Patience and Perseverance (and Possibly Rattling) Pay Off

I first heard of this buck, which hunter Curt Frazell calls Hi-C, back in early September, when Frazell was counting down the days until the Kansas opener when he could get a crack at the tall, unique buck. Prior to opening day, Frazell had compiled what he says was more than a thousand trail camera pictures of Hi-C, including a pic of him in velvet taken on August 29. Despite mapping out the buck's home range and habits, September 17 came and went and Frazell didn't have his first encounter with the buck until September 29. A few days later, Frazell sent me the video capture below along with the following:
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"I had a great encounter with the buck I call Hi-C. He came in to 15 yards the other night with three other bucks. He was in the camera frame for 9 minutes and in that time never presented a good shot...was facing us the whole time. What a heart breaker and very exciting hunt at the same time.
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To me this is what makes deer hunting the most challenging yet rewarding hunting experience. Spending all summer getting to know a buck and having these encounters there is no way to put into words what you feel when this happens. Thought I would share the pics and hope to have a harvest picture at some point, until then the hunt continues for the wise buck I call Hi-C."

In October, Frazell accepted a new job that took him two hours away from his hunting spot, instead of the usual 10 minutes. That prevented him from getting back in the tree until the last weekend of October. Luckily, his timing couldn't have been better:

"Not only was I going to get to hunt, the weather was looking like perfect conditions to get a crack at Hi-C," said Frazell. "[With] a 40 degree drop in temperature and 5 mile an hour northeast winds, the conditions could not have been any better.

_"My buddy Chuck Black met me in town for the weekend and we were going to switch off with the video camera. Saturday the 27th morning hunt, Chuck was up. With 30 degree temps, deer were everywhere and one of the first deer in the beans was Hi-C. He was feeding and bumping two does around about 100 yards out. This was the second time we were able to video this buck. It seemed like we were going to get a crack at him but as they started making their way towards us, another shooter buck came out of the adjacent tree line, which made Hi-C gather his does and push them into a 40-acre thicket away from us. We had a very eventful hunt seeing three shooters, 14 bucks total and a final tally of around 40 deer.

"The evening hunt we would only see three deer, including one nice buck 300 yards away. This brings us to Sunday morning…another cool calm day with 5 mile per hour straight east winds. It was another really slow hunt compared to the 40 deer we saw Saturday morning. At 9 a.m. I decided to hit the horns to try to get something going. The rattling brought in an old wide eight, but I had my mind set on Hi-C, so I decided to pass on the buck. Ten minutes later had me looking at the thicket where Hi-C had exited the field the morning before, and low and behold he stepped out almost exactly where he pushed the does Saturday morning.

He was 250 yards across the bean field but heading our way. After a long 30 minutes of watching him meander all the way across the field, Hi-C made his way to the creek crossing, presenting a 20-yard broadside shot and the rest is history. Hi-C got his name from the long G1 and G2s and the kicker that makes a C behind his left G1. What a fun deer to hunt."_

Congratulations to Curt on setting a goal for the season and staying with it, despite dealing with a new job and accompanying move, along with the difficult weather conditions we had on the Plains in September and October. He also brought the hunt to him by going to the rattling hours to try and make something happen when activity slowed mid-morning. Whether Hi-C was coming to the horns or not, we'll never know, but this time of year it never hurts to get aggressive.