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November 5: Stephen Parker

The first ten days of November I am usually in Iowa running camera for Mark, but this year we added a twist. I finally drew a non-resident tag and Mark told me to bring my X-Force this year, because I was going to get a chance at a monster Iowa whitetail! Mark had crushed the Big 8 on the 5th so I was in the driver's seat.

My first morning up to bat we went to an Ameristep Dream Season blind set up on an Ameristep Brush Hog, the movement was short and minimal and we didn't have any luck. We decided to sit the same Dream Season blind later that evening and to bring a Flambeau Boss Buck to draw them in. We got the decoy set up and settled in for a brutal sit, arctic blast doesn't really describe it . We had sat for a couple of hours before we spotted the buck we had slipped in to kill. A mega stud, probably a 180" class buck, came out 125 yards from our blind and thats when I got my first taste of Iowa's version of buck fever. I called to the monster as he walked across the BioLogic Maximum field, but he wasn't interested in what I was selling. However, as a result of our efforts to get the 180 to come in, another shooter came busting in to our left and he was within bow range the instant we spotted him. This buck continued on his way to downwind the calling he had came in to investigate. I tickled the horns ever so lightly and he made an about face and started to come back in.

I was in panic mode at that point and had made some noise with the horns as I laid them back down to grab my bow. The buck was getting nervous, but he had spotted the Boss Buck and stuck around long enough for me to get a 37 yard broadside shot and he piled up within 100 yards of the blind. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine. This is the biggest buck I have ever killed and I am still trying to let it all soak in. Hunting whitetails during the rut is a truly special event, but when you are doing it in Iowa, its something that you will never forget. Thanks to Mark for letting me get behind the bow and fulfill my dream of hunting these giant whitetails in Iowa!

-Stephen Parker