I was alternating grunting and rattling on the first windy, cool evening of muzzleloader season. I had just grunted when I heard a ruckus headed my way from over my left shoulder. I raised my gun to prepare just as a buck burst into the clearing to my left, quartering across towards my right. First impressions: He's trotting, his tongue is out, he must be looking for the buck and doe chase, and his antlers have some *mass*! As he crossed in front of me and cleared some low brush, I shot.
He sank a bit, but kept on rolling, veering only slightly left and around a cedar bush about forty yards from me. Then he was out of sight, and the wind was loud enough I couldn't hear him anymore.
Did I just connect with a heavy eight with my new T/C Triumph muzzleloader (bought only one week earlier to fix the problems I'd been having with misfires the previous two years)?
I walked forty or fifty yards, around to the left the way he'd curved, and found him. "Big Eight" was mine!