Editor’s Note: Kyle Meyer from Milan, Michigan, has been a Mossy Oak pro for the last 5 years. “I became a pro when I was 19, and I'm 24 now,” Meyer says. Like many of us, Meyer went with his dad deer hunting when he was about 4-years old and started hunting on his own when he was 12, the age at which he could hunt with a bow in Michigan. He’d rather hunt with a bow, but he also hunts with a gun in his home state, one of the top three states for numbers of deer hunters in the U.S. Although Meyer has 6,000 acres of private land to hunt, that only includes about 200 acres of woodlots. According to Meyer, “My favorite Mossy Oak pattern is Treestand, because most of the time, I'm hunting from a tree stand. When I'm in a ground blind, from the waist up, I’ll wear a solid black shirt, gloves and face paint and my Treestand pants. I also wear Mossy Oak Infinity for turkey season, and I like Mossy Oak Bottomland.”
I've taken seven Pope and Young bucks here in Michigan, but I've only taken one big buck with a gun. On the land we farm, we plant soybeans as well as corn, and the deer really love those soybeans. One year we had a 230-acre field. When the soybeans are ready to be harvested, we work day and night to cut the beans. On this particular day, we’d cut soybeans all day and finally quit at 2:30 am. We returned that morning at 7:30 am to get the combines ready to start cutting more beans. When I arrived at a combine, I looked out in the field and saw Texarkana stand up in the soybeans that hadn’t been cut. We’d named this buck Texarkana, since he looked like a Texas deer with a wide rack and short tines.
The time was the first week of November, right in the thick of the rut. When Texarkana stood up, a doe stood up with him. Immediately, I left the combine, drove back home and got my bow and my hunting stuff. When I returned to the field, Texarkana was still there. I knew the only way I could get a shot at that buck was to get down lower than the soybeans and crawl to him. I finally reached a small road where a sprayer had made a track through the field and knocked down the soybeans there. Then I was able to get up off my stomach and make a low-crouched run, because we had tall beans that year, up above my waist.
Once I reached the place where I thought I’d spotted Texarkana, I came up slowly but couldn’t see Texarkana. I nocked an arrow, came up a little higher and saw Texarkana looking straight at me. I ranged him at 50 yards. I ducked back down behind the beans and prepared to take the shot, after I decided to shoot from my knees. As I came up above the beans, I put my 50-yard pin on Texarkana and let the arrow fly. I got a perfect double-lunged shot. I watched as he ran through the bean field for about 100 yards and then fell. Texarkana was a 4-1/2-year old and scored 135, a really-good mature Michigan buck.
Since I've spent my whole life hunting deer in agriculture, I know that the bucks feel secure when they're out in the middle of a soybean or a corn field. They don’t expect anyone to crawl out in that field or set-up a blind in the middle of a field to take them, but both tactics have proved to be very successful for me.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.
Day 1: Norman - the Corn Field Buck