December 9: Dave Kramer


Every deer hunter hates the dreaded “dry spell,” and Dave Kramer endured a three year stint. However, his persistence paid off, when he connected on a 143 2/8-inch Iowa whitetail.

Kramer collected numerous photos of his target buck from cameras on his property, which is a mile from the lease where he eventually killed the big buck. “I’ve had the lease with a couple of buddies for the last six years,” he said. “I really had not had any encounters with the buck on the lease until this spring. My son, Dalton, found one side of a shed. That was the first indication I had that the buck was using the lease.”

Kramer hunted sparingly through the archery season without seeing the buck on his leased property. “I knew the buck was using the area, but pinning it down was very tough,” he said.

When the Iowa shotgun season rolled around, Kramer made a snap decision to hunt. “I had not hunted the shotgun season since 1995,” he said. “Too, I only hunted the archery season during the last three years.”

A picked corn field that was hidden from local traffic helped Kramer make his decision.

 “I sat on the field a couple of afternoons and saw quite a few deer,” he related. “I went in on Saturday morning and hung a Muddy stand in a strategic spot with the west wind in my favor. I hung the stand on a finger point, where I didn’t risk pushing any deer out of their bedding area in nearby woods.”

Rick hunted his farm on Saturday night and encountered the buck he called “Stevie Wonder,” which we reported on in an earlier DeerCast article. It was a big wide, 5-year-old eight pointer, which bedded down out of range.

With the west wind prevailing again the next day, Kramer went to hunt his lease at noon. He set up three camera angles in order to self-film. At 3:30 p.m. the action began.

“Several does came out, followed by my target buck,” Kramer said. “He nudged some does around, but worked away from me. I couldn’t get a camera on him, nor get a shot. I thought I would not see him again that day.”

As rutting bucks often do, Kramer’s buck showed himself again, soon. “At around 4 p.m., the buck came out of the woods again,” he said. “The does worked out into the field. The buck came to the edge of the field and turned towards me. When I decided I wanted to shoot him, I got the cameras rolling and got on him. He came to within 118 yards, but I wasn’t ready. He turned to walk away as I was trying to handle the cameras, get my gun on the shooting stick, and pay attention to him all at the same time.”

Kramer kept his cool and kept panning ahead of the buck. “I got a lot of pre-roll of the buck,” he explained. “Finally the buck stepped into the frame at 150 yards. I didn’t hesitate. I slowly squeezed the trigger of my muzzleloader and dropped him where he stood. That felt so good, after having not killed a buck in the three previous years.”

In his defense, Dave has managed for 5/12- year-old bucks, but suffered the frustrations of a poached buck and one hit by a vehicle. This year, he determined that if a good quality 4-year-old buck showed itself, he would take it.  Good decision Dave Kramer Muzzleloader Buck 12-19 Dave. Congratulations on a great Iowa buck!

Gear Used:

Nomad apparel

Traditions muzzleloader

Leupold optics

Muddy Outdoors