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girl with muzzle loader buck

Muzzle Loader Memory

This hunting season has been nothing but hard work, patience, dedication… rain!

On the morning of New Jersey bow season opener, it was pouring rain, and of course I went out in it… but saw nothing moving in the area. Later, I went back out for an evening hunt and I had three bucks come out to me at the same time, following one another.  However, I was unable to harvest one of those bucks, because for early bow season, it’s “earn a buck,” which means you must harvest a doe first. Nonetheless, opening day was exciting with all the buck action I was seeing, and it gave me even more confidence for the rest of the season.

Wanted: Solo Doe

I sat just about every evening after work, waiting for that solo doe to walk in, and I just was having no luck. I was seeing deer, but they were either too far away, with fawns, or were bucks.

Finally, on September 19th, I kicked off my 2018 hunting season when I harvested a mature solo doe with my bow. I couldn’t have been more thankful!

I continued to check the trail cameras and scout new areas, looking to punch my buck tag. There were numerous young bucks coming to the bait or checking out the area I was hunting, but not any buck I wanted to fill my tag with.  All the bucks I was seeing still needed a few years to reach maturity.

Wanted: Punched Buck Tag

October was about the same as September, as I saw young bucks and does coming in. I was able to harvest another doe that came in with a broken leg and could barely walk.

As I continued checking trail cams, a couple of our shooters were hitting our bait piles or scrapes, but just at night. They became nocturnal and only does were coming during shooting light.  November was coming, and that meant rut season for bucks. And, muzzle loader season was right around the corner.

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I took the time on the weekends to shoot my muzzle loader to make sure it was dialed in for the first days of the season.  I sat both days at the end of November and I was able to lock in on a mature doe, 80 yards out in the field. She only ran about 30 yards until we found her.

The following week for us was 6-day firearm, and I knew that any deer we’ve had on camera will soon be moving all over, so we would likely have a chance to see new bucks come in the area. However, 6-day firearm came and went and I still had my muzzle loader buck tag waiting to be punched. I continued to sit the days that were open for muzzle loader season, hoping to punch my buck tag before the year was up.

Muzzle Loader Season Magic

That day finally came, December 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm! That is when the wait finally ended and I was able to fill my last tag for muzzle loader, and fill it with an incredible buck.  I had to work the morning of the 26th at 5 am until 1:30 pm. I got home, changed, and my dad and I went out to both sit in an evening stand with the muzzle loader.

I got in the stand around 2 pm.  The wind was blowing in my favor, the weather was perfect, and it was quiet. Around 2:20 pm, I kept hearing something to my left but saw it was just some squirrels chasing each other. I turned to look to my right… and that’s when I caught a glimpse of his antlers.

Love At First Crab Claw

The only thing I could see at first was the crab claw on the left side.  When he walked a little farther out of the laurels he turned to look next to him and that’s when I knew he was a shooter.  My heart started to race, my breathing got heavy, and my hands started to shake.  I reached to grab my gun, although very slowly, since he kept looking around curious about something. His tail was going up and down and he acted calm as he walked the area.

I finally got the gun half way onto the shooting rail when he turned to look in my direction.  I thought he could hear my breathing, because in my head, I thought I was so loud. So, I hid my mouth in my scarf and took a deep breath.

Please Mr. Buck, Turn Broadside

moved the gun up to look at him through the scope.  I still couldn’t believe this buck just walked out in front of me. And, it was a buck we had never seen before. He went 10 yards behind the pile and made a half circle and then looked straight toward me. I had the cross hairs directly on his chest and was debating about shooting him right there.  I thought to myself “he’s going to take two steps left or right to be broad side and that’s when I’ll shoot.”

Sure thing, he took two steps to his left looking to my right, stood completely broadside, and I knew that was my shot.

Breathe… Trigger… Smoke… Buck Down!

woman with muzzle loader buck

I took one last deep breath and squeezed the trigger.  Through the black powder smoke, I saw him jump in the air and do the famous kick, and took off.  I watched him run directly away from me and then I heard the crashing and saw the white of his tail and that was it.

Now, my nerves kicked in again and my heart was racing. I took a deep breath and couldn’t believe what had just happened.  My dad heard my shot from across the field and texted me to ask if that was me who shot.

I was in total shock.  We waited a good 45 minutes until we went to go look. My dad stayed in his stand hoping something would come out since it was still early.

My boyfriend came to help me track. We bean following the blood trail, and not 50 yards away, we saw his white belly sticking out in all the green laurels.  I couldn’t believe that I harvested this amazing, mature whitetail buck! Especially since it was my first buck with my CVA Muzzle loader!! This was definitely an N1 Moment that I will never forget!

The Year N Review 2018 | Relive The Unforgettable Moments

Relive some of the hunting, fishing and outdoor highlights of 2018 in this Year N Review special edition of the N1 Outdoors® N1 Minute™.

Join us as we take a look back at the unforgettable moments of 2018… stick with us for a special Year N Review in this N1 Outdoors N1 Minute….

2018 held some great N1 Moments for us here at N1 Outdoors…

From Hybrid fishing on Clark’s Hill Lake… to fly fishing in East Tennessee… we even noodled some catfish… I got to share in the joy of helping my business partner, Maston, find an archery buck he thought may never be found… And my other business partner, Josh, shared his secret deer mineral recipe with all of you.

We got to work with the phenomenally talented wildlife artist, Daniel Cliburn, on a new deer hunting shirt design… and we also got to talk shop with a world record holder.

But, more than that, we got to share in your N1 Moments as well.

And that’s what makes moments outdoors so special… sharing them with friends and family.

Thank you to those who read and watch our content and purchase and wear our apparel. We hope you have a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and a Happy New year. We hope 2019 is your best yet, and remember… where the moments happen…. we’ll meet you there… we’ll see you next year.

east tennessee fly fishing pic

East Tennessee Fly Fishing Surprise

The following is how my wife turned her pick-pocket skills into an East Tennessee fly fishing surprise and an N1 Moment for me.

Fly Fishing experience?

I had dabbled in fly fishing while in college, but I hadn’t done it in years and would still be considered very much a rookie fly fisherman.

Then, in 2013, while on a family vacation to Sevierville, Tennessee, my wife surprised me with a guided fly fishing trip. She had arranged for me to go on an all-day, smallmouth bass fishing float with Frontier Anglers TN.

Smallmouth bass fishing is fun. They are very aggressive fish and are a blast to catch. But, when you put a hook N1 with a fly rod, the experience goes to another level.

Frontier Anglers TN owner, Josh Pfeiffer, was my guide on this extremely hot July day. But, although the weather was sweltering hot, the fishing was hot as well.

Unfortunately, in addition to hooking several nice smallmouth, I also hooked Josh’s hat 3 consecutive casts (I told you I was a fly fishing rookie, remember?) Thank goodness for patient fishing guides.

I tucked that trip away in the unforgettable outdoor moments files, but didn’t fish the area again… until 2018. And, this trip was as much of a surprise as the last one!

East Tennessee Fly Fishing Surprise

It was Father’s Day, 2018. My wife and two daughters gave me a few gifts like they do every year. The last gift was an envelope. I opened it up, and inside was a gift certificate for… you guessed it, a fly fishing trip with Josh Pfeiffer. And while I was certainly excited about getting to go fly fishing again with Josh, there was more to the story…

About a month prior to receiving this gift, I thought it would be great to contact Josh and see if we could set up a time to do a little fly fishing and film some instructional fishing videos. Even after 5 years, I still had his business card in my wallet. So, I emailed him to see what he thought of my idea. He emailed me back and said he might be interested in working something out. But, I got sidetracked and never closed the deal.

My pick-pocket wife

My wife, who had no idea I had been communicating with Josh, thought that sending me fishing for the weekend would be a great Father’s Day idea. But, she couldn’t remember anything about who had taken me five years earlier. So what did she do? She went through my wallet, of course!

She found Josh’s business card and called him to book the trip. I later asked Josh if he thought it was strange that both my wife and myself were separately contacting him. He said he wasn’t really sure what to think, so he didn’t say anything to my wife. Smart man.

Fly Fishing with an old friend

So, a few weeks later, I was back on the water with Josh, five years removed from my last fly fishing trip with him. On this second trip, we fished for trout. And just like the previous trip, Josh’s knowledge of East Tennessee fly fishing didn’t disappoint. Over a two day span, I caught close to 30 rainbow trout. And while I love to put a hook N1, that was only part of what made the trip so special.

I wanted to go fly fishing again with Josh. My wife wanted me to go fly fishing with Josh. But, neither of us knew what the other was thinking. What resulted was a great surprise, a few laughs, and some great fishing.

I thought to myself, you know, this is what we always say at N1 Outdoors. It’s not the size of the fish or the wild game. It’s the unforgettable moments and memories that are made outdoors with friends and family. That’s what we love to celebrate. This trip was no different.

I’ll do some East Tennessee fly fishing again… and this time it will be a lot sooner than five years!

-By Giles Canter

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