By Mark Kenyon

We’ve talked a lot here on Wired To Hunt this past season about highs and lows. We’ve all experienced them during our hunting careers, but few I know have felt such a dramatic rollercoaster of emotions this season as our teammember Ross Hausmann. As many of you saw in Wired To Hunt 2012 Episode #6, Ross had an incredible hunt in which he arrowed a really nice mature Iowa 9 pointer, but was never able to recover him. I was there to film that whole encounter, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone so disappointed in themselves and a situation. Ross understandably took it really hard. Around a week later, disaster struck again. This time Ross was filming his wife hunt a nearby farm, and a shot opportunity presented itself for Kendal. She arrowed a nice mature 8 pointer, but because the deer dramatically “jumped the string”, her shot hit high and again no recovery was made. Given these two heartbreaking hunts, Ross and Kendall were feeling pretty low and the season looked like it was going to end in depressing fashion. But the late shotgun season had come in, and with low expectations Ross decided to head back out to the farm he shot his buck on one more time.

To this point, the late season hunting had been slow.  Ross had  been seeing does, but buck sightings were limited.  That said, he saved this farm for until they got single digit temps and a good moon phase.  They tend to move into this farm to bed on the south facing points when it gets cold.  That night, Ross got set up in the same stand that he had shot his 9 pointer from. After frustratingly spooking a bunch of deer from under the stand on his walk in, Ross finally settled in for the evening.  Soon several does and fawns came running through as though they were being chased.  Five minutes later a lone doe came through walking along the same trail.  And about 15 minutes later, much to Ross’ surprise, a buck came along the same trail out of a winter bedding area. He first spotted him at 25 yards heading down the trail that would bring him to 10 yards and broadside, and immediately knew he was a shooter.  Ross stopped him in a shooting lane and shot him just several paces away.  He took off running about 100 yrds before piling up at the bottom of the ridge.

Nearly two months after one of his most discouraging moments as a hunter, Ross now sat in the same stand with his biggest smile of the season. Perseverance, determination and smart hunting paid off big time as Ross finally had his Iowa redemption in the form of a dandy 140″ buck!