January 4: Scott Manifold

Scott’s Iowa season ended with an unlikely double that included the very deer he’d been targeting.

On a roll from a double he and fellow DOD team member Tom Ware scored just a few nights prior, the guys were on Scott and Tom’s Iowa farm in a box blind overlooking a bottom field planted in multiple BioLogic varieties. The blind was strategically located in a 30 yard-wide pinch point at the center of the 500 yard long, 60 yard wide plot. A Reconyx camera on the point confirmed it was a highly visited area.

Temperatures had dipped into the single digits when Scott and Tom entered the box blind around 1:45 pm. Between the warmth and humidity within the blind and the freezing temperatures outside, they fought frosty windows all afternoon. Does in close proximity and a less-than-favorable wind forced them to keep the windows closed. 

Scott’s unfilled tags allowed him to bring both the PSE Carbon Air and Traditions Vortek Strikerfire to the field. When a management buck nicknamed “Double Trouble” showed up and began feeding, Scott readied the Carbon Air for a shot. The Muddy adjustable chair he sat in allowed him to sit high enough to get clearance through the window. The buck eventually fed down to 26 yards and just as Scott released an arrow, the deer took a step forward.

The Rage Chisel Tip struck a few inches farther back than anticipated, but still hit liver, sending the deer running out of the field and up into the timber where he stopped for a moment, then laid down, only to drop his head after two minutes.

 One tag was filled.

Just 20 minutes later, still fighting the frosty windows, Scott’s target deer nicknamed “Turkey” showed up on the west end of the field. They ranged him at 167 yards with the Leupold range finder as the buck dug away at BioLogic bulbs. With does near the blind, the guys carefully opened their respective windows, Tom’s for the camera and Scott’s for the Traditions.

Slightly quartering away, Scott found the last rib in his Leupold scope and ran the Traditions round through the rib cage striking the far shoulder. The buck ran 40 yards then stopped, standing completely still.

Scott felt good about the shot but the deer’s reaction had him second guessing. When Turkey tipped over ten seconds later, the question answered itself.

Long hard seasons can change in an instant. In Scott’s case, one evening in Iowa made for a crowded hero picture.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.