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November 5: Rick Malik

When you think of giant whitetails, one place comes to mind….Iowa. After three long years, Gregg and I had finally drawn those coveted Iowa bow tags!! Several years ago, good friends and Drury Outdoors team members, Dave Kramer and Bill Gadient, invited us out to hunt with them. We had a great trip with Gregg missing a 140” buck and Bill taking a huge bodied 8 point. Once Gregg and I had those Iowa tags in hand, we were in constant contact with Dave and Bill. As summer progressed, they were getting great pictures and velvet footage of some great bucks. We rolled into camp and after an uneventful first evening hunt, were excited for our first morning.

That night, Dave showed me some pictures of a great 9-pointer and I went to sleep praying he would make an appearance the next day. Dave and I headed to a stand that sits right at the top of a bluff. After a long climb, we were settled in for the first morning hunt. It didn’t take long. Just after first light I did a brief calling and rattling sequence. No sooner had I finished, when Dave saw a buck chasing a doe 100 yds through the timber. It was the big 9!! No matter what I threw at him, he would not leave the doe. Guess I wouldn’t either! After a half hour, we caught movement on the ridge and saw a small 4-pointer making his way to the stand. He must have seen one of us move up there at 30 feet, because he immediately had us busted. Just then, the big 9 came over the ridge and started working into the scrape that was 10 yds in front of us. When he got to about 40 yds, he stared to get nervous because of the 4-pointer. I thought it was all over. As he slowly made his way in, the little buck became more nervous of him and started to move off. I saw my window of opportunity and quickly ranged where I thought he was headed. Just as he stepped into an opening at 34yds, I drew the X-Force back. My elbow hit the tree and some small limbs forced me to crouch in the stand. I buried my pin and said a quick prayer before sending the arrow on its way. ”Smoked him” was all I could say when I saw the Lumenok slammed home!

I couldn’t believe we actually were able to harvest “THE” buck we were after on the very first time in. That never happens! After a short track job, I had an awesome Iowa in hand! Thank you to both Dave and Bill and their families for tolerating a couple of Pennsylvania whitetail nuts!! We will be back