September 30: Jasper Manifold

At 22 years old, Jasper Manifold has had a few opportunities to kill a whitetail buck with his bow, but had never sealed the deal. On the opening day of Michigan’s archery season hunting with his Dad Scott, he finally broke the streak.

Scott always keeps a few Reconyx trail cams going on this property and he was seeing a shooter buck on his way back to bed coming through a BioLogic food plot. On opening day, he and Jasper climbed up into a double set of tree stands. Concealed in their Nomad gear, they listened in the predawn darkness as bucks began sparring.

Once there was enough light, they could see two bucks going at each other 100 yards away in the field screened by a few trees. Both deer moved down into a brushy swail and soon the intensity of their noise grew. A few minutes later, some does popped out of the brush and into the field. Then, from the swail, one of the two sparring bucks came out followed by the shooter at 80 yards.

Both deer began sparring again in the field for a few minutes, then, the bigger buck broke off the fight and began heading directly towards Jasper and Scott. At 27 yards, Scott grunted him to a stop as Jasper came to full draw. On the camera, Scott waited for Jasper to take the shot. It took a while, but Scott knew that Jasper was taking his time to ensure a good hit on what could be his first archery buck.

Jasper’s PSE Carbon Air remained at full draw until he was completely settled in for the shot, then he released. His PSE Carbon Force Bow Madness arrow tipped with a Rage Chisel Tip struck both lungs. The buck ran towards the cover of the swail, ultimately crashing after 80 yards.

The two celebrated in the stand but that was cut short as a few does began filing back in towards the same shooting lane he’d just arrowed his buck. Again, Scott grunted one of them to stop at 27 yards and Jasper made his second shot too.

Jasper’s buckless streak ended with a 141 5/8 inch Michigan trophy and topped off with a bonus doe. The hunt was a great start for the Manifold’s season and a memorable morning in the stand for Father and Son.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik