As I reflect on another year’s fall hunting season in the bag on this day of the 2021 Winter Solstice. Another example presented itself to again remind me how thankful I was when I left Buffalo, NY at the age of eighteen to join the US Air Force and to see the world. The Air Force then sent me to Omaha. As you may know, I’ve spoken about not having to be hit on the head with a stick to know what a great place the Midwest really is, Iowa even more so, many times through the years.

On early Sunday afternoon, December 5th, while sitting in one of the deer blinds on my farm in Marion County several shots from the south of me abruptly grabbed my attention. Actually, they woke me up from my nap, but I really had not been asleep that long, after all, there wasn’t any drool running down my face yet. A few minutes later I spotted a young eight-point Iowa whitetail buck sitting like The Sphinx in the alfalfa field surrounding my blind. Thinking that’s an unusual way for him to be sitting out in the open like that, within a few seconds he stood up and it was obvious he was wounded. As he started to limp off, I had to finish him off for whoever had shot him. Three seconds later, he was down with one shot from my 357 Remington Maximum CVA Apex rifle, it’s 150gr Raptor bullet dropping him in his tracks.

I walked down to him, verified he was dead, and for a few moments was lamenting that I’d have to use my first season farm tag on this somewhat smaller buck. I put those thoughts out of my mind and then backtracked his blood trail till I found a group of hunters standing on the road at the southwest corner of my farm, trying to figure out by looking at the platt maps on their smartphones how to get ahold of the landowner (me) to ask permission to follow up on the blood trail and recover the deer. I waved them down onto my property and led them to their deer.

As the group field dressed and the buck, I of course took a few minutes to give them my IFC business card and asked them to spread the word on The Freedom Amendment next November. It’s a small world, and it turned out the young man who shot the deer when it was across the road used to babysit my grandkids in Des Moines with his then-girlfriend, now soon to be his wife.

Ethical Hunters, every one of them, and I’m reminded of why I love Iowa and Iowans: They do the right thing without having to be told by someone in government to do so.

Shoot Straight, Speak The Truth, and Never Surrender Our Liberties.

Dave Funk

President, Iowa Firearms Coalition