December 4: Scott Manifold


Hunting in Iowa with DOD buddy Tom Ware, Scott Manifold was after a buck they named Venom.

He was a frequent camera visitor come mid-October, even pushing out Scott's original target buck. The buck was not on the camera every day, but when he showed up, it was in the afternoon and from the same direction. Manifold knew if he was there on the right evening, it could happen.

December 2nd turned out to be the day. Early in the sit at 3:00 pm, Venom came out into the BioLogic bulbs following a doe. The two deer stood feeding for a long time. The doe started heading toward the blind, while the buck walked a line 42-yards out. Manifold picked a spot where he was going to draw and stop him. Venom stopped behind a scrape tree, took five steps,  turned around, walked straight away, and bedded on the field edge. Eventually he pushed the doe off into the creek bottom behind him.

Manifold thought Venom came out on the other side of the pinch point he was sitting on, so Scott and Ware shifted in the blind. About 45 minutes later, a fawn came out and the doe followed back into the plot. They knew the buck would be in tow, so they re-adjusted in the blind. Venom came out, right behind the doe, which Manifold ranged at 50-yards. It was a do-or-die moment, and he let the arrow fly. Unfortunately, the arrow hit far back.

Venom ran 40-yards and laid down right off the edge of the field, breathing hard. Then he got up and went two steps and layed right back down. Manifold thought it might be a good situation, but 15 minutes later he got up again and went 20-yards and back down. Manifold waited until dark, slipped out the back and came back 17 hours after he shot him. He snuck up to where the beds were and found no blood. Fearing the buck may still be alive, he snuck back out and gave him another night.

The next morning was long and tedious searching. Eventually Manifold found two spots of blood and trailed until Venom jumped a fence and left more blood. As Manifold was standing there, he saw a coyote come out from some cover where crows were circling. Ware said, “that’s a good sign.” They went into the cover and found Venom after nearly 36 hours. The 171-2/8ths stud was down. 

-Ryan Miloshewski, DeerCast Senior Writer