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First Iowa Bowkill


I have finally, after this being my fourth season here, gotten my first Iowa bowkill! I was very excited and feel blessed to have harvested this buck. I do have some history with this deer, having a couple encounters last season. I had one encounter in particular that was more special than others. My cousin, who is an avid duck hunter, came to my place for his first hunt for the elusive whitetail. We had this deer come in on Sunday, 11-14-14, that I believed was a three year old, and have let walk one other time previously. He came in, I was videotaping, and I gave Jim the green light on taking the buck. I had already told Jim that he could shoot whatever he wanted...it would potentially be his first kill ever on a deer. He caught some of Jim's movement, did the head bob, and turned back the other way. That was the last time I saw that deer in 2014.

Now, back to last Saturday, 11-14-15. Jim came up again for a weekend bowhunt with me at my place. That morning movement was incredible, seeing 6 or 7 different bucks and a handful of does. We had one encounter where we rattled in a young buck, and shortly after a nice mature 8 ptr came in from a different direction. I told Jim, nice buck and to go ahead and take him if he could get a shot. The buck did not commit all the way to us and stopped at about 35 yards, giving me a shot but I was videotaping, and Jim did not feel comfortable with that shot. So he walked on. About noon we decided to jump down for a quick lunch and get back out about 1:00. I then told Jim there was a good chance we could get that 8 if we broke up into two different spots and he made his way back through. So we set up about 80 yards apart for the afternoon. This information I found out afterwards, but Jim very shortly after getting up and settled had a nice deer messing around in the creek. He watched him for about 10 minutes or so, then the deer came up the creekbed and milled around for a minute. Then, in Jim's words, that deer's whole demeanor changed. His head popped up high, he stomped a couple times, then made a bee line in my direction...he had seen the decoy!!! So I am just sitting there, only been ready for maybe 20 minutes and was not expecting any action as of this point. Turning my head back behind me to the left, there he was. I instantly knew it was that 8 from earlier that morning. I already knew I wanted to take this deer. He was all brissled up with ears coming backwards, and his posture meant business! He stopped for a moment, licking his chops like crazy, then ran around to the downwind side of the decoy. As he ran around it, I pulled back and put the 20 yd bead on him waiting for the shot. After posturing up and scent checking the decoy, he started to act a little nervous. I could tell he didn't quite think the smell was accurate to what he was looking at. I knew it was now or never. He was quartering to me, but I felt comfortable at that distance that I could make the shot. I released that arrow, hit my target, and he gave that high back leg kick in the air. He bolted off after a few bounds in some high grass, hit the deck. That was another sign to me that it was a good hit. He got up ran across the field and headed north up the property line. I wantched him as he legs got weak and his steps were making him take big dips toward the ground. Moments later he went down and expired very quickly! There he was, laying about 100 yards from where I shot him...my first Iowa bowkill!



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