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October 12: Melissa Bothun

This is my second year going early season muzzleloader in IA. It has been a few years since I have shot anything or really even seen anything to shoot. It was opening night early muzzleloader and we were getting to the stand late, in normal Eric fashion. Before we even got situated we had deer in the food plot. Eric had been checking the cameras by this stand and had a lot of pictures of a few bucks so he was excited about taking me out hunting over this radish food plot. We had a lot of deer coming in and out of the food plot all night, a doe right below our stands, and a few bucks but none I got a “pass” to shoot until this guy walked out. I heard Eric say shooter but DON”T move to look at him, so I sat there patiently (I think) and then he told me to get in position to shoot it. I have hunted for many years but I am not used to having the deer stand right there as I used to gun hunt with my family when I was growing up so they were usually running by us! Eric told me to get on him and he would let me know when I could shoot. He was 35 yards away and broadside from us so it was perfect. I don’t think he even got the word “shoot” fully out and I pulled the trigger. I dropped him right where he was. This was my second time ever shooting a muzzleloader and the first time was earlier that day with my dad sighting in the gun so I when the cloud of smoke cleared and I seen him laying right there in the food plot I was excited and amazed. My first thought was “yes I still got it!” ha! We finally got to go up and see him and I was truly excited but not sure exactly what to say. To be honest I didn’t realize the size of him until we got up to him. I was just so excited I got to shoot! This is my first Iowa buck and my first muzzleloader kill.

It was fun getting out hunting again. I don’t get out hunting very often anymore but there is nothing better then sitting in the woods and just taking it all in. I can’t wait to get our daughter involved in the outdoors and hunting.