December 22: Jasper Manifold

Jasper has always been a chip off the old block, but killing a mature buck out of the same field from the same blind as his Dad Scott may make him more of a chunk off the old block.

On fellow DOD team member Tom Ware’s farm in Iowa, the father and son team were looking to connect on one of three mature buck’s Tom had identified for the hit list. One buck in particular had earned the nickname “Bishop” for the way his brow tines swept up and inward, like bishop chess piece. 

Scott had some history with this particular buck. Earlier in the archery season while filming for Bric, he watched Bishop tend a doe while remaining just beyond bow range. The rest of his experience with the deer came via Reconyx images. As winter descended upon the farm, the cameras told the story of a buck who had left his core zone and relocated three quarters of a mile away near a field of cut corn and close to the BioLogic field where Scott had killed Pole Knocker during the same year.

The day of the hunt, Jasper and Scott climbed into their box blind around 2:00 pm insulated by their Nomad gear. The once lush and stocked BioLogic plot that Scott hunted over in October had been ravaged by deer since then, leaving little forage left. With the wind as it was, the cut corn field was unhuntable, but they could setup on this plot to potentially intercept Bishop on his way to the corn.

With only 30 minutes of shooting light left, Bishop stepped out but was screened by a fence line of trees for 12 minutes. Jasper spotted him initially. Once Scott got the Leupold binoculars on him, he realized immediately that it was Bishop. The buck would have to walk 80 yards to make it to an opening for Jasper to get a shot.

The buck browsed his way gradually to the gap. While he traveled, Jasper ranged the likely spot where he would shoot with his Leupold range finder.  Eventually Bishop made it to the clearing and though he was slightly quartering towards him, Jasper centered his Leupold scope on the deer’s near shoulder. He steadied the Traditions Vortek as he pulled the trigger, punching the sabot through shoulder bone, heart, and out the opposing shoulder. The deer’s front end dropped causing him to bulldoze for 40 yards before dying.

The food plot wasn’t the same, nor was its draw to the deer, but they were still using it. Jasper used that knowledge to setup up an intercept for the biggest deer of his life while Scott experienced the joy of watching his son take a deer out of the same blind he killed out of…like father, like son.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.