Even when all the elements for a perfect hunt converge, it’s still critical to use the right gear to support the hunt.

Years ago hunting with Mark, Jared recognized the magic of November 7, 8, and 9. In southern Iowa, these dates correspond with peak whitetail breeding. After all, it was November 9th, 2001 when he watched Mark break a days-long dry spell and kill the infamous Sky Scraper.

It’s no wonder now why these three days are permanently part of Jared’s annual vacation time. 2016 was no different and Jared was in the stand ready for action long before first light on his Iowa farm. Not only was this date prime, a rising barometer, a north wind and a slight drop in temperature made it the ideal big buck killing opportunity, but he made a calculated albeit unorthodox equipment decision.

It’s a classic move; throw up a buck decoy during the rut to instigate a mature deer.  Jared prefers using a doe during this peak time however, since that’s really what the big boys are after. His experience has shown that a buck decoy can spook both does and bucks with its artificial scent. A doe decoy will bring them both in.

On November 9th, with a doe decoy at 22 yards facing away into a Biologic Maximum food plot and doe bedding areas to either side and behind, Jared watched as daylight crept over the farm. Immediately two coyotes entered the field to come harass the decoy. Only one dog survived that encounter as Jared hit the other with a Rage.

Just 30 minutes later, a noise from the west caught his attention; it was a 165 inch, 13 point buck he’d been watching for a few years. The deer was lovesick for the doe decoy and it only took two steps for him to enter a shooting lane at 12 yards before Jared hit him in the heart. 

The buck ran 100 yards before collapsing and while Jared and cameraman were celebrating, a doe entered the field, curious about the statuesque new female on property. He hit her at 18 yards, allowing him to notch his Iowa antlerless tag.

This hunt was another affirmation of what Jared already knew about peak breeding activity in southern Iowa. Since it also coincided with ideal weather conditions, he had to get out into a stand. The doe decoy was the clincher in this equation. It’s hard to say if he would have had so much success so early in the day without it.


As told to Tim Kjellesvik.