I got these pictures in an email a few days ago from one of my friends in Iowa. The hunter in these pictures is Shawn Peterson, who is one of the Guides and Directors for SYC Ministries of Northwest Iowa. I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn during the SYC deer hunt this past fall. I contacted him to congratulate him on his hunt and asked for permission to use these pictures and his story on my blog. Shawn most graciously accepted my request, so here is his account of how the hunt unfolded:
"I finally got a keeper on the first day of late muzzleloader. Made a 2 hour stalk, through knee deep snow, to get within 60 yards of this buck and doe bedded in a thicket. Tried to grunt the buck out, but no luck. Figured this stalk would end quicker, but I ended up sitting against a tree in the fenceline from 10:00 AM to 3:00PM until the doe finally came out. Left my backpack down in the timber with my snacks and water, ended up eating a little snow to get me through. The doe fed out in front of me for an hour, then bedded down at 100 yards facing me for 35 minutes. I couldn't move at all and started cramping up. She finally got up about 4:40 PM and continued to mill around, while looking back into the thicket periodically. I was hoping he was still there. The buck finally stepped out about 4:50 and gave me a 100 yard shot. I dropped him in his tracks with my new Knight Long Range Hunter, which could be my new favorite gun. The bitter sweet problem was that he flopped his head a couple of times and snapped both of his antlers off and I was sick. He had to be within a couple of days of shedding his antlers. The doe that he was tending eventually worked downwind of the buck and allowed me a chance to reload. When she was about 10 yards from the buck, I popped her also. She ran about 75 yards. This was a hunt that I will never forget. The work to get them out was even harder, I'm glad that I at least took my snowmobile. My day finally ended about 10:00 PM. The buck is a typical 10-point with split brow tines and gross scores just over 158", the first mature buck I've taken with a gun for over 11 years. My success comes from one thing, and that’s because God continues to bless me on my hunting endeavors."
Congratulations on a great hunt and a great buck, Shawn! If sitting there all day in those kind of conditions isn't dedication, well then, I just don't know what is! That is definitely a bruiser of a buck and a hunt to remember!