McManus Camp 2018 Hunt Reports and Photos of All Bucks
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Please note: Hunts are posted in reverse order with the most recent hunt at the top of the page. To follow the season in order, scroll to the bottom of the page and work your way to the top.
Hunt 3 December 5 - 8
Last year when David Zeck, Jr. and Kenny McKelvey hunted the McManus Camp, they vowed to return. Sure enough they did bringing David's dad, David Sr, and John Silkman, a cousin. All except John are from New Jersey.
This was Beaver's final hunt of 2018, and what a way to end the season. Two bucks over the 130 mark were taken, and, once again for who knows how many years now, the McManus Camp ended with 100% success on bucks.
John Silkman and David Zeck, Sr. set the bar plenty high on that first afternoon's hunt when John collected a 17 1/4" ten pointer sporting 120 inches on his head. David's buck would have had more inches, but unfortunately, about half his right main beam had broken off.
Kenny McKelvey kept the ball rolling the next morning when he brought in another 17 1/4" ten pointer, but this one had 132 2/8", a foot more than the first one taken by John.
Late on Friday morning, John Silkman could hear Beaver's approaching truck in the distance and was getting his gear together to depart his blind. One final glance out the window showed the largest buck he had seen on the hunt, and John put him down immediately as his second buck of the hunt. Turns out, he was the second largest of the season with 138 5/8" on his 20 3/4", ten point rack. What a handsome, photogenic buck he is. Congratulations, John.
Finally, David Zeck on the last afternoon had to settle for a small 11 pointer as he had been doing his best to top all the other bucks he had seen the past few days. His companions had set the bar too high.
Thus ends the 2018 season. The largest buck was taken on the first hunt; the second-best came on the final hunt. Next fall, the McManus Camp is offering two hunts before Thanksgiving and one after that holiday. You can find the exact dates elsewhere on this website.
Hunt 2 November 28 - December 1
Luckily, the weather during the second McManus Camp hunt was great the first three days. It wasn't until the last day that a strong westerly wind put the deer down, but by then, all four hunters had tagged out on their bucks.
In camp were a pair of Sprinkle brothers, Phillip, who now lives in Houston, TX and Jeff who hails from Taylors, SC. The were joined by a couple of single hunters, both of whom happen to live in Florida. Paul Carlson, from Leesburg, originally from Windsor, CT saw our memorial to Bill Knapp from Wethersfield. Both had been on a couple of hunting trips together. Paul surmised that if Adobe Lodge could meet Bill's exacting standards, it would probably be a good place to come hunt his first-ever Texas whitetail. The other Florida hunter was Willie Mailoto from Valparizo.
The 14 1/2" eleven point bucks taken by Phillip Sprinkle and Paul Carlson appeared to be twins. Both had good, classic ten-point racks, but their forked eyeguards on the right antler were carbon-copies of each other. Most unusual.
Jeff Sprinkle, who flew to Houston to travel by truck with brother Phillip, enticed Phillip to host him on a hunt on Phillip's deer lease, about 75 miles south of here on the day before their McManus hunt began. Sure enough, Phillip proved to be a credible host and outfitter as he put Jeff on a good one for his first-ever Texas buck. Jeff's ten-pointer, taken with Beaver, turned out be his 2nd Texas buck.
Willie Mailoto was the final hunter to be successful as he watched numerous buck as the days rolled by. But on Friday night, Willie found a heavy-horned eight pointer he liked and put him down. Willie, a busy guy who travels overseas a lot, clocked-out and left before daylight on Saturday.
So the McManus Camp continues to post a 100% success for the 2018 season. There is one hunt yet to come next week. Stay tuned.
Hunt 1 November 7-10
For fourteen years or so, Darl Hospelhorn from Waynesboro, PA has been hunting with Beaver McManus. For the past few years, Darl has been accompanied by his old buddy, Jeff Hastings, Hagerstown, MD.
Joining the pair of friends recently has been Bill Wurfel, Robbinsville, NJ.
Coming for the first time was Mark McFadden from Trinidad, TX. To say this group of four knocked the ball out of the park is almost an understatement. Get this: three of them took two bucks/each. And the single buck taker, Jeff, got the most impressive buck we've seen so far this season.
Jeff's beauty, being only 14 inches wide, taped an incredible 146 1/8 inches. And he took him with his pistol, no less.
Unfortunately, despite his feat, Jeff missed a shot at a coyote from the exact same blind where he missed a bobcat last year. Doggone the luck, anyway.
The only black mark on the entire event was caused by Beaver's camera. It went on strike late in the hunt. When Beaver brought his card to download on our office computer, the problematic unit had Darl's last buck hidden somewhere and we failed to get it. Later, Beaver found the missing photo and we will be posting it after Beaver's next trip to the office. Oh, wait. They emailed it and the photo of Darl's second buck is posted below.