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This year I decided that I would hunt late muzzleloader season again and see if I could continue my luck with my TC in Iowa. The first afternoon was really cold, we saw a couple of good bucks and lots of deer but just not the one we wanted. My Dad said we needed a northwest wind to hunt the bean field where a big shooter he wanted me to kill was coming out, so we were just going to hunt the other side of the farm until the wind was right.

Days two and three we hunted a couple of different corn fields and saw lots of deer, but again not one of the ones I was hoping to kill. Day four a north west wind was finally blowing in with really cold temperatures. We was going to hunt my Dad’s favorite bean field! It was on! My brother Jeff had set this field a few days before and seen a deer who we called “Big Mac” and passed him in hopes I could get a crack at him later. He also had lots of Reconyx pictures of him in this field but most were at night. Hopefully he would show up today in the frigid weather with me in the stand.

Once we got to the stand and got settled in - the deer started pouring into the field, the first shooter in the field was “Big Mac”– just as planned! It was shaping up for the perfect ending to a great week. “Big Mac” got to about 70 yards and turned broadside, I pulled the hammer back on my Thompson Center and pulled the trigger, the cap popped, but no discharge! My dad pulled out another cap (thinking it was a bad cap) and put it in place for me. By this time half the deer in the field were looking around and getting spooked, we let them calm down and placed another cap in the gun. I put the crosshairs back on his vitals and pop! – NOT AGAIN!! The field cleared and “Big Mac” trotted back in the woods. We checked the gun and realized that after my dad had last cleaned it, it had not been reloaded. Whoops! When the field cleared the deer didn’t seem really to spooked, they just acted like they didn’t know what the noise was and ran to the edge of the woods and stopped, so we figured they would be back. Sure enough, ten minutes later the deer started pouring back in.

With about 45 minutes of light left we looked up and guess who just stepped back into the field – “Big Mac”. We let him walk all the way in, I put the crosshairs right on him and this time with a bullet in the barrel, it done some damage. He ran about a hundred yards and piled up. “Big Mac” was dead and I had my first drop-tined buck!

My Dad and brother had several encounters with him over the past three years but tonight it was just his time to die. We have picked up his sheds from the last three years and had a ton of Reconyx pictures of him. This deer was 8.5 years old, had one of the biggest bodies I had ever seen and was one of the most unique bucks on our farm. In a way it was sad this old guy’s time had come to an end but this was the best rack he had grew since we knew him so we knew it was the year for us to take him.

When my dad and I hunt together we always have so much fun. He has been with me on every buck kill from the time I was a kid and each time it becomes more special! There is no doubt - he is my lucky charm!

That makes 2 bucks in 2 days for 2 girls in Iowa for Team Sylvia! - Jaclyn