December 31: Karl Franzen

It was New Years Day and our third night to hunt. I had a late season muzzle loader tag for Iowa, and I was ready to go. I had a string of bad luck when I had a late season muzzle loader in Iowa in 2009. The record button was double punched, and I didn't get my kill on film. Fortunately, that was not the case tonight. I had Jeff Lindsey and Matt Strickland in the stand, and they had my back.

We were on our way to a big corn field they call "Booner Bottom." I remembered this stand very well because last time Dustin and I hunted this stand we fell in the big creek and had to hunt wet for 3 hours! On the way into the stand, Jeff tells me about a 9 pointer nicknamed "Flash" who had been living in this area and was an eligible deer to kill. Jeff had multiple Reconyx pictures of Flash and knew him as a 6.5 year old mature buck that had gave his mom Wanda the slip last year and out-smarted him back in November.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had been enjoying our late afternoon hunt. After we saw the first deer at 3:30pm, Matt, Jeff, and I took our nightly bet on how many deer we would see. It didn't take long for the field to fill up. I first saw the buck 300 yards away. I knew he was a pretty good size buck because I could tell he was a shooter with the naked eye. Jeff quickly recognized him as "Flash" and thought if he walked within bow range that he would take a shot with his PSE. Within just a few minutes Flash closed to within 35 yards of our box blind. Matt and I were going to film Jeff whack him with his PSE with two camera angles. However, as soon as he was in range he never presented an ideal shot, and the does under our stand started getting spooky. As Flash began to walk off, we knew that our chances at old deer like this don't come around often, and we weren't about to let it slip through our fingers! Jeff quickly gave me the green light to grab the Thompson Center Dream Season Omega and put the scope on Flash. The cameras were rolling, and I pulled back on the TC trigger letting the hammer fly, and instantly Flash went to the ground. The power and preciseness of the .50 caliber smokepole made our tracking job very easy, and I finally had an Iowa kill on film!