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January 9: Jeff Lindsey

As the calendar turned to deer season this fall, I had made up my mind to try and kill a buck that I was getting tons of Reconyx pictures of. The buck had been a wide 9 point the last 2 years but just had a average rack that didn’t warrant him a nickname. Somehow in the fall of 09 he broke his ear, fighting I suppose, and every photo this summer he had a floppy right ear hanging down that looked like a pet rabbit’s ear, so we called him “Thumper”. I knew catching up to him would be no easy task, by our estimate he was a 6 or 7 year old buck that I had never laid eyes on.

I hunted him throughout October with no sightings until the morning of November 6th when I caught him cruising on the edge of a bedding area at first light. He came by at 25 yards and my shot got deflected by a limb I didn’t see and the arrow went 2 foot under his belly. I was crushed, that was my first real opportunity of the year and the only time I had ever seen Thumper and I blew it. I kept hunting but never saw him again until the first of December when I was filming my buddy Jerry and we spotted him about 300 yards away. I knew there was a good chance he would shed or go nocturnal before the late muzzleloader season but I planned on hunting him to find out.

On January 6th, when I left for the ATA show in Indy I knew I would have 3 days to fill my last tag when I got back home to Iowa, I knew if the weather got right like it was supposed to, we could make it happen. On the night of the 8th, me and Lil’ Jon watched him come out right at dark on the field edge but it was just too late for a shot. We eased out of the blind and hoped we would get that wind again to hunt him before the season ended. The next night the wind was wrong and we went to a different blind to only see 2 spikes and a 3 year old. On the 10th the weatherman was saying we were getting a ENE wind on Iowa’s final day and that was music to our ears! 3 of us headed to the blind in the blizzard like conditions to try and get a couple of different camera angles, knowing the deer were going to be moving and with a real good feeling “Thumper” was in trouble. With about a hour left in the season he stepped out at about 200 yards away and made his way through the standing beans to about 80 yards of our location. We ended our season with a bang from my new TC Omega that I won for winning Dream Season and the quest for “Thumper” ended capping of an awesome year full of blessings and memories. -Jeff