After a long season of close calls during bow season I looked forward to late muzzleloader with high hopes. My number one started showing up regularly during gun 1 in daylight but disappeared a couple days later. I soon found out the neighbor harvested him. With him gone I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Well I talked to a good friend and he told me to go down and hunt his farm during late season. So I went down and hunted on the 23rd of December and man what a game changer that was. My motivation was reignited as we saw probably 30 deer. That’s a lot compared to the 2 a sit at home. Well as I left I started getting a bad headache which isn’t the norm for me so I decided I should probably test for covid before going and seeing the wife’s family for Christmas on the 24th. Well I tested positive so the next 10 days were spent quarantining. I was completely out of energy but tried to hunt one of those days. Discovering quickly that that was a poor choice. Fast forward to the 4th I decided to hunt again. I was nice and relaxed in the sun with my boots off and I look over my shoulder to see 6 deer in the field. Wondering when they got in the field I looked over to see another doe walking towards the plot. I pull my binos up and look and see one of the bucks I was after at 130 yards and closing behind the doe coming to the plot. Well I get the muzzleloader up and ready on the shooting pod. Take the time to put my boots back on. He mills around in the plot for awhile before I finally get a shot. I settle on him and slowly squeeze off the shot. To my surprise he dropped in his tracks. I rushed to get reloaded only to see him get back to his feet and take off. Wednesday I spent the day tracking him with no luck. Fast forward to last night me and my close friend drove down to hunt the final day. I finally got the right wind to hunt my favorite blind again. After the army of turkeys filed through deer began entering the plot. Doe, fawn, doe, fawn. Around 4:45 the first antlered deer enters the field followed by another. I watched the second deer and recognized him as he was an older 7 point I was more than willing to shoot if he got close enough. So as he slowly made his way through the plot as other deer filled in I switched seats to shoot the West side of the plot where the 7pt ended up. Around 5:15 I look up to see another buck entering the plot in the NE corner. I look in the binos and realize it’s the buck I had shot on Tuesday. Well my mind was made up that it was him or nothing. He began to slowly make his way towards us. 25 deer ranging from 5 to 50 yards from the blind were going to be the obstacle I would have to overcome. I was set up to shoot the west side and now he was coming down the east side. He gets to about 120 yards and I hear my buddy say you have 7 minutes left. Not able to move as I have 3 does head bobbing at the blind window I’m shaking holding the muzzleloader as still as I can. The buck still straight on as he makes it to 100yrds. “4 minutes” I gently put the barrel out the window, leaning over trying to get on the buck. All I hear is deer running, looking through the scope I can see the buck doing the typical looking around like “what’s going on”. I settle on his front shoulder and squeeze it off. Smoke filled my scope and I have no clue what was going on. My buddy tells me I smoked him and he dropped in his tracks. My first words were “is he getting up” he assured me he wasn’t. After closer inspection I hit him on Tuesday about 1.5” before the top line. Not sure how I was that high especially when I was as calm as I have ever been on an animal.
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