Moultrie Products
Ryan, Scoot, and Morgan's Year in Review
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
t-roy 09-Jan-18
NoWiser 09-Jan-18
Scoot 09-Jan-18
BULELK1 10-Jan-18
Missouribreaks 10-Jan-18
Nick Muche 10-Jan-18
GhostBird 10-Jan-18
otcWill 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Brotsky 10-Jan-18
SBH 10-Jan-18
Whocares 10-Jan-18
BigOk 10-Jan-18
Mark Watkins 10-Jan-18
midwest 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Jaquomo 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
Scoot 10-Jan-18
jmiller 10-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 10-Jan-18
Zackman 10-Jan-18
Alexis Desjardins 11-Jan-18
kota-man 11-Jan-18
OFFHNTN 11-Jan-18
Scoot 11-Jan-18
AT Halley 11-Jan-18
Scoot 11-Jan-18
Scoot 11-Jan-18
Cheesehead Mike 11-Jan-18
orionsbrother 11-Jan-18
Brotsky 11-Jan-18
GhostBird 11-Jan-18
t-roy 11-Jan-18
Scoot 11-Jan-18
Brotsky 11-Jan-18
GhostBird 11-Jan-18
Z Barebow 11-Jan-18
OFFHNTN 11-Jan-18
Treeline 11-Jan-18
HUNT MAN 11-Jan-18
Alexis Desjardins 11-Jan-18
trkyslr 11-Jan-18
wildwilderness 11-Jan-18
Z Barebow 12-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 12-Jan-18
BB iPhone 13-Jan-18
SBH 13-Jan-18
deerslayer 13-Jan-18
BOWNUT 13-Jan-18
BigOk 13-Jan-18
Duke 14-Jan-18
From: Scoot
09-Jan-18
After I wrote up our WY antelope story I decided I was done taking so many pictures in the field and I wasn't motivated to write up stories here anymore. As a result, I haven't taken a lot of in-field photos this year. However, after a wonderful season in the woods and field with my kids and friends, I have some fun pics to share and I've got a couple people who have requested that I do a story here. I'm kinda a weenie when it comes to this, so I caved and agreed to write something up. Some of my pics will be repeats from past posts, but quite a few are new ones.

2017 was an interesting year for the Engel family. There were plenty of highs and lows in 2017, but I'd like to share some of the good times my kids and I had this year. I won't be sharing any exotic hunts or anything as unique and impressive as some of the hunts others have shared here. I will share the making of some wonderful memories that my kids and I will have for as long as we live though, and that makes it pretty amazing in my mind.

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18

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The year started for us in SD when Brotsky graciously invited us down to hunt with him (and his sweetie) in their neck of the woods. They were wonderful hosts and treated us incredibly well- we were/are very appreciative. On the last morning of our trip Ryan was able to take a jake that was beating the heck out of our decoy with his buddies.

We also did well in MN when Morgan and I doubled and Ryan shot a bird a week or so later. It was a great turkey season!

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18

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Morgan in the Drive, Chip, and Putt Competition
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Morgan in the Drive, Chip, and Putt Competition
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Fishing on Lake of the Woods- one of the greatest places on earth!
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Fishing on Lake of the Woods- one of the greatest places on earth!
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Painted Rock Channel-- my kind of art!
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Painted Rock Channel-- my kind of art!
As it does, Summer followed Spring and that brought golf, fishing, shooting our bows, and family time.

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18

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The four of us who made the trip from MN.
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The four of us who made the trip from MN.
Before we knew it we were prepping for our trip to WY to hunt antelope. Ryan and I were joined by my brother, Rod, and our friend, Jon. We also met Carl (aka, smarba) and got to visit with Jeff (DConcrete). Jeff put out the blinds and took care of us on this hunt and we're still very grateful for this. The trip was everything he said it would be and more! All of those involved with this hunt managed to take a nice antelope and it was a blast.

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18

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Football cranked up a couple days after we got back from WY and Ryan did a nice job during that season. Soon after that, we headed to ND for a mulie hunt. Ryan made three good sneaks, but couldn't get within his effective bow range of 25 yards to any of them. Still, it was a great trip and experience with him out there.

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18

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The weekend after our trip to ND we teamed up with Jon again to chase prairie chickens. Jon drew a tag in the zone we live in and my mother-in-law owns some land that has a few on it. Jon came up and we had a good time with what turned out to be a very quick effort to fill his limit of two birds.

From: t-roy
09-Jan-18
Looking forward to this thread!

Be sure and include a pic of Ryan singing in the choir;-) I couldn’t resist,Ryan!

From: NoWiser
09-Jan-18
Excellent!!

From: Scoot
09-Jan-18
Hahahaha- that's dirty pool, t-roy! Ryan sings in the church youth choir and during archery season he's not particularly interested in missing out on time in the woods.

From: BULELK1
10-Jan-18
Great family and a great Dad for spending more time on his family than on himself

Good on you Scott

Congrats Morgan and Ryan

Good luck, Robb

10-Jan-18
Very nice Scoot.

From: Nick Muche
10-Jan-18
Very nice work Scoot and Co., looks like you all had a great year! Best of luck to your family in 2018!

From: GhostBird
10-Jan-18
Good stuff. Happy New Year.

From: otcWill
10-Jan-18
Always enjoy your threads, Scott. Hats off to you and your kids!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18
Thanks guys! More to come today...

From: Brotsky
10-Jan-18
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the story Scott! Ryan and Morgan both had years to be proud of. Funny how a good set of parents can make that happen for a kid:)

From: SBH
10-Jan-18
Great job Scoot. Way to get those kids out there with you. Looking forward to the rest of this post and good luck to you and your crew in 18'.

From: Whocares
10-Jan-18
Way to go - great Dad!

From: BigOk
10-Jan-18
Really like to see pics of kids in the outdoors. Keep the thread going.

From: Mark Watkins
10-Jan-18
Two very lucky kids!!!!

Love it Scoot...keep it rolling!!!

Mark

From: midwest
10-Jan-18
Great stuff, Scoot!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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Next up was whitetail season. We found a little hidey hole where several deer, including a pretty good buck, were going by most nights. Ryan tucked in a little natural ground blind and spent quite a few nights. Often we'd run out there for a quick sit after football practice. This involved flying home after practice, getting dressed as fast as humanly possible, me driving 3/4 of a mile to the spot and dropping him off (sometimes I got to join him too). One of those evenings he dozed off in his spot. He woke up just in time to see a decent buck passing the last few feet of his shooting window! You snooze, you lose!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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We mixed in some ruffed grouse hunting with family too!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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Ryan put in a lot of time in the stand in MN and ND. At virtually every opportunity we headed for the woods. Here he is in ND on a very cold November morning.

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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Typical goof ball Morgan!
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Typical goof ball Morgan!
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Morgan's good luck charm was with when she made the perfect shot-- Uncle Rod.
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Morgan's good luck charm was with when she made the perfect shot-- Uncle Rod.
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Morgan turned 10 this past September and with that she became old enough to hunt deer in MN. She couldn't pull back enough poundage with her bow to be legal, so she waited for the gun season and used her crossbow. She saw five deer on the first night with three of them being bucks. One was only five yards away, but she couldn't get a shot at it as it walked through the shooting window very quickly. On the second night she made a perfect shot on a very nice doe at about 20 yards. It was a wonderful night and she was/is quite proud! I was/am very proud too!

From: Jaquomo
10-Jan-18
This is outstanding, Scott!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18
With Morgan tagged out I could focus my efforts on getting Ryan a crack at a deer. He actually got a shot at a nice buck at home in MN just a few days before rifle season started. He had a quick sit after football practice and I stayed home with Morgan, who was sick. I dropped him off and got back to my sick little girl. Not 30 minutes later I got a text that said, "I shot a monster". Unfortunately, this part of the story didn't have a happy ending. Ryan thought the deer would zig behind a tree and he planned on drawing when it did so. However, the deer didn't read the script and he zagged! It never went behind anything that allowed Ryan to draw his bow and he finally had no choice but to draw when it was less than ten yards away. The deer pegged him on the draw and I believe he ducked the string considerably. He hit him high and it bled like a muscle hit. My wife, daughter, son, and I all tracked the deer for a while, but it soon quit bleeding and we lost the trail. Bummer!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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In mid-November I had my own heartbreak! I released an arrow at the largest buck I've ever shot at in 36 years of hunting deer. He was magnificent! Double drop tine and wide, tall, and plenty thick- remarkable buck for sure. I ranged him at 41 and tried to grunt him to a stop as I hit my anchor point. He didn't hear the grunt, so once he cleared some brush I grunted louder. He stopped on a dime. I aimed for 41 and executed a perfect shot... for 41 yards. However, in the last few minutes of legal shooting time I couldn't tell that the buck was angled away from me in between my two grunts. He stood at 47 yards when I let the arrow go and the six yard discrepancy was the difference between a perfect shot and grazing him just below his vitals. He bled a little, but it was clearly not a lethal hit.

One week later I was back at it in ND (Ryan had a birthday party so he stayed back in MN). Six minutes after legal shooting light in the AM on a cloudy morning I had a buck coming towards me. I heard him grunt a few times on his way in. It was very dim light, but he walked by at 18 yards. I could see considerable headgear on his head, so I drew and took aim. I made a good shot and I thought I heard him crash after a ten second death run. I really had no idea how big he was, but knew he wasn't little. I hoped he was the big guy I screwed up the week before, but the more I thought about, the more I decided his tine length wasn't enough to be him. But... I wasn't sure.

A while later I got down and tried to find my arrow. Nothing. Eventually I found a spot that I thought might be blood, but I'm colorblind and really can't bloodtrail a deer worth a darn- I'm pretty worthless in this department! I text my buddy Jon the top pic above and asked him what I was looking at. He quickly replied with "Blood!" I text him the next picture a while later and got a similar reply. I trailed the deer for about 80 yards in painstakingly slow fashion. I'm sure most reading this would have done it in two minutes at a walking pace, but I was on my hands and knees going very slowly. I have to look for what looks like drops or spatter, it's more about the shape of blood when it hits leaves, branches, etc. and not really the red color of blood. Soon I found the back part of my arrow sitting exactly as it's pictured above. 40 yards later laid the buck in his final resting place.

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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He definitely was not the big guy I had missed the week before, but he was dead and at my feet and I was happily put my tag on him. I had actually passed this buck about an hour before I missed the big guy the week prior knowing he'd be a dang good buck the following year. However, I make no excuses and don't apologize for shooting him- I was thrilled to be tagged out and appreciative to many (my wife who puts up with me, my buddy Steve who's land I was on, the good Lord for the opportunity).

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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A couple good lookin' guys who are 100% serious about hunting all the time!!! :)
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A couple good lookin' guys who are 100% serious about hunting all the time!!! :)
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Ryan peaking around the tree looking at some deer in the distance.
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Ryan peaking around the tree looking at some deer in the distance.
I had a MN tag left still, but I pretty much hung up my bow from that point on. I wanted Ryan to shoot a deer and I hoped I would be there with him when/if he did. We scouted a lot around home- my little nephew Kaden is looking for deer through the binocs in the pic above. We found quite a few and Ryan put in a ton of time trying to get a crack at one.

10-Jan-18
Great thread. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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Did I mention it was cold?!?
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Did I mention it was cold?!?
From around Christmas to the end of the MN season (New Year's Eve) it was cold. Really cold! Highs ranged from -5 to -10 every day during that stretch, as I recall. Low temps during that window ranged from -18 to -29. Most of the time we hunted during that timeframe it was well below -10 when we got to the truck at the end of a cold night's sit. I handled the cold fine because I've got really good cold weather gear. Ryan struggled, mostly due to the fact that I couldn't justify spending huge money on gear he'll outgrow in a year. I sewed on pockets onto a sweatshirt and put jumbo handwarmers in four spots against his core, and that helped a lot. But, his fingers were the real trouble spot when he had to hold his bow. He wasn't comfortable with most of my "solutions", so he used a heavier glove on his bow hand and a lighter glove on his release hand. One night he was in tears trying with all he could to hold his bow with eight deer inside of 30 yards (including a pretty nice 8 point buck). The deer finally winded us and bailed, but Ryan was a mess. He was convinced he had frostbite and his fingers were hurting him badly. Poor kid- he did all he could, but it was -12 with a 20 mph wind and he froze out. Can't blame him.

The pics above are from our last sit in MN. It was dang cold!

From: Scoot
10-Jan-18

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The MN season came and went and although we got really close, the deer were so darn twitchy we just couldn't get a crack at one of them. The ND season closes the first Sunday of Jan. and we had one last chance to get out there on the last day of the season.

The forecast looked great on that last day of the season. Temps were looking a lot better and the high for that Sunday was in the mid-30's and not a ton of wind. That was a double edged sword in my mind, because my experience has shown me that this time of year the deer move much earlier when it's really cold. On warmer days like this, the deer often don't get moving until it's too late to get a chance at them during legal hunting hours. However, we were treated with a beautiful evening in the stand. For good luck I even put on Ryan's skunk hat that evening!

Ryan and I talked a lot that evening about a wide range of things. It was warm, pleasant, and we both really enjoyed our time in the tree. We talked about persistence and perseverance and how those who put in their time and work towards a goal with bullheaded stick-to-it-iveness are most often rewarded. However, I also pointed out that things aren't always fair and even when you give your best effort, sometimes you're just not dealt a hand that will allow you to win. Sometimes you are, but you don't play the cards right and still don't win. But... those who persist and don't give up are usually, in the end, rewarded. These are the kinds of conversations we often have while sitting in a tree together and they are a collection of invaluable moments that I'm extremely appreciative of having.

With 30 minutes left in the evening I finally spotted our first deer. Unfortunately they were all the way across the field, nearly 1/2 mile away. They were very slowly feeding across the field, but there was no way we'd get a crack at them. We could see virtually everywhere a deer might come from and there were no other deer in sight. Ryan pointed out the obvious and said it looks like we're not going to get another chance at a deer. I didn't acknowledge him verbally, but in my head I certainly agreed.

With 20 minutes of the season left I looked to our right and saw nothing in the field coming our way. I glassed to the left, behind the tree we were in and watched the deer dawdling along, going nowhere fast. Dang it! When I looked back at Ryan something caught my eye beyond him, in the area I had just looked- it was the shape of the back half of a deer, partially obscured by a tree. I whispered to Ryan and he slowly went for his bow. Ryan softly said, "They keep looking to the right", but I couldn't see anything over there.

The lead doe made her way into the woods about 50 yards down from us. She turned immediately and headed right for our location. Three fawns slowly followed. Ryan was thrilled, because he had lowered his standards from a "big buck" to "any deer in range". Just as she approached the tree we had decided he should use to cover his draw I heard him emphatically whisper "Big buck!" I looked back to our right and a pretty nice buck quickly made his way through the woods in our general direction. He was coming on a trail that split- one side went 26 yards from us and the other was 41 yards. Ryan's maximum effective range is 25 yards, but I told him if a deer was on the closer trail he could shoot (I'm usually a stickler on this- "25 is 25", but he was shooting plenty good at 25 to be fine at 26). Fortunately the buck took the closer trail. In the meantime the doe had gone behind Ryan and out of my sight, but she must have been somewhere between 5 and 8 yards from us. Ryan came to full draw as the buck passed a small clump of trees. Amazingly, the doe did not blow out of there and screw up the whole thing! The buck entered the window we had ranged and I grunted. He didn't stop, so I immediately grunted very loudly again. He stopped on a dime in the exact spot we had ranged. Ryan settled his pin and triggered the release.

I watched the arrow arc from way up high where we were (15' stand plus the deer was on lower ground than us) down towards the buck. It was one of those "slow motion moments" that I can still see as plain as day. The arrow got to the deer and although it wasn't dark, it was dim enough so I couldn't see it any longer. However, I could clearly hear... a miss. The sound of an arrow passing cleanly over a deer's back was pretty obvious to me. We watched the buck tear out of there and run at full tilt across the 250 yards of open field and into the woods on the other side. He looked plenty healthy and like he was doing just fine all the way he ran.

We sat there for a while and saw that all of the deer were gone. Ryan insisted his pin "looked perfect", but the sound of an arrow harmlessly hitting the snow was pretty clear in my mind. I got down while Ryan looked for more deer approaching. I couldn't find his arrow, but I found no blood either. I climbed back up. After a couple minutes Ryan couldn't take it and had to get down and check too. No arrow, no blood. The arrow must have slipped under the snow somewhere behind the buck. By the time he got back to the tree the night, and the season, was done. We packed up our stuff and headed back.

Ryan worked hard for that one last opportunity and he finally got it. So close! He really wanted to get a deer this year (as always) and I'm dang proud of the effort he put in to do so. It's not the last time he'll fail at achieving a goal, but this hunting experience will serve as a good life lesson for him. He worked doggedly towards his goal and honestly, I think he feels very good about the time, effort, and commitment he put in too. There's always next year- that's one of the beautiful things about hunting.

Thanks for following along- I hope you enjoyed. We sure did!

From: jmiller
10-Jan-18
Excellent recap Scott. Sounds like a great season was had!

From: HUNT MAN
10-Jan-18
I always enjoy your threads. Thanks for posting. Tell Ryan to get his bear face ready. Best of luck this coming year . Hunt

From: Zackman
10-Jan-18
Great stuff! Doing all the right things!

11-Jan-18
Your family had a great year in the woods congrats, and what a good Dad taking the time to take them out hunting precious memories for sure. Thanks for sharing

From: kota-man
11-Jan-18
Awesome...Congrats on a great year Scott and family.

From: OFFHNTN
11-Jan-18
Great thread Scott! Thanks for sharing and congrats to ALL of you!

From: Scoot
11-Jan-18
"We packed up our stuff and headed back."

We did head back... back to look for his arrow and sign some more. We scoured the ground where we thought the arrow should be, but still couldn't find anything. Ryan mumbled "My pin was just perfect when the arrow left" a couple times. After coming up empty handed Ryan finally asked if he could look down the trail a bit. Seconds later he said "Blood!"

From: AT Halley
11-Jan-18
Oh Scoot you sneaker...

From: Scoot
11-Jan-18

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OK- not a random picture. This is a picture of my buddy Jake after a 12 pack. Muahahahahahahaha!!!
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OK- not a random picture. This is a picture of my buddy Jake after a 12 pack. Muahahahahahahaha!!!
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Although I was "just sure" Ryan had missed, I was wrong. Ryan was sure his pin was in a good spot when the arrow left the bow and he was right! We were uncertain about the hit and knew the buck had run quite a ways looking good, but we also knew he had hit the buck.

The blood trail was pretty impressive most of the time. It was easy to track the buck with new, clean snow on the ground. There were no bubbles in the blood, but there was plenty of it.

Bwahahahaha that is a wonderful picture, but I have no idea where it came from! I've seen the random picture effect here and always been amused by it, but this is the first time I'm a victim of it! It won't let me delete it either... Haha!

From: Scoot
11-Jan-18

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Long story short, we finally found him in the field about 500 - 600 yards from the shot.

After a great deal of effort, my son had managed to kill the biggest buck of his life! Our buddy Steve, whose land we were hunting at, actually had the buck at 25 yards a few minutes before Ryan had his chance. A doe momentarily saved the buck's life, however, when she stepped in between Steve, who was at full draw and about to shoot, and the buck. Eventually they winded Steve (and his daughter) and made their way over to us.

Our 2017 year actually ended in 2018. ...and what a great way to end the year! I'm so thankful we got that one last opportunity and I'm sure glad Ryan made good on it! Ryan is still on Cloud 9 about the whole thing (and so am I). We are very appreciative of too many people to mention, but especially thankful to Steve for the opportunity (and for chasing the buck to Ryan!)

Thanks for following along and for the kind words.

11-Jan-18
Awesome stuff Scoot!

11-Jan-18
Atta boy Ryan! Way to keep looking! Great dad trips Scoot.

From: Brotsky
11-Jan-18
Ha! I wondered yesterday how you were going to play that Scott:) Congrats to you, Ryan, and Morgan on a fantastic year! You guys are welcome down here anytime! Looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for your crew!

From: GhostBird
11-Jan-18
Awesome year. Congratulations to you all.

Way to go Ryan!!!!! You put in the time and it paid off.

From: t-roy
11-Jan-18
Same here, Brotsky!! I was kind of scratching my head for a bit, then I figured there’s more coming!

Congrats on a fantastic year for your entire crew, Scott! Lots of lifelong memories made for sure. Glad that Ryan could get it done on the last day, too. Tell Morgan not to put so much pressure on him THIS year!;-)

From: Scoot
11-Jan-18
Thanks guys!

It's weird but the middle pic in the blood pics shows up as some random shirtless dude on my computer and as the correct pic on my phone.

From: Brotsky
11-Jan-18
Works that way for me too Scott. Let Ryan know that if some weird shirtless dude shows up he has my permission to shoot past 25 yards! Ha!

From: GhostBird
11-Jan-18
... shirtless dudes and clowns can be shot up to 88 yards.

From: Z Barebow
11-Jan-18
Congrats to the entire Engel clan! Thanks for sharing Scott!

From: OFFHNTN
11-Jan-18
I should've known you'd pull that delayed trick! LOL But still........and even more, CONGRATULATIONS!

From: Treeline
11-Jan-18
Congratulations to all of you for a great year in 2017!

From: HUNT MAN
11-Jan-18
Glad I took another look at this thread. Congrats Ryan. Love that smile! Hunt

11-Jan-18
That's an awesome buck Ryan congratulations.

From: trkyslr
11-Jan-18
Congrats again to all!!!! You guys are doing it right and with positive smiles the whole time. Love it!

11-Jan-18
Congrats to all, especially for taking the time to teach the kids

From: Z Barebow
12-Jan-18
Shirtless dude. If you see that guy on a backcountry elk hunt, run! I see "Deliverance 2"!

12-Jan-18
Good stuff man. Living and raising them right. Gotta love it.

From: BB iPhone
13-Jan-18
Very nice Scott. Nothing better than spending time in the field with our youngsters.

Keep up the good work and have many more great bowhunted. BB

From: SBH
13-Jan-18
Awesome deer Ryan! Good job Dad! Great season for you guys, loved it all. Thanks

From: deerslayer
13-Jan-18
Ya got me.....

That's awesome. Great buck. Good job and congrats to you, Ryan, and Morgan. What a fantastic ending!

From: BOWNUT
13-Jan-18
Great season Scott, keep them coming.

From: BigOk
13-Jan-18
Awesome, congrats

From: Duke
14-Jan-18
Very good all around! You are a blessed man and I hope you all can cherish these days forever! Thanks for sharing.

-luke

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