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November 5: John O'Dell

This hunt actually started about a week earlier on October 27th when a cold front came through the state of Iowa. Dave could not wait to get to go hunt with our good friends Cole and Cody Winther of SW Iowa Outfitters so he called up good buddy and DOD team member Dave Kramer. You can read the details in the October journal entry but Dave basically shot a great 151” buck his first afternoon of hunting.

Fast forward to Saturday November 3rd and now I am in Iowa and I am up to bat behind the bow. Day 1 we saw lots of deer and several immature bucks. Another hunter in camp shot a 180” giant the same day. Day 2 we had a big 160” 9 pointer walk by our tree at 5 steps, but Dave said it was too dark to get good video so I had to let the deer walk. No matter how many times I have done that over the years it does not get any easier! Day 3 was one of those magical days that any whitetail hunter dreams of. On November 5th Dave and woke up at 4:00AM to the sound of heavy rain and wind. After reviewing the weather forecast it looked as though the rain and wind would subside around 10 or 11AM, so we decided to put on our Triple Threat water proof Scent Blocker suits and go in to our set under the cover of darkness and the nasty weather and then wait for the deer to start moving.

Well you know what they say about the best laid plans only this time everything worked out perfectly. We were hunting two bucks in particular. A 160” clean 10 pointer and a solid 150”s 8 pointer called double forks based on his matching long split G2”s. Not long after the rain stopped a 2.5 year old buck came in and worked a scrape 5 steps from our tree. I heard a grunt and looked over my shoulder and saw double forks dogging a doe not 30-40 yards from our tree. Unfortunately, Dave and I were pinned down because of the young buck. So FINALLY the your buck works off and Dave grabs the camera and I grab my trusty PSE Dream Season Evo. Now double forks is at 80-90 yards still dogging that doe so I grab my MAD Hyper Growl deer call and start trying to challenge the big boy. Not two minutes later I hear a twig snap and look back over shoulder only to see the big 10 pointer 7 steps behind our tree downwind and looking right at us. Thank goodness for our Mossy Oak Infinity camo and Scent Blocker suits because he just looked at double forks and the doe and took a few steps forward and luckily for us he stepped behind a tree. It was now or never so I told Dave to turn and get on him and I drew my bow. When he came out from behind the tree he stopped with just one little limb between him and me. I could not have hit that limb if I shot at it 10 times but you guessed it, when I released my carbon force Bow Madness arrow, it hit the branch and went right over the 10 pointers back. Luckily for me he stopped again at about 40 yards and this time my arrow found it’s mark and we watched him fall from the tree.

What a hunt! That was one of the most intense few minutes of deer hunting I have ever experienced by far! Dave and I have now harvested 5 P&Y class bucks at SW Iowa Outfitters with Cole and Cody in like 7 or 8 days of hunting. Even more amazing is the fact that we have seen shooter bucks on almost every sit and during the week I hunted this year two other hunters in camp harvested two deer over 180”. The one I eluded to earlier in this story and then a good friend of mine from Florida Mike Dixon shot a 193” giant. Also, who says you can’t pattern mature bucks during the rut? I went to my stand to try to harvest 2 specific deer from Cole’s early season Reconyx pictures and I had both in bow range within a few minutes of each other!

SW Iowa Outfitters is truly a magical place and I already can’t wait to go back again!