunting from. And following directly behind that big buck was a heaping dose of self-loathing.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, to ensure that all confidence in my decision making was destroyed, at nearly the same time that I saw this shooter walk out of my life, I got a text message including several trail camera photos of Holyfield standing in broad daylight in front of my treestand back on my main MI farm.

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The next day, after a relatively uneventful morning hunt on the new farm, I headed back home and decided to change things up even further. My original plan, as noted in Journal #10, was to stay off my main MI farm til later in the month – but after seeing Holyfield move in daylight on Tuesday night while scouting and then getting daylight trailcam pics of him on Thursday, I decided it was worth one more shot. This time, I figured I’d try a new access trick, and convinced my wife to come along and drop me off at the back of the ground blind by way of ATV, and then drive back away from the farm – hopefully making any nearby deer think that the intrusion had come and gone. But, long story short, that didn’t make much of a difference. I saw a bunch of deer, but no Holyfield. On a sad note, one Wired To Hunt reader noticed in the pic above that Holyfield’s left main beam has been busted off just past the G3 (other photos confirm it.)

So that’s where things stand today. I’m planning on reinstituting my no-hunt policy on this property until the last week of October, and in the meantime keep trying my new properties and maybe check out our Northern Michigan hunting area as well.

But before I sign off, I have been getting some new trail camera pictures by way of my wireless trailcams. In Michigan, in addition to Holyfield, I’ve also gotten several pictures of a nice 9 pointer (I think he’s three) that I’ve yet to give a name (thinking of sticking with the boxer theme though).

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We’ve also had three of our summertime bucks in Ohio show back up, and all three are huge bodied brutes that are keeping me up late at night (from top to bottom you’ve got Blades, Boss, and an still unnamed nine pointer). I’m planning a return trip down for them, as well, as soon as they start getting daylight active or late October arrives. Until then, I’ll continue to drool, check the weather forecast and type away at this journal.

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