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Lights, Camera, & Action!

I could feel my heart begin to beat faster as the 140 inch 8 point slowly made his way across the clearing from well over 150 yards. When he reached the 50 yard mark my breathing became a little erratic and when he stood broadside at a mere 18 yards all I could do was giggle . . . you see the tag in my pocket was reserved for the beautiful 9 point that I had center punched 20 minutes earlier.

Before I get ahead of myself, lets take a step back so that I can set up this hunt. I have been hunting with Montana Whitetails for the past 7 years and keep going back for one very simple reason. The amount of game in this region is mind numbing and I was hoping that 2009 would be no different.

Back in April I had received a call from my buddy Steve Miller. He had been in contact with the folks at Mossy Oak. They were interested in joining us on the hunt to film an episode of Hunting the Country.

I wish I could say that I was jumping for joy when the call came, but the group of guys that I hunt with has developed a reputation for practical jokes so I was hesitant to buy in hook line and sinker. It was only after receiving a call from Mike Mccloskey of Mossy Oak that I accepted that this was a true opportunity.

I have spent a good amount of time in front of and behind a camera while in a tree stand so that wasn’t going to be an issue, but I was blown away with the professionalism and skill that these guys brought to the table. It was certainly an eye opener to say the least.

When we landed in Bozeman on September 26th the temperature was a balmy 86 degrees and we were informed that the hunting had been tough so far. Warm weather had kept the bigger dear from moving much before sun down so we would have to be patient and wait them out.

On the first evening we had an encounter with two bucks that put on a sparring show for us at 20 yards. They were both respectable deer and even though neither of them hit the ground it was well worth the price of admission.

The next two days were cooler but we were not seeing the bucks that we would have liked, though we did have two shooters approach within 25 yards but we were trapped on the ground and didn’t dare spook them.

On Tuesday Evening we were greeted with the wind we had been hoping for and climbed into the stand mentioned above. The wind direction was perfect, but it was also strong causing the deer to be real skittish. 
We laid our eyes on three shooters within the first hour of the sit but every one of them was in high gear or just out of range.

As we sat patiently Mike tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out two does coming out of the thick brush of the river bottom. He also pointed out that there was a third deer staying just inside the brush line. As I looked through my binoculars I could see that he was pacing back and forth. The first thought that hit my mind was that this was a buck and he was letting the ladies test the waters before entering the clearing.

Sure enough he stepped out and from 150 yards I could tell he was a shooter and he was making his way towards us.

There is no feeling in the world that matches the mixture of excitement and fear of knowing that a good buck has 150 yards of real estate to cover to get within bow range.

He closed this distance in short order and soon stood in front of me at twenty yards, directly behind a branch. From there he had three options, two of which would provide me with a shot.

If he turned right I had him and if he turned left I had him. He could also have turned straight away and walked out of my life forever.

Luckily for us he turned to my right and presented a 15 yard shot and after a short tracking job I was able to bring this beautiful 9 point home to New York with me.

The footage taken was out of this world and after Steve took his buck we are hoping that it makes it onto the program to air some time next summer.

P.S. Attached are photos of Steve's Montana whitetail also captured on film for the Mossy Oak TV show!

John Lenox

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