Editor’s note: Andy Weichers of Waterloo, Iowa, one of the hosts of Campfire Stories, a TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been shooting CVA muzzleloaders for four years. Andy and his film crew define themselves as blue-collar hunters, since they all have other jobs and hunt and video on their days off and vacations. “The focus of the show is on the hunt, not the people who are a part of our video crew,” Weichers explains.
I took my best buck deer ever with my CVA Accura rifle. I had named this buck “Tempting 10”. When I found this buck, I had planned to let my wife try and take him. I’ve got about 350 trail camera pictures of him. I knew he would score about 135 to 140 points, when I first started getting trail camera pictures of him while he was in the velvet. A buck that only will score 135 to 140 is right on the edge of being a shooter or a non-shooter on our farm. So, I was always tempted to shoot him, but I decided I’d let his antlers grow another year. During the last part of July, his rack seemed to explode, with his antlers getting much bigger and much heavier, and we named him “Tempting 10.”
We had set up near a cedar thicket on the last day of muzzleloader season, and our tree stands were over a small stream that flowed into a larger creek on the south side of a ravine. The first deer we saw that day were two does coming out of a thicket that then splashed through the stream and came up close to our stand. My cameraman was filming the two does when he heard a limb break. He turned around quickly, looked back at the cedar thicket and spotted this tremendous buck heading our way. He turned the camera and started filming the buck. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was Tempting 10, because of his massive rack. We had seen this buck three evenings before, and I probably could have taken him then. But, we didn’t have enough light to shoot the video camera, so I let him walk. Because this day was the end of deer season, I decided I’d take the buck. I watched Tempting 10 as he came in and drank in the little stream just below our tree stand. He was seven yards from the base of the tree when I squeezed the trigger of my CVA Accura. That buck scored just a little over 158.
I’d never seen such a dramatic change take place as the one that happened with Tempting 10. Over almost a seven day period, he went from being a marginal shooter to being a fine trophy. This advantage is one we have by putting our trail cameras out in the summertime and checking them fairly frequently. We can watch the antler growth take place all summer long and know what a buck will look like during hunting season. I’m not sure I would’ve recognized Tempting 10, if I hadn’t had trail camera pictures after his antlers grew so rapidly in July. So, one tactic you may want to consider is to put your trail cameras out during the summer, identify the bucks you think you may want to take, and then watch their antlers grow from the beginning of the velvet until the rack reaches hard-antler stage.
If you’re looking to have a successful muzzleloader hunt this season, check out the limited edition muzzleloader giveaway CVA is holding right this minute and get yourself properly equipped!
The winner of the CVA Facebook Giveaway will receive a new limited edition CVA Wolf .50 caliber muzzleloader with special Campfire Stories TV flame pattern! This new pattern dipped on the CVA Wolf Stock by our friends at Campfire Stories TV is one of a kind. Entries only valid for contestants within the contiguous United States. Entry period from October 1st, 2012, thru October 31st, 2012, 12pm Noon. Drawing and the winner announcement on or about November 7th, 2012. (No Purchase Necessary, Click here for complete CVA Facebook giveaway sweepstakes rules.
For more deer hunting tips, check out “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” a new eBook for Kindle by John E. Phillips. You also can go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks and type in the name of the book to find it. Too, you can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or smartphone.
Images courtesy John Phillips/CVA