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November 25: Eric Bothun

When I got into the stand on November 25th, I hoped as I had for many days prior, that this day would be different. By different, I was hoping for more movement of mature bucks. The stand I chose to sit was a stand I had sat numerous times this year. Other sits resulted in many does and small buck sightings. I remained confident that with as many does as I was seeing, the mature bucks would eventually appear. This morning was crisp with a nice breeze, perfect for constant morning movement.

Movement is definitely what happened. It seemed to happen all at once. Does started crawling out of the wood work and surrounding the stand. Then a nice three year old appeared, and bedded at 25 yards. Unfortunately some of this action was not caught on film because Lee couldn't move with all those doe eyes peering around. Then, following the same trail as the does came a another buck. I had never seen the buck before, have no Reconyx pictures of the buck, and knew he was mature. I told Lee, its time, and that he would have to risk standing up and turning around 180 degrees, while about 12 does surrounded the stand within 30 yards.

Lee stood up, does began to scatter, but didn't blow, and the shooter stood behind a tree looking around. I'm sure does running in his presence was nothing knew to him. After a minute, he calming stepped into a mock scrape I had created long ago and racked his horns a few times. This provided me a perfect shot. I missiled a Rage broadhead toward his heart with a direct hit. After a 15 yard track, I laid my hands on this beautiful Iowa buck. If he hadn't broke of some of his tines, this buck would have been an impressive 7x6, but I'm still thrilled to slap my tag on him.