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Having filled my two Arkansas tags before December, I was searching for another state to try to fill my 5th buck tag.  My friend in Ohio had gone back to work, so Ohio was out of the question. Illinois had been really tough as well, due to EHD and a general lack of deer movement across the board.  A friend invited me to Alabama for a 5 day hunt starting on the 2nd of January and I decided to go. I passed a 5 year old 7 point trying to hold out for one of the big racked bucks that he had pictures of. That decision left me leaving Alabama thinking about the "bird in the hand".  I would have been happy with that buck, but I gambled and lost.
 
I remembered that a good friend and co-worker had gone to South Texas a few years back.  I decided to give him a shout to gather information on who he had hunted with.  After a brief conversation, I was on the phone with Jim Ross Warren... A.K.A. "The Legendary Slim Houston". Jim has a low fence lease near Encinal Texas where he has killed some slammer bucks over the past few years. Jim is not an outfitter, yet he wanted to bring me in as a guest to try to put me on a management buck.  I quickly accepted and was on my way to Texas.
 
The first 2 days were spent glassing from box stands trying to find a deer to set up on.  Late season bucks there, seemed to follow a pattern as long as they are left undisturbed. On my 2nd evening of scouting, I saw a buck cross the scendaro that looked as though he was mature.  It appeared from a distance that he would be worth moving in on for a closer look. Trails and scrapes were abundant where he crossed, so we decided to move in a home-made "Warren built" blind that Jim had taken several bucks from in the past.  After setting the blind and brushing it in, we were ready to see if the buck would repeat his pattern from the evening before.
 
I decided to go for the gusto with the GoPro camera. I stuck it across the scendaro, hoping that the buck would pass between the camera & the blind.  I knew it was a long shot, but it was worth the try. Not long after we set up, a doe came out and began working our way. I leaned up and looked behind her to see that the buck we had targeted was right behind her. Jim quickly aged and decided that the buck was in the slot to consider management. After chasing the doe in and out of the brush for several minutes, the doe walked past the GoPro with the buck in tow. When he stopped just in front of the GoPro to check it out, it was the opportunity I was needing. I drew the DNA with the Rage Extreme tipped arrow and let it rip.  The arrow zipped through the buck, missing the GoPro camera by just 3 feet .  It was just a second or two when we heard the giant crash which signified a successful hunt on a brush country buck... Slim said he had never seen a grown man get that nervous before a shot and then hit exactly where he aimed... I told him I was never nervous during the entire encounter, but I was overwhelmed with excitement... If I ever lose that feeling, I will probably quit hunting!
 
First and foremost, I thank God for the awesome season I've had. Team Reconyx has put 11 animals on the ground with some of the best footage we've had to date... We were blessed beyond words with success and safety.
 
Special thanks to Jim and his dad Jimmy for letting me come down and share camp with them... I had a blast!  Kolton Thibodeaux and Cody Pierce were a huge help in moving that blind and brushing it in. My back sure does appreciate you boys!
 
 I met some great people down there... If the Lord is willing, we'll do it again!
 
Doug Hampton