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November 13: Scott Manifold

Saturday, November 12th was a long day for Scott and Tom. The guys were hunting their newly purchased farm in southern Iowa and got stuck in their stand for 11 hours playing peek-a-boo with a shooter buck.

A cold snap had bumped daytime deer activity up and the guys saw action all day long, but one 141 inch buck had their undivided attention. This deer was tending a doe and from their stands tucked into a giant oak tree, the guys saw this same buck 11 times on Saturday. Each time, he was either just out of range, behind some obstruction, or was moving too fast for a shot. Scott even tried to draw on him but just could not get him where he needed to be. 

Further complicating matters was the location of the deer’s bedroom, a mere 80 yards from their stand. To avoid spooking him, Scott and Tom stayed up all day, 11 hours (without lunch or water) in the tree. They survived on granola bars and optimism.

The sun set with no arrows released. The guys knew they’d be back on Sunday morning, but needed a different approach, so they packed a doe decoy.

First light on Sunday brought a small buck running down a trail towards the bean field chased by their buck. Just like the day before, once he got to the beans and ran off the little buck, he turned around back into the brush.

A little later, a doe walked out into the beans. She noticed the decoy and began approaching it. Not far behind her was the buck. He stepped out into the beans following her and this time, he was in the clear for a shot, but was somewhere between 35-42 yards. At that distance, Scott wanted a precise distance.

Scott wasn’t sure which pin to use as Tom frantically whispered, “You got him?” Once he got him ranged and ready to shoot, Tom needed to get him framed back up…which he did. Scott came to full draw with his PSE EVO loaded with a PSE Carbon Force arrow and executed the shot. The Rage Chisel Tip struck heart. 80 yards later the buck they had seen so many times but was always just out of reach, was finally in Scott’s hands.

To kill big deer, you have to be willing to put in the work, then make the necessary sacrifices. Scott and Tom invested in a farm, transformed the habitat, then gutted out hour after hour to finally harvest this deer. It was indeed a hard-earned buck. 

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.