Sometimes heading out to the stand when no one else would can pay off. Like 197 inches of payoff.
Late season hunting in the Midwest means two things: Absolutely freezing cold temperatures, and big bucks on their feet headed to food. But those two things reach extremes in this story.
And by extreme, we mean -10 degrees, with a -35-degree wind chill, a couple feet of snow and a buck of a lifetime. When many would be stocked up on bread and milk and warming up in front of the cozy fireplace, Steve Niemerg of Team Radical decided that if he was going to end the story of a buck named Hog Wild, he better be finding a tree. Even if it was during the biggest blizzard in two decades.
With brutal yet perfect conditions and an encounter with one of the target bucks the night before, he knew there was a great chance of getting a crack at this mega giant.
While attempting not to freeze to death, Steve finds himself in full draw, and the rest is history.
Following right behind a buck they called High 'n Tight, the 197-inch Hog Wild entered the food plot to fill up on some protein packed beans to fight the winter weather. With the pin set on the vitals, Steve lets an arrow fly in hopes of laying down a true Illinois giant.
After a search with some other members of Team Radical, they finally recovered the mega buck. Steve lays his hands on 197 inches of mature whitetail bone, and reflects on the years of chasing this Illinois monarch.
Next time weather like this rolls around, man up and hit the woods. Deer have to eat, and hunting food in brutal conditions like this will almost never disappoint.
Late season hunting at its finest, isn't it?