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Hunting South Dakota Whitetails by Tim Herald

November 22, 2011 by  
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Miserable cold in SD, but…a nice buck is down!

After our fantastic hunt in NE, my cameraman and I drove 4 hours north to South Dakota to hunt with Tom Trask of Dakota Trophy Adventures. The weather was pretty warm when we got there, and we passed up a really nice old 5×6 whitetail with long beams, lots of mass, but short tines as well as a likewise great 5×5 with a cheater on the first evening. We hunted from a hay bale stack and saw tons of deer.

We sent a gentleman in from CA that was over 80 years old to hunt the 5×6 the next afternoon, and he got him. He was over joyed, and I was sure glad we let him go so he could take him. We went mobile that day and hiked about a mile down into a creek bottom from the bluffs above and setup a Double Bull blind in an overgrown weed field where deer had been rutting. We had a great encounter with a tank of an 8 pointer in bow range, and I really wanted to shoot him. He was 5 years old and a brute, but we were seeing so many good bucks, I let him pass.

Day 3 dawned cold and we got about 10″ of snow. We saw hundreds of mulies and the whitetail action really kicked in. We found a 150 class 5×5, made several unsuccessful stalks through the day, but we couldn’t get it to come together on video. Once we bumped him, he ran out 150 yards in a field, stopped and looked back. I had the crosshairs on him, but I knew it wouldn’t make good video, so I didn’t shoot. We ended the day watching a big bodied deer literally 400 yards behind our camp that was locked in with a doe. We were a mile away, and couldn’t make a move.

When we returned to camp, Tom said they watched him from camp, and he was an old buck with 4 on one side, looked to have 5 on the other with a huge 8-9″ brow tine.

Our last morning, we got up to minus 13 degree temps and minus 20+ with wind chill. It was COLD. We went back to our hay bale blind and we saw several decent 8 points, and the big 150 5×5 from the day before, but he stayed in the brush about 275-300 yards away. I couldn’t ever get a shot, and the camera had a hard time seeing him.

We stuck it out for about 3 hours and decided to go warm up a bit. The little thicket that the tall brow tined deer behind camp was close to the night before was on out way back, so we stalked up to try to glass it. Immediately we saw 2 does a bit over 100 yards away, and then from under a huge snowy cedar, the big buck stepped out. he was walking behind his doe and nibbling occasionally, and none of them had a clue we were there. I was able to get behind an irrigation dike, and take aim for what ended up being a chip shot with my .300 Win TC. I took a straight frontal chest shot, and the Winchester 180 grain Accubond just slammed him to the ground. He never moved, and we had a great old 6×4 SD whitetail on the coldest day I have personally ever hunted. I have really been blessed over the past week being able to take 3 great bucks in 6 hunting days. Now it is home to KY for Thanksgiving, and if the weather is cool, I will hit OH on the 28th.

Hunt Hard…Tim H.

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