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November 14: Doug Hampton

With Rod hunting in Missouri with Brandon Jennings, I was looking for a camera man. Mark's cameraman Wade Robinson has a friend named Matthew Crain from Kansas. He said he'd be interested in coming along to help me out for a few days. So a 3 day trip was planned. I was excited to find a particular shooter with a split G3 on my Reconyx cameras. The best part was having him on 3 of 4 cameras, with daylight pictures as well. I knew that it was just a matter of time before he messed up and walked out in front of us.

If the wind would cooperate, we planned on sitting in a fresh set of Big Game stands that I had hung just the week before. I told Matt that I had learned of the particular trail that these bucks liked to use while filming my son Coltin last December. Judging by the fresh sign, I could tell that the bucks were still wearing it out. The evening before was spent charting the movement times and locations of the buck. I was super confident that he would show up at some point . I had even sent Bart Goins a picture of the buck, telling him of he would be the next deer down for team Reconyx. I was hoping that the "Babe Ruth" antics didn't come back to haunt me! I picked at him, all the while knowing that my odds were really high for getting a shot at this buck.

The first morning, we were in the stand as daylight broke. Shortly after, we saw a 3 year old 8 point working the draw that we were watching. It was nearly 9:30 and we had been skunked since the first buck. I turned to Matt and began acting silly about there not being any deer moving. I turned towards the draw & caught movement in the timber. I couldn't believe my eye's! It was him! It was him and he was doing exactly what I told Matt he would do the evening before!... But now it was time to close the deal. I reached in my pocket and turned on the over the shoulder GoPro camera. The buck was coming quickly and he stopped while facing me at 20 yards. He turned and cut towards the trail as I drew the P.S.E. DNA. At 15 yards he stopped briefly and I released the Hypodermic Rage. The mule kick was outstanding from both camera angles. I knew that my target buck was just moments from being on the ground! He made it back to the timber before his legs grew weak. A short time later, he was down for good... Matt, being a little nervous about filming his first deer kill, was excited as well. I acted a fool, did the" Dougie", and picked at Bart for just a few minutes before reviewing the footage. I was really pumped to know that the rookie camera guy had just laid down some awesome video! We gave the buck a few minutes before climbing down. It was a short walk and a huge blood trail! And once again, there was happiness at the end of it...

Team Reconyx has it's fifth animal on the ground and we're heading to Missouri. I thank the Lord once again for the awesome hunt and experience!