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After a month of running Reconyx cameras, a buck with a chunk out of his left ear was the oldest mature buck that I had to hunt. His name would be "Holyfield," after the boxer that had the fight with Mike Tyson, leaving him missing a good portion of his ear. I'm fortunate enough to have a camp in the river bottoms which allows me to harvest 1 buck a year. I had already filled that tag in October with a muzzleloader, so the rest of my season would be spent in "the hill country." The hill country is not known for producing high scoring bucks, though my biggest Arkansas buck had come from this area. So after all, when I hunt in the hills I'm after mature deer, no matter what they score. This buck would be the deer that I had set my sights on.

Thanksgiving morning I was in the box blind filming myself when Holyfield made an appearance chasing a hot doe. This however was not the first time I had encountered this buck. I had actually had this buck at 50 yards with the scope of my son's gun on his shoulder while starting to squeeze the trigger. I was tracking Eli's buck when he stood up from a brush top right in front of me. Thinking it was Eli's buck getting up, I was on him quickly. Thank goodness I hesitated to double check my target. I almost accidentally filled my 2nd Arkansas buck off camera! But back to Thanksgiving morning. A doe bolted across my shooting lane planted in Trophy Oats. Holyfield was hot on her trail! He stopped in the lane facing me for over a minute. He was at 70 yards and had me pegged while I was trying to situate the 3 cameras that I was running simultaneously. I got good footage, but he never offered me a clean shot. The day after Thanksgiving, I was in the blind an hour before daylight waiting for a repeat performance... He didn't disappoint. At 7:30 he came walking towards the food plot from 300 yards away. He closed the distance to 200 yards while I was filming him, when a doe came out. He took off after her with his nose to the ground. That would be the last I'd see of him for 24 hours. Saturday morning it was in the 20's as I walked to the blind crunching the ground much louder than I wanted to. If the buck stayed true, there would be an appearance to the food plot. I took a bottle of doe estrus and completely emptied it in the area where I expected him to come from. I hoped that this would be the key to slowing him down as he came through the food plot. As Daylight approached, the estrus scent had 3 bucks posturing before camera light. I watched the show through the Nikon's waiting for more light. At 7:30, and right on cue, Holyfield emerged from the pine trees and stopped to test the air. I turned all 3 cameras on and began to check the framing and focus. Two GoPro's caught the in-blind action as the main camera was on the target buck. At the shot, the buck mule kicked and I felt really good about the shot. Wanting to make sure of what I saw, I rewound the footage to confirm a great shot. I called and got some help to do the recovery. It was a short blood trail. My 2nd and final Arkansas buck tag of the season had been filled.

I'm very thankful for the great season the Lord has blessed my family and I with. We are going to try to keep it rolling as we head to Kansas next week. God bless and safe hunting!