Success At Heartland Wildlife Institute Writer’s Camp

By Hunting NetworkNovember 29, 2012

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

Bob Humphrey, Tim Dehn and Jack Weber each scored a trophy whitetail buck during a recent outdoors writers camp at Fox Hollow Farms, owned by Heartland Wildlife Institute’s Jeff Neal. The 700-plus acre farm in southern Ohio is intensively managed for trophy deer and turkeys, with 23 food plots planted with Heartland products like Buck Buster Extreme and Buck Buster Brassicas. Food plots are supplemented with Heartland minerals and attractants like End of the Trail, Autumn Addiction and Rack Maker deer blocks.  Plots and feeding stations were monitored with Covert game cameras and guests previewed hundreds of buck photos the first evening.

TenPoint Crossbows and Banks Outdoors co-sponsored the camp along with Heartland Wildlife Institute, while product sponsors included Grub’s Boots, Atsko, Covert Cameras and Hunter Safety Systems.

Writers Group

Hurricane Sandy’s effects were felt far inland producing wind, rain and sleet during the first two days of the four-day hunt. Hunters stayed comfortable in a mix of elevated, ground and pit blinds from the Minnesota manufacturer, Banks Outdoors.

While the Heartland End of the Trail and Autumn Addiction attractants concentrated does and young bucks in shooting range, the mature bucks were coming by to check for hot does, not to fill their bellies. The big 10 point, Tim Dehn’s lifetime best whitetail, came in just before dark along the far edge of a Heartland Rack Maker Plus food plot and fell victim to a well-placed NAP Spitfire broadhead fired from his TenPoint Carbon Fusion crossbow.

Dehn's Buck

Humphrey’s trophy buck, with its massive bases and high tines, fell within sight of his Banks blind to another double-lung shot from his lighter, more compact Carbon Elite XLT from TenPoint. Both men shot super-sized does the next day.

Bob Humphrey's Buck

Jack Weber waited until Saturday evening to tag his eight point, while Sabrina Simon of TenPoint, and Outdoor Writer Rick Combs passed up the bucks they had in range.

Jack's Buck

Neal and his friend and guide, Brian Richard, worked hard this past summer to further their goal of making this the nation’s premier outdoor writers camp. Over the years they’ve progressed from using treestands to ladder stands, to pop-up blinds to the hard-shell  blinds  and ultimately to Banks Blinds that in some cases carry foam insulation to retain warmth and reduce sound. “These blinds allowed hunters to stay out all day during the prime hunting days despite the bad weather while remaining virtually scent free and undetectable,” Neal said. Neal also credits the near-silent Polaris Ranger EVs (electric vehicles) for helping move hunters across the muddy, challenging terrain with a great deal more stealth and less scent than gas-powered ATVs. The comfortable lodge provided a wonderful gathering place for guests featuring delicious meals, carefully prepared by gourmet cook, Ty Hartman.

Watch for Tim Dehn’s complete article in ArrowTrade Magazine and on-line at Check out Bob Humphrey’s feature story on the hunt in an upcoming issue of Petersen’s Bowhunting. Video footage provided by Tom King of Bighorn Outdoors will be coming soon to Heartland’s YouTube page and website at:

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