Been keeping myself real busy!

Posted by Phil Lilley on October 28th, 2016
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With the new crossbow law in effect in Missouri, I decided to go out and purchase one each for my wife and I. This is the first time in 9 years that I have been able to hunt the first month of bow season. I’m usually still in Alaska till mid October. I found a new to me place to hunt during spring turkey season. The problem was, it is about a 5 mile hike in from the closest parking lot. Now that’s not too bad if just hunting turkeys, but I’ve been seeing lots of deer back there too. The only other way in would be by boat and with that, I would be committing a full day to the woods. Not such a bad thing if a full day is available. I came up with a possible solution early this summer and started putting the system together along wth getting myself in shape. A mountain bike and tow behind bicycle cart!  I spent the summer biking up and down these hollers in the Brandon area to get ready for the hunting season.

The system has worked better than I could have dreamed. It takes me about 20 minutes to bike the 5 miles in and I can easily carry all my gear. The cart has a gun rack attached to a side rail for my crossbow and plenty of room in the cargo area for pop up blind and swivel seat or climber stand. The bicycle has a rear rack with saddle bags that can carry extra clothes, lunch, back pack and anything else I might need.

Two weeks ago, I was hunting back in the spot on a foggy morning. Heard turkeys fly down and about 20 minutes later, they appeared like ghost out of the fog in the field in front of my blind. The three big toms slowly worked their way across the field towards me while scratching the ground and feeding along the way. At about 35 yards, two of them stood straight up looking my direction. After about 2 minutes of a stare down, all three of them slowly turned around and started working their way away from me. At about 40 yards, I put my sight right on the base of the neck of the closest bird and pulled the trigger. He dropped like a sack of potatoes.  The neck was attached only by one thin piece of skin. My first ever archery season turkey kill!  The tom had a 10 1/2 inch beard and one inch spurs.


That afternoon I decided to hunt close to the house and ended up taking this small 8 pointer at 30 yards.



U committed a couple of full days to the other spot that I bike into this last week, but took the boat.  During the middle of the day when I normally don’t like to hunt, I had something else in mind to do.  I would hunt till 9:30 or so in the morning, then troll crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers for walleye till 2:30-3 in the afternoon, then hunt again till dark.  Turned out to be a pretty good plan!


My bother and dad came down for opening day of early goose season. I just so happened to have been noticing a spot where the geese had been hanging out while trolling for the walleye. We headed out for a blast then cast mission.


Ok.  This week, on my days off, I got back on the hunting in the morning, trolling during the day, then hunting again in the afternoon. Tuesday morning, I had a dozen toms come out into the field in front of my blind and somehow missed on a 30 yard shot????  About 9:30, I headed for the boat to chase walleye. Fishing was good. Boated a 7 pounder, a 19 incher, 3 shorts and a bunch of big bluegill till the wind picked up too much. Headed back t the woods carrying the climber stand this time.  Was looking around a pond just inside the woods from the field I have been hunting for a good tree and 5 hens exploded out of the brush. Set up the tree stand about 80 yards away on the edge of the field. About an hour and a half latter the 5 hens came back working their way down the brush line of the field. I poked one at 20 yards pinning her to the ground. She flopped off the arrow, took 3 steps and fell over dead.  Headed out of the woods early and jumped 2 does about 100 yards from my stand.


Turkey and walleye sammiches that day.


Yesterday after work, I biked into my new favorite spot and set up the ground blind looking for a doe. About 5 pm a doe came out in front of me at 30 yards. I though, easy shot!  Wrong!  I squeezed the trigger and heard a louder than normal thwack from the crossbow. The deer instantly spun on its heels, and I watched the arrow fly by the deer just missing her.  I was wondering how that was even possible!  I got to looking around to see if I hit a twig or something and found this.


a new hole in my blind!

About an hour latter she came back on the other side of the blind snorting and blowing for about 10 minutes before finally walking out to within 20 yards. I made sure I was clear of the blind this time and let her have it!  She ran out in front of the blind then into the woods where I saw her the first time and I heard her crash.  I’m color blind, so could not see any blood on the damp ground and had to trail her by tracks. Just as I was calling for back up, I found her.


I still can’t believe I did not see blood with a shot that did this


I got her all loaded up and ready for the 1 mile bike ride out of the woods


This was the easiest I’ve ever had it getting a deer over a mile out of the woods and I did not even break a sweat!


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