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Iowa Muzzleloader Buck

By Colleen Wabeke with Dave Wabeke

Colleen WabekeThe temperature was climbing as I headed out to my tree stand. It was 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the next-to-last day of Iowa’s early muzzleloader season.

I hunted in that stand for several hours, but saw nothing but squirrels. I decided to stick it out. Around 6:50 p.m., it was starting to get dark. I waited 5 more minutes and then rolled up my blind and packed away my grunt call, doe bleat, face mask and gloves.

I stood up and looked around. Just as I was turning around to take my cap off, I saw a huge-bodied deer walking in the picked bean field to the south.

My heart started racing. I thought, “Wow! That’s a big doe.” I couldn’t see any antlers.

I raised my muzzleloader and found the deer in my scope. I still couldn’t see any headgear, just a big body.

I made a grunting noise to stop him, and it worked. The buck stopped and looked right at me. 

I aimed for shoulder and fired, and he took off. He stopped at a fence row, but then I lost sight of him in the fading light.  I was so nervous, it didn’t occur to me to take out the binoculars. I still didn’t know if I had hit it, or if it was a doe or a buck. 

I called my husband. Soon, he, Dad and my grandson met me in the field. Mike walked ahead of the truck. The ground was soaked with rain, and he didn’t want me getting stuck. At this point, I was regretting taking the 120-yard shot, a long one for me.

At the fence row, we couldn’t find a drop of blood. Mike had a flashlight, and I only had a green LED light on the bill of my cap. I looked down the fence row and saw glowing green eyes. I wasn’t sure if the deer was dead, so I made my husband walk up to it. 

I asked my husband, “Is it dead? His response was, “Yeah, it’s dead, and it’s a buck — a HUGE buck!

It was a great feeling. Now I’d like to get one with a bow.

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