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December 7: Daltyn Kramer

With a hunting career that started the way Daltyn's did three seasons ago, you my think that his luck had run out on that first hunt. That couldn't be further from the truth, His face has been on this journal far more times than my own since his first day in the field, with the exception of letting me sit in on a few pics. Why would this year be any different?

We began the year off by grabbing on to a new 100 acre lease with a couple of good friends of mine close to our home town. It was actually a piece that I had hunted as a younger man so I knew the ground fairly well. One of the goals we had was to put in as much food as we could during the spring and Summer months in hopes of pulling in and holding as many deer as we could. Our largest plot was a 3-4 acre soybean field which we hoped would keep our deer on the lease throughout the shotgun seasons and give one of us an opportunity late muzzle loader season.

By mid Summer our optimism was high because the Reconyx cameras were snapping numerous buck pics, mostly 1-2 yr olds, a few 3-1/2 and a couple we felt would be older and that we would try and take the first year in. The buck in this journal entry was largest we were seeing and he seemed to be everywhere on the lease. We quickly chose the name Triple Brow because of the three points on his left G1. Roll ahead to September and our optimism began fade a bit as our pictures became fewer and fewer, especially of our more mature bucks. At first we reasoned that shedding velvet had changed patterns and ranges of our bucks and that some may have moved to different areas as they do each fall. I became concerned that EHD had gotten many of them when I started finding dead deer on another piece that I hunt. By October 1st and the beginning of the season we weren't seeing many deer at all and by November my two partners had had many sits without seeing a single deer from the tree. I had yet to hunt the new lease or to hunt at all for that matter but kept up on who and what was walking in front of the cameras. Fortunately the Reconyx cameras were telling me that Triple Brow was indeed somewhere on the property but we had yet to see him in person.

Roll ahead to Iowa's first shotgun season and a major front was about to hit, bringing snow and cold temps. Along with the snow came an east wind which just happed to be perfect for the Big Game Trophy box blind over the bean field. This was exactly the conditions we hoped for when planting this food plot back in June and Daltyn just so happened to have an unfilled youth deer tag in his pocket, which was good for one of the two shotgun seasons. All we needed now was a little daytime activity from our #1 shooter.

We jumped in the blind shortly after 12:00 noon and did our best to stay warm by closing all windows in it. It wasn't until 2:30 that we saw our first deer, a small yr and a half which skirted the plot and two does popped out shortly after. The does would periodically stare back into the woods as if waiting for something else to come out and I felt it was only a matter of time before we had more company. It wasn't until 4:15 that another deer emerged at the far end of the beans. We immediately recognized the buck as Triple Brow and Daltyn readied himself for the shot and ranged him with our Nikon Rangefinder. Shortly after, two more bucks stepped out to our left and Triple brow lifted his head and walked in their direction. At 65 yards he stopped, turned broadside and Daltyn squeezed the trigger on the TC Prohunter. The 250 gr Shockwave bullet found it's mark high in the buck's shoulder, dropping him in his tracks. At first Daltyn thought he hit the wrong buck as the two smaller deer ran through the beans, but he then spotted Triple Brow lying motionless in the field. What a great day in the blind and way to start off the first year of our new lease. We took the #1 shooter on the property, over a plot we planted just for these conditions and Daltyn's third wall hanger in four seasons as a hunter. I'm now hoping for a little good luck of my own as I watch the weather and try and decide which of the remaining gun seasons I will buy my tag for. Keep an eye on the journal and hopefully you will get to see a picture of me with my own wall hanger before the end of the season. Good luck and safe hunting.