McManus Camp 2020 Hunt Reports and Photos of All Bucks
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Hunt 1 2020
Welcome to the first hunt of 2020 from the McManus Camp. This particular hunt just happened to be a hunting reunion for the three hunters, being it had been about 40 years since hunting together. Two of the hunters, Mike McFadden of Pilot Point, TX and brother Mark Mcfadden of Canton, TX are repeat hunters. The third to join the party was their boyhood friend and hunting buddy Brad Helton of Jenks, OK.
The weather was unseasonably warm for hunting, reaching temps into the 80s, but in spite of the high temps the hunters had a succesful hunt. The first few days of the hunt all 3 hunters passed on nice bucks. In camp they would compare photos and video's trying to best "brother and freind", but finally Mike broke the ice on day 3 bagging a doe. All fired up now, all three hunters harvested great bucks on the last morning and also two more doe.
Brad Helton, Jenks, OK
14", 5pnt and 1 Doe
Mike McFadded, Pilot Point, TX
18", 8pnt and 2 Doe
Mark McFadden, Canton, TX
14 3/4", 8pnt
While in camp the hunters enjoyed reminiscing of past hunts, lots of great old stories were told around the campfire and a new hunting adventure was added to the "Books" for the long time freinds.
Hunt 3 December 4 - 7
The third and final hunt at the McManus Camp found the same regular hunters who have been hunting there for the past number of years - is it a decade now? We must search our archives for this history.
Having traditionally been on Beaver's first hunt, the group elected to move their date to the final one in 2019. As always when these guys get together, there is plenty of activity and excitement - plus some serious kidding back and forth, as we shall see as the story unfolds.
Darl Hospelhorn, Waynesboro, PA was able to tag a buck the very first afternoon, and a dandy he was. Why take a chance on finding something better when you are looking at a 17 1/2" twelve pointer, Darl told himself. Turned out to be a fine analysis because the old boy taped 130 inches, a trophy for sure.
Meanwhile, Ed Miller, Fayetteville, PA and Bill Wurfel, Robbinsville, NJ were seeing worthy candidates that were initially turned down by the pair. That sentiment would change over the next couple of days.
By the second morning of the hunt, Jeff Hastings, Hagerstown, MD concluded it was time for action. Using that giant pistol shown in the photo below, Jeff downed that 13 pointer. Also successful that morning was Bill Wurfel with a ten pointer.
Ed Miller was questioning his earlier decision on casting aside the unusual buck he had seen which had, get this - three different main beams. Bill Wurfel was in a similar frame of mind. He was considering a second buck. That one he had seen earlier in the hunt was the best he had looked at up to now. So both hunters elected to attempt the almost impossible: could they get a second look at their respective subjects? Long-story-short: Yes they could. You will see the results below.
In the group photo below, notice the device being held over Bill Wurfel's head. Jeff Hastings presented all in the group with these signal devices. Reason: on a prior hunt (was it last year?), Mr. Wurfel shot a buck and went to look at him, placing his beloved muzzle loader alongside the carcass as he admired his trophy. That scene needed to be captured. He returned to the blind to retrieve his phone/camera for the photo opportunity now being presented to him. But uh-oh. With camera in hand, he was unable to return to the location of that buck he had just taken. And his gun. Both were hopelessly lost. He searched in vain for a long time. Finally, after Beaver had retrieved the others, he had come to load Bill. They found Bill easily enough, wandering like lost child in the wilderness. But where was the buck and that gun? When asked by the assembled group which direction the lost goods might be, all Bill could say was "up somewhere on that hill there among the cedars." Finally, after a considerable effort by everyone, the buck and the gun were located. So to commemorate the event, Beaver is holding the signal device over Bill's head for the photo. Let's hope he never again might need it.
As you would expect from such a jolly group, and to continue the years' long tradition, all re-booked for 2020 before the hunt even ended. No telling what they will get into next year.
Hunt 2 November 20 - 23
The Rice family from the Tampa area of Florida invaded the McManus Camp for the second hunt of the season. Jerry Rice, from Dade City, the patriarch, was accompanied by sons Ed Rice, Tampa, and Kelly, from Webster who was similarly joined by his son, Winston Rice, from Bushnell. So we had a grandfather, his two sons, and a grandson.
All were first-timers with Beaver McManus, where last season's "Buck of the Year" was taken, but they held off at first, just to see what might be found on their adventure. After the first afternoon and the next morning, none had taken a buck. That's good. Too many Adobe Lodge rookies are prone to shoot the first one they see. Why? In their heart-of-hearts, they just can't believe our claim that many bucks will be encountered during their stay.
It wasn't till the second afternoon then that Ed Rice was the first to take a 17 1/2" eight pointer. The next night, Winston found a 16" ten he liked. On the final night, Jerry and Kelly finally scored with an 8 and a ten, respectively, both in the 18-inch range. Jerry's buck was taped to total 124 inches, but he certainly looks larger in the photo taken by Master Photographer, Beaver McManus.
All except Jerry took a doe, in addition to their buck.
The best news was that the entire bunch re-upped for 2020 even before the end of the hunt. So we will get to see all of them once again a year from now. What a deal!!!
Hunt 1 November 6 - 9
Texans dominated the first hunt at the McManus Camp to kickoff the 2019 season. Aaron Roberts, from Corpus Christi, was back for his second visit with Beaver after an absence of a few years.
Returning from taking two dandy bucks a year ago, Mark McFadden from Trinidad, TX was joined this year by his brother, Mike McFadden, who hails from Richardson, TX.
Mark was first to put his tag on a magnificent 15 pointer. Although only 16 3/4" wide, that beauty sported in excess of 147 inches of bone on his head. Mark was ready to take a second buck if an acceptable candidate would have shown himself. But Mark had set the bar mighty high for himself with that first monster.
Brother Mike collected a handsome 18" ten pointer which taped 124". Mike also took home a doe.
Aaron Roberts' buck was a fully mature, heavy 17 3/4" eight pointer. Aaron also elected to take a doe to add to the venison he took back home to the Gulf Coast.
Luckily, the weather during the entire hunt with nice and mild. Not too cold or hot; not too windy. The steak-night photo posted below confirms the moderate temperature, even after dark. The pre-rut has started and deer movement was good most of the time, even in those days just before the full moon.
The next McManus hunt report will be posted around about Nov. 25.
Mark McFadden, 16 3/4" 15 pt. 147 5/8"
Mike McFadden 18" 10 pt. 124"
Aaron Roberts 17 3/4" 8 pt.
Steak night with 3 hunters, Beaver, Mario and his son, Joseph.