Oompa loompa doopity duck, here is the story of Tom Ware’s buck.

Sorry.  I couldn’t help it.

Named because of the “Willy Wonka” food plot this five year old Iowa buck hung out on, Tom had no shortage of Reconyx pictures of this guy and actually passed on him in 2016. He was a regular and the singular target of this particular hunt.

Braced for the cold in his Nomad gear, Tom, along with DOD teammate Scott Manifold headed to a box blind overlooking a field planted in beans and multiple BioLogic variants. It was a buffet designed to encourage deer to cross in front of the blind offering a shot opportunity. The guys had waited for the perfect north wind in order to hunt this spot, and they got it just as 2017 drew to a close. Does were feeding in the field at 70 yards as they snuck into the blind around 1:30 pm.

Tom had just picked up the camera from Scott to film a turkey in the field when he noticed tines cresting a rise in the distance. With his Leupold binoculars, he saw that it was Oompa Loompa on his way from the beans into the BioLogic…a reversal of how the deer normally feed.

Gradually the buck fed to within 40 yards. Tom checked the distance with his Leupold range finder and came to full draw on his PSE Carbon Air. The bow emptied its energy into the arrow sending it streaking toward the deer, though not close enough. Clean miss.

Picking his head up to look around momentarily at the disturbance, the buck took a few steps then resumed feeding. Tom hurriedly nocked another arrow. This time the shot struck the deer with the Rage Chisel Tip carving through liver exiting the far side. The buck ran 60 yards to the edge of the timber, and then went another 60 into the woods. Because the shot was back, Tom opted to recover Oompa Loompa the following morning when the mercury stuck at -9 degrees.  

A good buck in 2016 became a great buck in 2017. Late season has its rewards for those brave enough to endure the oftentimes harsh conditions.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.