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This story starts during the summer when we started getting pictures of this deer. When I looked at the pics for the first time, I told Dave, he only has one eye, so Popeye was a natural name for this brute!!

Skip ahead to the Fall Drury meeting and Dave talked to Mark and Terry specifically about this deer to help get an age on him. Both brothers concurred he was an old deer, 8 ½ or 9 ½ years old. So onto the hit list he went.

When Sweet November started, we started getting daylight pictures of Popeye at a popular scrape, so the pursuit was on for me. We hunted a set on Sunday, November 3 close to the scrape and sure enough he ran through that night but was through my shooting lanes so fast there was no stopping him that night.

So when we got a chance to go hunting on Thursday, November 7th, we knew what area we wanted to hunt but the wind was all wrong for that same set. So we chose a set just down from it, hoping we would get a chance at this unique deer. We had to walk the river around a bedding area which worked like a charm, little noise and our wind was perfect!! We climbed into our set about 3 p.m. We didn’t see or hear anything for quite a while so Dave said, “let me rattle and grunt and see if we can get something going”. Sure enough not even 10 minutes after he did that a nice 3 ½ year old eight pointer came running across the river onto our side. I stopped him at 8 yards and I missed!! I hit a branch. I was really down especially after not getting a bow buck for going on 3 years. So as I was verbally abusing myself, I looked up at the field edge and saw a big body and a rack. I thought it could be Popeye but wasn’t sure. I quickly told Dave and he grunted. The old deer noticed and immediately stopped long enough so I could get my Nikons on him. Yep, Popeye it was. He turned and started coming downwind of us but then got into thick brush and I lost him. I saw a fork horn buck also coming our way so I watched him for a few seconds and then heard some rustling in the brush right next to us. Somehow Popeye had gotten to our stand without Dave or I noticing and more importantly, the deer didn’t smell us even though he was directly downwind. I quickly grabbed my bow and readied for a shot. He stepped out from the brush, I grunted and he stopped at 15 yards. BINGO! Double lung and this Iowa brute only went 50 yards before piling up in eyesight!!! Finally vindication after 3 years of trying for my second bow buck.