Minnesotan Casey Mundt drew a coveted late-season Iowa muzzleloader tag, and took two weeks off to make sure he’d have a chance to bag one of the Hawkeye State’s giants. “On January 2nd, I was sitting in a makeshift ground blind on the edge of the timber, and watching a field,” Mundt says. “About 4 pm, 20 does entered the field and fed past me and had no clue I was there. I saw no deer for 45 minutes. Then I could hear a deer walking slowly through the timber toward that same fenceline, so I started sliding my gun around so I could be ready in case it was a buck. I was so lucky I did, because when he jumped the fence into that field at 80 yards, he spotted me instantly! By then I’d slid the gun up and was looking at him through the scope. I could see the huge brows, and I knew he was a shooter. He took one step back, then another, and when he turned to go I put the crosshairs on his shoulder I shot. When he ran off I wasn’t even sure I’d hit him. My buddies and I looked for a bit but decided to come back in the morning when I stumbled on him, stone dead.” The 7-1/2-year-old 9-point had 26-inch main beams, 6-inch bases, and a 19-inch inside spread, and grossed 176-6/8 B&C. What a way to start the new year.