November 2: Tom Ware and Scott Manifold


Paddles, a 6.5-year-old mature whitetail, was a frequent visitor to Scott Manifold and Tom Ware’s Illinois food plot.

Last year, Manifold and his camera man debated for a long time on whether or not to shoot the deer as it stood in front of their blind. This year, after realizing he was ruling the food plot and keeping other mature bucks away, it was time to do the deed. 

Soon after setting up in the blind over the food plot, Manifold saw Paddles. The buck eventually made his way into the plot and presented an easy shot. Manifold drilled him—or so he thought. The buck ran off and then started walking. Paddles, with the arrow sticking out of him, ended up standing still for seven minutes. Manifold was puzzled.

They looked at the footage, and the shot looked great. Still wondering what was going on, he pulled up DeerCast Track. After watching a few videos, they determined it could either be lung, liver, stomach—or a combination of all three. They waited until dark and got down to do some initial tracking. They immediately found bits of corn, so they knew they hit stomach for sure. After tracking for a while, following the zig-zag pattern of the buck through thick cover, they decided to back out and wait until the next day. DeerCast Track said to wait 15-hours. 

They planned to sleep in and get out around 9:30 am to resume tracking, but Ware couldn’t sleep and got up at 5:30 am and went to where last blood was. In short order, he found the buck 100-yards away from the last blood. The gnarly, old bully finally expired in his first and only bed.

-Ryan Miloshewski, DeerCast Senior Writer