Pursuit of Hightower
I set out on October 19th for a little low impact scouting on the northwest corner of the farm I was hunting. Little did I know that this day would be the beginning of a season to remember. As I walked the northern property line fence, I bumped a buck from his bed in the grass draw running through the neighbor’s cornfield. I didn’t get a good look at him as he ran away, but i guesstimated he was two foot off his head, heavy and a mere 15 inches wide, so the name “Hightower” seemed fitting. I hung a trail camera facing the edge of the cornfield where I found three freshly opened scrapes. On the evening of the 27th, my dad hunted a set that I had previously hung in that area and I asked him to switch out the sd cards on the camera on his way out. Later that evening, as we sat looking at the pictures, it was quite difficult to contain myself as the first picture of “Hightower” came up on the 25th. His headgear was as I described to those I had talked to, only he carried much more character and many more points that I had imagined! So my infatuation was born. I wasn’t sure this buck was even living on this farm as all his pictures, 21 in all in three days, were all overnight. I felt if he was living on the farm, one particular stand set gave me the best chance to lay eyes on him. The next three days dawned southeast winds so I couldn’t hunt that set. I looked ahead to Halloween morning and it called for a slight northwest wind so I decided that would be my first attempt to go after him. On the 30th, I went ahead and checked a trail camera that was about 130 yards across the short CRP field from the set and he had made an appearance the morning before. That made me feel a little better about my chances, but still the pictures were around 4am so I was still unsure about where he was living. I was going to hunt him anyway. So, the stage was set and I woke up Halloween morning with a very special feeling about the hunt. I had dedicated this season to a good friend and hunting buddy that I lost in a motorcycle accident less than two months before on September 2nd, and felt his presence very strong that morning. So strong in fact that I posted on my facebook and spoke of him on the pre-hunt interview that I felt he was going to be sitting with my cameraman and I in that tree that day. As we are driving up the gravel road towards the west end of the property, “Hightower” crosses the gravel road coming off the neighbor’s ground onto my farm about 70 yards in front of my truck around 6:03am, approximately an hour and 15 minutes before first light. I couldn’t help but smile thinking this was suppose to happen. So we ascend the tree around 640 am, and after a very exciting morning thus far, Hightower makes his appearance a couple minutes after 9:00am, and after a graceful walk into my doe decoy, I arrowed him at 31 yards with my Mathews!! I had him green scored the following evening and with a 6×6 168 1/8 mainframe and 14 other scorable points, he grossed 215 7/8 and nets 205 6/8! And though my buddy had only ran my camera four previous times, he did a phenomenal job pulling it together and the footage is great!