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November 5: Doug Hampton

"Do you think I should rattle?" I turned to Tim Young who was running the camera. "Heck yeah, I bet one will show up," Tim said as I turned to grab the horns. We had just hung and climbed into the stand less than five minutes before, and we were losing light at a rapid rate. Half heartedly, I struck the 6x5 set of sheds as they let out a loud grinding clash. I was no more than 5 seconds into my mock fight when the river bottom exploded into action as the 5yr old "Heavy Horned Ten" burst on to the scene...

Tim Young is the owner and operator of True Trophy Outfitter in south central Iowa. Tim was kind enough to handle the videography while I stayed at his lodge and hunted some of his Iowa ground. My team-mate Rod Owen and I decided that we would maximize our killing potential by splitting up for the first week of November. Rod would be hunting in Illinois while I would be in Iowa. After the very slow movement on the morning of the 5th, Tim decided that we need to find a good river crossing at the base of a steep bluff overlooking a small river. With the wind switching out of the south, we knew it would be impossible for deer to wind us with our wind blowing over the water. The only problem was that we would have to slip in, find a tree, and hang a set without alerting any deer of our presence. The decision was made to go in and give it a blind try. When we made it to the river's bank, we knew that we had made the right decision. The whole place was shredded with big rubs and big scrapes.

I took a Reconyx game camera along with us to put on an active scrape and while Tim began to screw in the steps in a big forked oak, I set the camera on a hood sized scrape with a 1 inch broken licking branch that was a mere 15 yards away from the set.

An hour later, we were set up and began the hunt. As I mentioned earlier, I cracked those horns together and immediately had this 5 year old barreling towards me running over anything in his path. It happened quickly, and my guide/cameraman assured me that he was a deer that he has had years of history with. By the time he stopped, after running within inches of our tree, he was standing 70 yards on the opposite direction from which he came. I bleated, grunted, and as a last ditch effort, snort wheezed with my mouth. That was all it took. He was mad and he was coming. I drew my bow and was waiting for the right angle as he closed the distance. At 15 yards, he began to work the scrape and licking branch which we were set up on. The buck was thrashing the licking branch while I was still at full draw. And that's when he looked right at me. Although the Mossy Oak was working over-time, he leaped away and behind some tree's. I let down my draw after over one minute of holding it, and trust me, I needed the break. For what reason, I don't know, but he turned right around and walked right back by us offering me a 20 yard broadside shot. The Rage did what the Rages do, and put the "Heavy-Horned Ten" down at 53 yards!

While sitting up in the tree and waiting, It dawned on me that while Tim had been putting in the tree steps, I had hung the Reconyx camera on the scrape that the buck was standing in when he was facing me at full draw ! Sure enough, when we returned to the lodge, we had 7 photo's of the buck in the scrape!

Thanks to Tim and Maria Young for the quality hunt that they provided and the life long memories that it has given me. Good luck everyone and kill em' big!