December 4: Coltin Hampton

Having struck out last year while hunting with my son Coltin in Kansas, the pressure was on ol' dad this year! This year Coltin had stuck to bowhunting after school and on weekends in our home state of Arkansas. He knew that his best chance to kill a good buck would be on our annual trip during the Kansas firearms season.

Though our shooter list was down to 2 or 3 bucks, I felt that we had a real good chance at connecting with a mature buck. Judging by the Reconyx pictures, our best chance would be in the south pasture of my Kansas lease. With the forecast calling for brutally cold temps and a steady northwest wind, I knew we would have to set up a groundblind in the middle of the pasture. The biggest problem we face while hunting that pasture is the terrain. We needed to be off the ground to cover the whole pasture. A couple of years ago, I had some platforms built just for this purpose. They are awesome for sticking a ground blind on and improving our sight perspective while hunting. The evening before opening day, my son and I put up the elevated blind that would ultimately lead to our success on a deer we knew all to well.

Last fall a beautiful 125" 3 yr old jumped the fence 20 yards from our ground blind. He followed a doe into the winter wheat field that we were watching. I gave Coltin the green light. He turned to the camera and said "that's next years deer"... Judging by the Reconyx pics from this fall, our odds were good for having a 2nd encounter with the 8 point from the wheat field. He was all over my cameras and was daylighting quite often. I had 5 Cameras surrounding all the edges of the pasture knowing that this buck would most likely stick to the treelines while traveling. My hopes and anticipation were extremely high for this spot. I just knew we were going to have an encounter with the 8 point at some point. I had no clue how soon it would be!

We hunted another blind on opening morning and did not see a deer. At 1:30pm we crawled into the elevated blind in the south pasture. It was 19 degrees and we had enough clothes on to make an eskimo jealous. At around 4 O'clock we spotted a deer moving just inside the edge of the treeline. It was a small buck, so we started to really scan the tree lines. At 4:30 I was watching for movement along the edge of the timber when I saw an ear flicker in the cedar tree's. Within second's he stepped up to the edge of the field. I knew he was the buck we were after immediately! I turned on the 2 GoPro cameras in the blind and began capturing the buck with the main camera. He walked to the edge then paused to survey the pasture. He was just 140 yards in front of the blind. He turned and started making his way to our left. He stopped just short of one of the Reconyx cameras. He turned to look behind him as I gave Colt the green light on this buck for the second time in as many years. This time as the go ahead was given, there would be no hesitation. I heard the click of the safety and steadied the camera for the shot. When the shot was fired, he was down immediately! It was a well placed Winchester bullet that set off a celebration between father and son. We were pumped to say the least! It's not often that someone passes a buck,and then is rewarded with the same buck on the first afternoon a year later. But thank the Lord it happened just like that! Team Reconyx has it's 9th kill of the season and there's nearly 2 months left in the season. We can't wait to share these hunts with everyone... It truly has been a Dream Season!

Please keep my team-mate Rod Owen and his family in your prayers. His mother is battling cancer... He has gone to stay with her during her final days. I pray for her comfort, and the strength of his family during this difficult time.

Be safe and God Bless,

Doug Hampton