People who don’t hunt sometimes have a hard time understanding why anyone who works hard all week would want to get up even earlier on the weekend to go sit in a tree. However, a true hunter wouldn’t have it any other way. Hunters like Russell Patrick from Missouri punch the clock during the week to make ends meet, but break away from the 9-to-5 routine by chasing after long-tined giants with a passion during their free time.

Patrick works as a concrete truck driver in Missouri and loves hunting whitetails with a bow during the early pre-rut period. In fact, he has taken eight Pope and Young bucks over the past several years during the first two weeks of season in Missouri. He also smoked a monster 167-class, 12-point with his bow that ranks as his personal best. Patrick lives to bowhunt and consistently tags bruisers without guides or fences. Having the right game plan and hunting hard plays a major role in Patrick’s success.

According to Patrick, focusing on waterholes during dry conditions has enabled him to tag a number of nice bucks. He also likes to pinpoint early-season food sources and intercept bucks traveling from bedding to feeding areas. In fact, hunting creek crossings leading to acorn flats has produced some of his best bucks. “The main thing is to take advantage of the early season and don’t allow excuses like hot weather and biting insects keep you out of the stand,” explained Patrick. Thanks for the early-season tips Russell Patrick and congratulations on tagging a trophy-room full of Pope and Young bucks.

-Travis Faulkner