I can’t think of any place I’d rather be, then sitting in a tree on November 1st on a 20 degree morning in the Midwest. This year found me in Macon, Missouri with IMB outfitters. This was my fourth trip to the Midwest. I am pretty well known in Darrin Bradley’s camps for the guy who had shot all his arrows and had to call his guide for more! But, that was another year! This year I have put my time in at the range and I’m confident. I had two hunts this year , Missouri then Pike County Illinois. After a brisk ride across a large cut soybean field my guide and new buddy, Houston led me thru a tangle of pickers and brush into a creak bottom. After a hundred fifty yard walk in the dark Houston showed me my days perch, bid me good luck and left into the dark. I climbed into the stand and watched as his tail lights faded away….As day break came I tried to figure out the territory. After doing some ranging I settled in, for the next four hours and fifteen minutes I sat waiting without seeing even one deer! At ten fifteen a.m. an airplane engine started a mear three hundred yards in front of me. Okay it was a corn dryer but, this guy from the Adirondack mountains in New York thought it was a jet engine.
I remember shaking my head and thinking my good luck is starting all over again. As I shook my head to the right, standing at thirty –two yards, was the reason I traveled twelve hundred and sixty miles from home! I stood and drew back my Mathews Q2 bow and let the Beeman arrow fly. The buck dropped in his tracks and I was going crazy. I grabbed my cell phone and called my guide, Houston… I finally did it! As I spoke to him I was suddenly interrupted by my buck starting to stand up. I threw the phone down, knocked an arrow and let it fly once more. It found its mark about two inches away from the first one. The buck was down for good and I was shaking. I have to be honest my second phone call was to my wife to tell her I finally got my Midwest bruiser!!! Houston arrived and took some photos for me, we got the deer out and on the four wheeler loaded up to head back to camp. Darrin measured the deer at 134 Pope and Young inches after hugs and congratulations. The 9 pointer featured a split left brow tine and matching 10 6/8 inch G-2s. I was one happy hunter, I finally broke my sting of bad luck. Thanks to Darrin Bradley and his excellent staff at IMB Outfitters I have enjoyed seven hunts so far with two more planned for year 2007. Special thanks to Darrin, who made me realize … it is not all about the kill but, also the friendships and special bonds made along the way.
Roland R. LaPier Jr
November 1, 2005