October 12: Taylor Byers


Having four years of history with a buck is no easy task. For Taylor Byers, this is exactly what she had when it all culminated in Iowa with her Traditions Muzzleloader. Byers first saw the buck when he was 2 out of the exact same blind she ended up taking him. She didn’t hunt the area when he was 3.5-years old for various reasons, and he showed up again at 4.5-years old and he was 180-inches or more.

The area the buck liked to hang out is not your ideal big, mature buck hotspot. It is only 100 acres, and consists of CRP, cattle pasture, and small draws. The pressure is extensive from neighboring farms as well. But, this big buck like the area and Byers knew it. After four encounters last year with the big buck she named Dakota, her goal this year was to take the giant.

The only problem is EHD hit the area hard, and it late summer Dakota disappeared off the trail cameras on the farm. Byers feared the worst, but she went out last week, after a cold front pushed through, on a hope and prayer Dakota was still alive. Byers, full of anticipation and anxiety, had never been more excited for a hunt.

She got into the blind, which is situated over a food plot consisting of BioLogic turnips, radishes, rye mix, and soybeans, at 4:30 pm with 20-mph winds howling. She did not see a deer until 6:30 pm. Byers looked behind her in the blind, where the beans are, and saw a mature buck. It was Dakota. She watched the buck grow closer for 25-30 minutes. He turned at 140-yards but she wanted to wait.

Finally, the buck started heading their way with purpose. At 80-yards, the 194 2/8-inch buck turned perfectly broadside, and Byers did not miss. After he was hit the deer ran straight towards them and piled up a mere 50-yards from the blind.

It was the first mature buck Byers has seen all year, and the first time seeing her well-known target in weeks. Sometimes it all comes together in the hunters’ advantage.

- Ryan Miloshewski, DeerCast Senior Writer

Gear List

Traditions Muzzleloader


Leupold Scope

Lacrosse Boots


Tenzing Bag

Mossy Oak