Setting the Stage and Sealing the Deal
By: Aaron Outdoors
Going into the 2022 Whitetail Season, we knew we needed to set the trap for our number one hit list buck. We decided to get some new Muddy Bull Blinds to take advantage of the scent concealment they offer. We felt this would allow us to hunt our long season most efficiently.
Preparations were made and the stage was set on our home farm in the summer of 2022 to hunt a buck that we have plenty of history with, “Cloud 9”. We have our brand new Muddy Bull Blinds strategically placed and Muddy Trail Cameras deployed to help us catch up to this target buck!
The story of Cloud 9 really begins in September of 2020 when my brother and I had an early season encounter with the young buck that had some nice potential. At this time, we were hunting out of an elevated Muddy Bale Blind. Throughout the year we continued to see this buck on our Muddy Trail cameras all over the same food plot. Fast forward to summer of 2021… we begin to get pictures of the deer in velvet once again. He had put on some inches and looked to be a nice buck, but we thought we could give him one more year before he became a buck we wanted to target. I was able to have a couple of nice encounters with him that season out of The Outfitter hang-on tree stands, but I knew this was the deer I wanted to hunt in 2022!
During the summer of 2022 after combing through hundreds of Muddy Trail Camera pictures from years past, we zoned in on one area of our farm with hopes of creating a setup that would provide us with an opportunity to get a shot at Cloud 9. This part of the farm has two ridges that has some steep hollows in it that provide great bedding cover. We have a 2-acre food plot that borders this timber in the bottom, a perfect place for us to slide in a Muddy Bull Box Blind. In years past, this field was almost un-huntable because there were no good places for a Muddy Ladder or Hang-on stand. The bottom has several creek drains running through it that makes our access to this blind perfect with a good stand of corn shielding us from any wandering eyes throughout the hillside! The stage was set.
A couple of weeks after setting up the Muddy Bull Blind we set up our Pro Cams along the field edge that borders the hollow, we believe that Cloud 9 lives in. One week later we checked the camera to find Cloud 9 right where he was supposed to be! He was by no means a giant buck, but he was the most mature deer on the farm in a relatively low deer density area. He put on some more inches in tine length, and we were happy to see him build up some mass with another year of age on him.
We hunted for Cloud 9 only a handful of times during early October but that was all it took. On October the 3rd we went in for an evening sit. Conditions were good and anticipation was high. With twenty minutes of daylight left, Cloud 9 made his first appearance of the 2022 season. We watched him feed until shooting light faded away with no shot opportunity. We left the blind feeling as if we had missed our chance.
A few days later, October the 8th, we had one of the best October cold fronts we’ve ever experienced roll through. We knew we had to slip in to our perfectly placed Muddy Bull Blind and see if we could lay eyes on Cloud 9 again. As we settled into the blind, we almost knew we would see our target. With an hour and a half of shooting light left, we looked up and saw Cloud 9 making his way to our set up. As soon as he got into bow range and turned broadside Blake let his arrow fly and sealed the deal.
Cloud 9 never knew what hit him. Chalk that up to setting the stage with the Muddy Bull Blind. It allowed us to stay undetected to the old bruiser. We kept the windows shut until it was time to make the shot. Cloud 9 was a worthy opponent and a true trophy in our eyes but he was no match for a good game plan and the Muddy Bull Blind.