Ryan Matzke — Illinois

The forecast for Oct. 12 said the temperature was supposed to reach 90 degrees. So needless to say, I had very little hope for the mor n i ng’ s hunt.
I even considered sleeping in but my cameraman could only go in the morning, and because this was the first year of filming hunts, I decided I shouldn’t be too selective. So there we sat, 8:30 a.m., hot and sweaty. We were ready to get down from the stand, but there were two does bedded close by and not wanting to spook them, we decided to wait them out. As it turned out, it was pretty lucky that we did because at 9:00 a.m. this 167-inch 12-pointer made the fatal mistake of stepping into my shooting lane. We had been seeing and hunting this deer for four long years, and I was finally fortunate enough to harvest the 7-1/2-year-old. I shot this buck on his way from food to bed, and I have to give a huge thank you to Whitetail Institute products for helping grow such a magnificent animal. My grandfather and uncle have been using Imperial Whitetail Clover for more than 20 years now and have had great success. We have killed over 25 Pope & Young bucks and for years we have passed on bucks under 150 inches. This past year we put out our first plot of Tall Tine Tubers and had incredible success in the late season with them. This coming spring we are going to plant a new plot of PowerPlant and I cannot wait to see the drawing power that it has. Thanks Whitetail Institute!