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September 28: Doug Hampton

Dream Season The Journey Has kicked off! It's time to take off the hard-hat & steel-toed boots from my real job, and swap it out for the Mossy Oak, Scent Blocker, and the PSE EVO...

Wyoming was the first scheduled group hunt for the Dream Season cast. The excitement was building as Rod Owen and I crossed the state line. We were seeing deer after deer as we approached Hulett, Wyoming. The outfitter we drew was Thomas Ranch Outfitters. The owner, Eric Thomas, greeted us and talked strategy upon our arrival. I had a real good feeling after meeting Eric and listening to the description of his property. River bottoms and alfalfa seemed to be the key words! But before we could begin the hunt, a competition was the first order of business.

Upon completion of the competition, the teams were broke apart and mixed. This was a shocking twist that left every team-member shaking their heads in amazement. Never before had such a turn of events taken place on Dream Season TV. I wish I could have taken a photo of the expression on everyones face! Priceless!!! Not to give away the results of why things turned out the way they did, my new team-mate ended up being Steve "Coon Dog" Coon... Pow baby pow!!!

After the first 3 sits, we realized that the deer movement was minimal due to high temperatures & a full moon. Eric had been glassing while we hunted. He noticed that the deer were concentrated on the acorn tree's along the edge of the river bottom. We snuck a ladder stand and a Big Game lock-on into a natural pinch point that looked very promising. That afternoon the winds were swirling. We knew that if we were going to be successful, we would be heavily dependent upon our Mossy Oak camo & our Scentblocker early season carbon clothing. We took advantage of every product that was available for scent elimination. Ti4, breath gum, body lotion, shampoo, and I mean we did it all. After the first 10 minutes of the evening, we were being tested by a mature doe. She never had a clue we were there as she fed just a few feet from the base of our tree... My confidence sky-rocketed as our live decoy took up residence about 50 yards straight down wind.

The next few hours were uneventful, when all of the sudden I looked up to see a wide 10 pt running strait for our position! He stopped just 7 yards from the base of our stand and eventually was so close that the gopro camera was picking him up directly under us. Talk about great footage! I was contemplating shooting the buck, but just didn't think he was at least a 4 yr old. I turned to Coon dog & asked "how old?"... He said "I think 3 & 1/2". I passed him and then turned to the camera to explain why. I had just turned around and glanced back down the acorn flat when I caught movement of an antler. I was shocked to see an 8, 9, & 10pt buck already in bow range. The bucks walked to a tree & began to feed at about 25 yards. The biggest & oldest buck was at 27 yards while I ranged him with my Nikon range finder. After a few short moments, I got the "anytime" from Dog. I took a fine bead on the top of the 9 Pts heart and sent the new Rage Extreme (2.3" cut) on it's maiden voyage. It was the feeling we as bowhunters live for as I watched the lumenock disappear just behind the right shoulder, while completely blowing through the left one! You talk about jacked up! I exploded in the stand knowing that my first Wyoming whitetail couldn't be very far after taking a hit like that! A short time later, we returned to claim the first buck that I had ever taken in the month of September. He was less than 50 yards from the stand.

You talk about a smash! Get ready for Dream Season The Journey (season 10) It's getting fired up & going strong already. Congrats to EVO Joe & my Reconyx team-mate Rod Owen for their success on a big Wyoming buck as well!

Special thanks to Thomas Ranch Outfitters, Drury Outdoors, Steve "Coon Dog" Coon, and all our great sponsors... I want to thank God most of all for the awesome experience and the ability he's given me to chase my dreams. It truly was a hunt I'll never forget!