When Mossy Oak Made the Difference – Rick Kreuter Tells about Julie’s First Muzzleloader Buck
Editor’s Note: Rick and Julie Kreuter are the hosts of “Beyond the Hunt” that appears on the Outdoor Channel Mondays at 8:30 am EST and Thursdays at 3:30 and 8:00 pm EST. Rick and Julie have been married for 14 years, have hunted together for 15 years and have worn Mossy Oak for 8 years.
I’m often asked what Mossy Oak pattern Julie and I wear. My simple answer is, “Brush”. We live in western Nebraska and typically hunt in drier climates. Most of the foliage has a dried-up brown or tan look to it. There are cottonwoods in the river bottoms. We hunt in open country and from the ground. During hunting season, most of the colors we see are grays, yellows and browns, so the Brush pattern blends-in best. Julie and I have had many hunts where Mossy Oak has been the difference in success or failure.
For instance, Julie’s first muzzleloader buck was taken in Nebraska. This area of Nebraska is called the Sandhills, simply because there are many sand hills there. In the sand hills there are numerous blowouts, depressions in the sand that look like bombs have been dropped there. The foliage in the blowouts is light tan, and in many blowouts, the grass has eroded to just sand and dirt. The big mule deer in this area come in to these blowouts, dig holes and bed there. These areas are also great places for hunters to dig holes and use them as blinds. Wearing our Mossy Oak Brush camo, we virtually disappear in the blowouts.
On this particular hunt, we spotted a tremendous 180-inch mule deer buck about 50 yards in front of us lying in his bed. We got into the same blowout as the buck. After about 3 hours, he stood-up, stretched and looked down the hill. Then he turned, came toward us and started to feed away from us at about 16 to 20 feet. Because we had on Mossy Oak Brush, including face masks and gloves, the buck didn’t spot us. Julie and I have agreed that we want to experience the hunt and watch the animals for as long as we can before we take the shot. For us, watching the animals and capturing them on film is the best part of the hunt. We want to bring our viewers right into the hunt with us and see just how close we can get to a deer if we’re completely camouflaged. Julie never attempted to draw her muzzleloader. We knew this buck wasn’t alarmed, and he couldn’t see or smell us, so we chose to hang-out and film this buck for as long as we could. This type of footage was gold for us.
When the buck finally got out to about 50 yards, we decided that we could move on the buck, reposition and take the shot. We were both lying on our stomachs. Finally I gave Julie the green light to go ahead and take the buck. She rolled over, got in a comfortable shooting position and squeezed the trigger. She hit the buck in the front shoulder and toppled him. She was shooting a Traditions muzzleloader with a Hornady bullet. We easily were able to recover the deer.