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Iowa has a reputation for world-class whitetail hunting but if there was ever any doubt, Terry’s two harvests just added further evidence.  

The first deer in this story is a callback to 2016 when brother Mark took the now famous, 217 2/8-inch Iowa monster named “Danger.” The reason that buck stepped out and offered Mark a shot was because a young upstart of a buck was violently thrashing a tree and called Danger out of heavy cover, hence the name “Danger’s Calling.”

In 2016 Danger’s Calling was already a good deer at three-and-a-half years old. He became a gross Boone & Crockett at five-and-a-half in 2018 and topped the list of target bucks.

Terry kept watch over the afternoon landscape and was startled to see the giant standing in the middle of a nearby bean field. He never saw him arrive, it was as though the buck just appeared. Mark, being the mad scientist he is, put him in just the right place.

Danger’s Calling proceeded in Terry’s direction to a scrape on the edge of the green field and began working it and vigorously thrashing a small tree like a mortal enemy…almost identically to the way he called Danger out two years prior.

Satisfied with his work and the stunning show he put on at the scrape, Danger’s Calling started across the field and directly toward the blind. At 31 yards, the buck was finally within bow range. Terry was slightly rattled at the sight of this monster and to make the shot, he had to crouch, changing the geometry of his draw which sent the arrow just under the buck, missing its intended target. The deer darted off the field. Swing and a miss.

Terry sat there stunned with the wind taken out of his sails. Shockingly, ten minutes later, Danger’s Calling was back and working a scrape at 28 yards quartering away.

Terry would get a rare second chance at this elusive animal, but the next opportunity put even more pressure on a still-rattled Terry. His focus was on overdrive. At the moment of the shot, the buck rolled forward slightly as Terry punched the trigger on his release putting the shot farther back than he intended. After giving him some time, Terry inspected the scene and found good blood at first, but a building evening rainfall event was fast approaching and washed out the blood trail.  The blood trail quickly faded away.

The following day Mother Nature opened up the skies and brought the onslaught of a 48-hour monsoon that flooded portions of the property making it impossible to find Danger’s Calling. Never giving up on the search or hope, relentlessly they exhausted all measures to find the buck until Mark, Wade and Terry finally tracked him down. Terry was relieved that he could finally place his tag on the deer despite the incredible odds against them. He was a beautiful buck and one that Terry could not be prouder of. Terry could not thank Mark more for the opportunity for this deer.

But the hunting wasn’t over. Terry still had a doe tag and there are few people who enjoy shooting (and eating) does more than Ole Man Winter himself. His arrow made quick work of a good, healthy doe that expired in just 20 yards.

Iowa is a world-class whitetail destination in part because of the doe harvest quotas the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sets county by county. They also make efforts to get new hunters (especially youths) into the field to experience the adventure of hunting while teaching them common-sense safety practices like wearing blaze orange while gun hunting, tree stand safety practices and positively identifying hunting targets.

Additionally, IDNR coordinates the “Help Us Stop Hunger” or H.U.S.H. program that, during the 2016 hunting season alone, donated enough venison to generate over 634,000 meals to Iowa residents in need. The H.U.S.H. program shows just how generous the hunting community is and what an incredible resource the state has in its deer.

They’re also serious about protecting the state’s herd by making it easy to report instances of wildlife regulation violations via their “Turn In Poachers” program and banning the practice of baiting deer which can accelerate the spread of disease.

If you haven’t hunted Iowa, you should absolutely consider it. There’s literally no place like it in the world. Get started planning your next whitetail adventure by visiting the Iowa DNR and tourism websites at www.iowadnr.gov and www.traveliowa.com.

 

Gear Used:

PSE Decree

Rage Broadhead

Leupold optics

Reconyx trail cameras

Mossy Oak BioLogic

Tim Kjellesvik, DeerCast Editor-In-Chief