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2 days after Christmas I was able to take Ri Manifold hunting on my Iowa farm. Ri is my buddy Scott Manifolds youngest son and is 15 years old. They are from Michigan and Scott and his two sons come out every year to help around the farm!

They rolled into my house about noon and we checked the wind conditions for the afternoon. The weather channel app on my iPhone said ESE wind at 1pm and straight east wind at 2pm. We needed a straight east wind or northerly wind to hunt the food plot we desired! Looks like the wind was just gonna switch at the right time. We got ready and got to the box blind a little after 2pm.

Perfect timing.. A doe and two fawns were coming in as we closed the door to the blind. I asked Ri what his biggest buck was and he said a 110 to 115 inch 8 point from Michigan. I was thinking in the back of my mind that we should be able to beat that with a nice Biologic Maximum food plot and a little snow on the ground. The temperature was hovering around the 25 degree mark. Conditions were excellent. In the late season if you got the food...you got the deer. It's really that simple!!

Ri's dad Scott was in the blind too so we had 3 guys in this blind and the windows were all fogging up!! We finally decided to tough it out and open some windows. Wasn't long after that the bucks started pouring onto this Biologic Maximum plot. No shooters at first but then I looked way behind a few cedars with my Nikon binoculars and noticed a 5 yr old 10 point. He was the same buck that my daughter Elle had an encounter with back in early December. He was following a few bucks out but he seemed to hang back for what seemed like eternity. FINALLY.. He moved out so we could at least get a camera on him. I asked Ri what he thought and he was excited to say the least!!!!

Ri prepared for the shot and I filmed the buck and his dad filmed the two of us. It was pretty cool to have 2 cameras rolling and a GoPro in the corner of the blind as well.

The big 10 pointer finally turned broadside and I told Ri to let me know when he was gonna shoot. A mere 1/10 of a second later he said now! Boom...he made a perfect shot and the big 10 pointer mule kicked and ran 50 or 60 yards before falling behind a few cedar trees. I told Ri "I think he is down" and moved the camera to him. I had never seen Ri smile so big!!! That's why I hunt and like to take others hunting! Extraordinary feeling for all of us in that box blind!

We went and recovered the big 10 pointer and Ri was beside himself. I, of course, had to remind him that it was way bigger than his brother Jasper's buck that he killed with me last year. It scored 130 4/8. This buck smashed that score! Sorry Jasper :)

Later that night we scored his buck and with 2 inches broken off one of the G4s it still scored 144 6/8. He was a big bodied 5 year old buck that we had targeted from early season and now he was on the ground.

Great shot Ri!!

Tom Ware