The morning of November 6th was a great day to be bow hunting in the great state of Iowa. Mark had been very persistent about us climbing into a particular set that he had hung earlier this year. At this particular set he had a Reconyx with several pictures of great bucks. We had hunted this set the week before with little to no movement. We were hoping in a change in the action. The rut was just starting to explode in southern Iowa and with a southwest wind we decided to head back to the set and see if we could intercept the path of an Iowa giant heading back to bed or chasing a doe. We climbed in about 30 minutes before daylight to give the timber a chance to settle down before the greatly anticipated movement.
Once it began to get light we had high hopes that the deer would start moving. We sat for quite awhile without seeing anything. All of a sudden like a ghost this big mature buck was cruising the bottoms heading our way. I picked up my Nikons and immediately knew the deer as one of the big shooters Mark had plenty of velvet pictures of. The buck had the nickname eleven because of his towering tines making the number 11. He walked right into my shooting lane and presented me with a 23-yard broadside shot. I got to full draw, stopped the buck and settled in for the shot. The arrow hit the one and only limb in sight and deflected right. I hit the deer back and I knew at this point after reviewing the hit we needed to back out and hope that the Rage and PSE combination did its job. We packed up and slipped out of the timber being very careful to not bump the deer. After getting back to the house and talking to Mark we decided that we needed to leave the deer overnight and with temperatures in the thirties I felt that the meat would not spoil and we would go back in the morning in hope for a quick recovery.
After a long sleepless night we headed back in to look for the deer. We got in quietly and inspected the hit sight looking for blood and didn’t have any luck. We decided to split up and move slowly through the timber glassing hopefully spotting the expired buck. After about 30 minutes I spotted the buck and the celebration began. The buck had only made it about 250 yards and there he lay. It was such a relief to get my hands around this Iowa Giant. It was a great ending to a long history with a particular deer that Mark had several photos of and a deer he thought we might run into while hunting this particular set. I can’t thank him enough for putting me on this deer. I would like to wish everyone out there good luck and safe hunting.