Here is a cool story for you guys from my experience this season. This years buck is my third Iowa buck over 150\" taken with my T/C Contender .41 Mag. 164\", 168\" and a 156\".
Thanks and keep up the good work
The Night Dweller
Here are the results of this year’s late muzzleloader whitetail season in southwest Iowa. I took the 4-1/2 year old with my T/C Contender .41 Magnum on Dec. 27th, 2009. A friend and I have been after this deer since the first week of November during bow season. The funny thing is we have only seen this deer show his face just before dark and never gave us a chance at anything. We were in our double stand set up the first time we spotted him, he was about 75 yards away with a doe, we tried to rattle him in and he circled us down wind, but the time he came in close, it was pitch black out. The second time we seen him he was about 100 yards away, fairly close to where seen him the first time. He was working a scrape and rubbing on a tree, when about a 150\" 8 pointer came up by him and they ended up clashing heads for about ten minutes. I watched the whole fight through my binoculars and while watching I noticed when the 13 pointer broke off one of his crab claws from his G2 on his left side. I couldn\'t believe it, cool to watch, but disappointing to see the tine fall to the ground.
I am kind of crazy about antlers; I like a big variety, but hate to see it when a nice one gets messed up. Anyways, my friend and I went down by the scrape the next morning to check the area out to maybe hang a stand and I found his broken tine lying by the scrape where they were fighting. I kept it just because, but not expecting to see this deer too much longer with the rut almost at full swing. We decided that there just weren’t any good trees to work with for hanging stands down there, so we never messed with it. With very little time off and a busy schedule I ended up shooting a 135” 8 pointer not too long after this, and my friend shot a nice 145\" ten pointer.
We have kept our eye out for this deer since then, but never did see him again. We have talked to a few of the shotgun hunters that hunt around that area and have kept our ears open for any new news, but nothing. When the late muzzleloader season finally arrived I told my friend that we need to spend more time glassing the area then actually hunting to figure out what the deer are doing. We knew that not many guys were shooting anything during the late muzzleloader season because of the weather conditions. We had 10\" of snow on the ground, received about 1-1/2\" of rain on top of the snow, then we just got 11\" more snow around Christmas Eve. We knew that we would have an advantage if we could get out in the field close to a food source because the deer are going to travel as little as possible if not pressured. The hunters are scarce, because no one wants to walk in the deep snow, and they can\'t drive around looking for deer without getting stuck. I didn\'t hunt Christmas Day or Saturday because of family get-togethers, but my friend went out Saturday to glass the area until dark. He called and said that there were over 100 head of deer below the timber feeding off of the brome grass and what ever else was sticking out of the snow and at least three of them were shooter bucks over 150\". We decided to go buy a sled and a new heater for the hunt and give it a try.
We started out Sunday morning driving around the section to check out the fields for a head count. Yes there were deer in the field and we were not going to be able to walk in without spooking them. This section is a 2 mile section totally drifted with snow and no easy way to get in or out. We drove around for awhile to give them time to get back in the woods to bed down and give us a better opportunity to the edge of the field to set up the blind. About 11:00 we parked on the north road and packed the sled with the blind, our packs, guns, food, water, some white bed sheets that we bought to cover the blind and the heater. The sled was a great idea but was still heavy to pull through that deep snow. We walked back over 3/4 of a mile to the tip of the south timber where my friend seen the deer funnel out of the night before. I didn\'t think that the walk was too bad, but it took us over an hour and neither one of us were looking forward to shooting a deer and dragging our gear and a deer back out. We set up the blind, trimmed a few trees, got the bed sheets put on the blind and got all of our gear organized.
The whole afternoon was exciting, we seen deer just 20 minutes after we finished setting up, so we knew we were pretty successful sneaking in. We decided to wait for a big buck the first night and not shoot does. We have about ten doe tags between us, but we definitely are not dragging a doe out through this field. Within the next few hours we counted over 75 head of deer, many does, a large buck that just shed his antlers not too long ago, a couple decent 120\" to 130\" bucks and at least 10 smaller bucks. We didn\'t think the plan was going to work the way it was looking, we were seeing deer, but not the caliber we were looking for. We kept our hopes up and it came down to the wire, just like they say, “Everything can change in a matter of seconds.\" This was no different; at 4:50 we had 2 does come out the south tip of the timber to the field about 100 yards away from us and started working there way towards the blind along the brome grass edge. My friend asks me “are you sure those deer are all does?” I thought they were, but one particular deer was huge and was about to peak his head around the tree line, we both knew right there that they weren\'t all does. He was eating along the edge of the field and working his way closer towards us. I knew when looking at this deer through the binoculars that it was the deer we wanted to harvest all season, the 7 points on his right side is pretty unmistakable. I grabbed my gun and set it on my shooting stick, watching to see what he was going to do. I let him come to about 75 yards and my friend asks, \"Are you gonna shoot him?\" I said \"Yep, I am just going to wait for him to quarter away a little bit and stop.\" The deer did just that, like the whole plan was coming together perfectly. I had the crosshair right behind the shoulder and squeezed it off; the deer did the death lunge and ran right towards us. He only ran about 50 yards and folded 30 yards from the blind.
I was ecstatic, as we high five each other then sit there in amazement as to what just happened. This is my largest deer too date and he will be real close to making the Boone and Crocket record books. I am not going to enter him, but one of my goals in life has always been to shoot a Booner. I have him at the taxidermist already and I plan on doing a pedestal mount, which they are real cool and it will be something different for my collection. I always enjoy my time spent in the outdoors and this year will never be forgotten in my book. By the way, I still have the tine that I picked up by the scrape, and it is his. The taxidermist is going to put it back on, so it just makes the whole story that much more memorable.