2016 season started out very promising. I had the opportunity to purchase a new farm in the coveted part of the state, and started the process of building and planning habitat conducive of growing and holding quality deer. With the challenge of still managing the lease ground, knowing the inventory and age structure of the mature bucks, and trying to learn the new farm, we knew it would be a year of more scouting than hunting.
I had a buck we called the “Tuning Fork Buck” on the lease, that we knew was a 5 year old mature whitetail. I had gotten several trail cam pictures and video of this buck but was unable to lay eyes on him in daylight hours.
Unfortunately, in the course of the rut, Tuning Fork lost a battle and we found him face down in the food plot. At this point in the season it was time for my annual trek to Illinois to hunt with my friend and team member Adam Crumrin. Adam had an 8 point buck that he set as my target for the week. I had a chance to see and video the mature 8 point along with several other up and coming studs, but with rut in full swing and the chasing that ensues, We were never able to get him in range.
Even though I left Illinois without filling my tag, I had a great week spend time with Adam and his family. Now back in Minnesota, it was time to focus on a different mature target buck. I had been getting several pictures of an older ten and started to focus in on his core area. We had several encounters, but as hunting goes sometimes, the buck had followed his doe into the sights of a waiting shotgun hunter and met his fate. With the season in its last couple weeks, I had decided to spend that time on my new farm, learning the deer travel routes and bedding areas. All though I did not fill my tags this season, I loved every minute spent in the tree with friends and family.