Success in 2011
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A. Parris, PE, PLS
2011 (Found March 8, 2012)
The lost is found. My great friend Ken P found my Wide
10 on March 8 while shed hunting. Please refer to my 2011 Deer Blog,
November 18, for the full story of the hunt.
Ken found the body in some very heavy cover, so heavy
that a bloody lip and multiflora rose scars were the price for the
find. The deer never traveled too far from where we found the last
blood. In fact while doing a body search in November I walked within a
few yards of his final resting place.
The buck's gross score is 168 with a couple of broken
abnormal points and nicks off the end of a couple of tines. He's
basically a gross Boone. My taxidermist has a cape and the Game Warden
is well in the loop.
The only thing missing are some success photos. Trail
camera photos will have to do.
Key measurements include a 22-7/8 inch inside spread,
a 28-0 inch right beam and a 26-2/8 inch left beam. Wow!
On November 4, 2011, I was very fortunate to harvest
this massive sixteen point with my Mathews. I first caught a glimpse of
him as he crested a ridge interested in my tending grunt calls. He was
standing behind some thick brush and I initially couldn't see his head.
After surveying the heavy brush for a few minutes he moved down the hill
to within 70 yards. During that time I had a chance to get the
binoculars on him and realized he was a definite shooter. As he came
down the hill I initially thought he had something caught on his main
beam like a plastic bag. When he reached the bottom of the hill he took
a couple minutes and opened a scrape. He then stood on top of his scrape
facing away from me and I realized what I thought was a plastic bag was
just his massive main beams. It was now or never. One short grunt from
my grunt call spun him 180 degrees and brought him running into my
shooting lane at ten yards. I had the best intentions of being at full
draw when he stepped into range, but I have be honest and say I had to
take my release off the bow to grab hold of the tree as I'd been awe
struck by his mass, size, and rapid approach. So, there I stood with the
largest deer I'd seen all season at ten yards and I was not at full
draw. As he turned away slightly to rake a nearby sapling and show his
dominance I got pulled back on him and took a deep breath.
Unfortunately, now he stood there frozen looking directly away from me.
After giving him thirty seconds or so to turn on his own, I give him a
subtle "brrrp", making him spin on a dime. He turned so
quickly I couldn't get a shot and now he stood facing me looking
directly at brush behind the base of my tree a mere ten yards away. At
this time I had been at full draw for what seemed to be two minutes and
all I could think was I need to seal the deal. He's at ten yards! So as
he stands scouring the heavy brush below me I'm thinking to myself if I
don't harvest this monster I'll kick myself for months. I made a few
prayers as I held steady waiting for him to turn and give me a shot.
Finally, after what seemed forever, a squirrel rustled the leaves to my
left turning him for the perfect broadside shot. Once I released my
arrow all I could see was pumping red blood pumping as he plowed through
the brush. He officially grosses 194 inches and is definitely a deer of
It was only due to the generosity of the property
owner and help from good friends that I was able to harvest this
monster. I feel very blessed. Shortly after, I learned that the sheds
from the previous spring had been found and were unmistakably off this
deer having matching main beam mass and his unique characteristics.
Miller - Slaughter House Hay Bail Blinds
Great ending to a long season! Hunted a cut corn field
next to some big timber on a farm that I have overlooked in the past.
WNW wind made it a perfect sit along a fence line. I got set up at about
3:00 PM and thought the wind would keep the deer in the timber until
Around 4:30 PM the wind died down and the deer started
coming out into the field. I saw many does and a few good bucks that
will for sure be on my hit list for next year. The wind finally calmed
down enough for this big boy to make his way out of the timber. He
jumped the fence and the rest was history. He ran about 100 yards and
dropped dead. A big thanks goes out to the land owners for helping me
drag and load my deer.
Shot this big guy last night a little after 5pm. Had
seen him the night before and knew he was a shooter but couldn’t get
him close enough. Set up in a different spot last night and right about
5pm deer started to work through the draw I was sitting in. He finally
showed at the back of the pack but he hung up behind a tree and I couldn’t
get a shot. Had an 8pt right on top of me and knew he was going to bust
me soon so something had to happen. This guy then took one more step and
I dropped him at 75 yards. Great hunt and much needed after a
frustrating bow season.
He goes a ways up and is real thick but doesn’t
score as well because of shorter tines and the broken brow. Rough score
Here's a picture of Rachel's buck with a little doctoring on the
background and the story as told by Rachel.
Rachel Garst, age 54, of rural Guthrie County, shot this fine 10 pointer
on Sunday morning, December 4th, 2011. Rachel was walking through the
timber with her 20 gauge when she heard a sound behind her and saw a
huge buck trotting north up the side of the ridge she had just walked
down. She turned around, got into position, and took a 40 yard shot when
the buck stopped broadside to her. Rachel put a Remington Copper Solid
through the vitals and the deer dropped dead after a short run.
The massive buck sported a 2 foot spread and heavy long main beams, with
a gross score over 180 inches. The mount should be beautiful, and the
meat will feed Rachel and her three kids with no fear of lead
contamination, because the ammunition was made of non-toxic copper.
"The best thing was my 15-year-old daughter had joined our deer
hunt for the first time this year, as a walker, and she had helped spook
the buck in my direction," said Rachel. "Boy, was it great
that she had a chance to see this magnificent animal just moments before
her Mom bagged it."
Andrew R. and I went hunting on Nov 16, 2011. We got in the tree stands
around 11:00 A.M. There were deer running everywhere that day.
I saw a doe south of me around 11:45 a.m. behind her was walking the
buck I ended up shooting. I grunted and he looked my way. I grunted
again and he walked my way and gave me a 7 yard shot. He ran off and
died about 40 yards away from me.
About a 1/2 hour later I climbed out of my tree for
the recovery. He had 15 points and scored 160" as a non-typical. It
was my biggest buck ever with a bow. I went and got Andrew from his
stand to help me drag him out. When we were dragging him out Andrew
spotted a big bedded buck about 100 yards away. The buck got up and and
came our way. I grunted to him when he was in the ditch to keep him
coming our way. He was only 15 yards away from us and Andrew shot him
and he ran off and died 25 yards from us. His deer scored 151 3/8 as a
main frame 8 pointer with 2 kickers.
We had 2 bucks scoring over 150" shot less than an hour apart. We
had a awesome day in the woods.
Chris Kitt & Andrew R.
Check out my website at:
www.thundervalleyia.com or on facebook
My nephew Justin Jacques shot this great 12 point last night just at
dark. He had a flurry of activity the last hour of the day. With a one
antlered buck winding him at 40 yards, a small 4 point winding him at 15
yards. Five does feeding on crab apples just below him, two other does
feeding by at 12 yards, when a doe being followed by this buck walked by
at 20 yards just as light was failing. A perfect shot, deer ran 40 yards
and was down.
Somewhere in Iowa
Watched these bucks along with 3 smaller ones go into a steep little
creek. I snuck in from the south after we got some posters in position.
I got within 70 yards when I saw the taller buck stand up, I pulled up
and took a shot. Then he and the other 2 bucks I could see disappeared
over the bank. I ran to the edge of the creek and saw 4 bucks running to
the northwest with a nice one in the back of the group. So I thought I
must of missed my first shot. That's when I took a shot at the running
deer and connected. In all the excitement I went to cross the creek and
the one I thought I had missed was lying dead. It all happened so fast
and I wasn't planning on shooting 2 but sometimes it just works that
way. We had plenty of tags to fill. Thanks to everyone in the group for
all their help. We had a lot of fun.
PI Note: Party hunting is legal in Iowa during shotgun
Greteman (Assist from Dad Dave)
Somewhere in Iowa
Our group was all in ground blinds built of
corn-stubble bales & plywood tops expecting the weather change. A
little after 7:00 AM opening morning this big guy bedded in front of
Joel at a distance of 90 yards. Shortly after 9:00 AM I left my blind
& headed Joel’s direction. Joel saw me & signaled me to get
down. As soon as I removed my pack, Joel fired, hitting him while still
bedded. I looked to the west from my spot & saw him standing at 40
yards looking Joel’s direction. I fired & hit him in the neck to
finish him off for Joel.
It was a thrill to get the assist! The buck green
scored over 230 inches with 28 scored points & we can’t wait to
see the certified score in 60 days. Thanks for all your help!
Joel & David
Somewhere in Iowa
November 10th was the first full day I could spend in
the stand in 2011. In fact, the day before I logged the first 5 hours I
could in the tree. The night before I had great action with tons of
baldies getting chased by little scrubs. The action was definitely
Big northwest winds on the 9th and 10th confined me to
the stand tucked into a few rows of pines and cedars. The morning of the
10th was stingy. Handful of does and a couple of dinks were around and
that was it. A clear full moon night in my opinion makes mornings stink.
Watched a medium 8 point tend a doe about 300 yards out. They laid down
at 8:30 a.m. and didn't move until I moved them at 4:30 p.m.. Knowing
that doe was not moving at all made me think nothing else was moving. I
was right. The day was slow.
At 4 o'clock a small little buck showed up on the
northeast side of the ridge. He got run off but I didn't see by what.
That second this guy showed up and I glassed him to get a better feel on
his size. DROP TINE!! I don't have the luxury of being able to hunt
nearly as much as I would like and have been hunting really good areas
for many years. But I have never seen a drop. My buddy told me of him so
he was on my mind. He wasn't big but big enough to take. So needless to
say my heart was coming out of my chest. First time I can say that I
truly had buck fever. I am not Robin Hood on good days so this was going
to be dicey.
He rolled up perfectly and I stopped him. Then
panicked. Then made a horrible shot. For whatever reason the broadhead
found an artery. The high pressure blood loss was major. He even did the
I'm-about-to-die tail swoosh 100 yards away. After he disappeared, I
launched a practice arrow from the stand into a pile of grass and
learned exactly what I knew---it was the moment, not the equipment.
So I stood for about another 5 minutes and swore off
bow hunting, again. It's a lot like booze and twice as addictive. Hit
the ground looking for practice arrow. It's lost in the grass. Saw the
buck come out of the pines and run towards where the 8 pt and doe have
been bedded all day. He was losing big time amounts of blood. He didn't
come out of the grass bed and I would have seen him if he did. So
because I am too curious I walked to the end of pines which meet up with
the grass looked for blood. In doing that I kicked up the 8pt and his
queen. But no drop tine. Interesting. So I jumped in the deep grass
ravine to investigate. Didn't take long to find a massive amount of
blood where he laid down. As I got closer I saw him. His head stuck in
the grass as if hiding. I can't explain to you the relief.
Several phone calls to great friends and the posse was
in route. George again showed up to help and take phenomenal pictures.
He's not big and I can't tell you how many points he
has. The only thing I am sure about is that he has a drop tine, I have
great friends, and that I am not giving up bow hunting. Although some of
these friends almost insist I should. Thanks again George!!
Somewhere in Iowa
Mark Toso from Roberts, Wisconsin, used his recurve to
put this beautiful Iowa buck on the ground early on November 1st.
Mark had just enough time to pull the bow into the
stand as the buck walked in and presented a twelve yard shot.
The burly eight pointer had a 26 inch main beam and
weighed well over 200 pounds field dressed.
Somewhere in Iowa
November 3rd was one of those classic mornings. It had
rained and blown really hard the day before, so I was guessing the deer
would be on the move that morning. The first 45 minutes was really slow
– no deer. Then I saw a busted up young ten point come cruising
through on a mission. Ten minutes later, this guy came cruising through.
He was moving pretty slowly all by himself. He was working parallel from
my stand, and then started walking away. I grunted at him a few times,
and he didn’t even look. I finally snort wheezed at him, and he turned
on a dime and came in all puffed up and ready for war. It was awesome.
He came right by the stand and offered me an 18 yd broadside. I let it
go and the shot looked perfect. I was amazed to watch him walk off and
stand for 10 minutes, and then lay down for an hour with head up. I knew
he was hurting. He got up and moved off and laid down again. After
bumping him from his bed, I got out of there and left him overnight. He’d
gone about 100 yards from where I’d last seen him. It was amazing –
he took a hit through one lung and his liver, and was alive 6 hours
after that shot. He was one tough dude. Thanks to a good neighbor for
the help finding him, getting him out, and the photos!
Somewhere in Iowa
John Engels from Marshal Minnesota, made a perfect
shot on this drop-tine buck yesterday at 11 A.M. Cory caught it all on
Later John took an evening doe with a second perfect
shot. Fun hunt with great people!
Somewhere in Iowa
The stars were aligned for me yesterday afternoon when
I spotted a buck tending a doe in some tall prairie grass. I climbed a
tree to get a better look and try to take a picture.
The doe was being blocked from heading south and after 20 minutes she
closed the 400 yards towards my direction to the northwest. Just before
they got within range I pulled my bow up into the tree and as the buck
tried to cut her off again and keep her from some smaller bucks. He
presented a 25 yard broadside shot. The Black Ice did the trick. He
trotted over to the doe, only 20 yards away and the double lung hit took
effect as he dropped. I took some more pictures as a couple smaller
bucks investigated for about 25 minutes.
Gross score is 166 inches on a very large bodied gray
deer with character.
Somewhere in Iowa
I had been hunting in southern Iowa for 4 days and
came home because I thought I had to work the next day. After getting
home around noon I realized I had the next day off so I started getting
ready to go out. I played with the dogs for just a bit and accidently
fell asleep. I woke up at 3:00 pm in a panic and grabbed my gear and
The tree I was going to hunt already had steps so I just packed my stand
in. Before I reached my stand site I realized the wind wasn't going to
work for that stand (the corn was still in downwind) and I had no steps
to hunt anywhere else. I went to the tree pulled steps and started
walking the fence line. Earlier that summer when all of the crops were
in I had seen deer on that fence line but I had never walked it. Over
the hill there was a fence intersection, a creek and a big lone tree.
The creek had a buffer strip on both sides and to the west there were a
few trees. I walked along the creek for about a city block to the trees
and unloaded my gear. For some reason I repacked everything and walked
back to that lone tree. I had 5 tree steps and the tree grew from the
bottom of the ditch…the ditch was about 12 feet deep…not good. I
propped 2 logs against the tree and used them as step number one. With
my five steps and using the branches I ended up climbing to about 20
feet above the bank. I settled in for the hunt.
To the left and to the right were picked bean fields.
Behind me was harvested corn field and directly in front of me was a
small CRP patch with a brushy fence line running along one side. Off in
the distance I could see the creek that led to where I had originally
wanted to hunt. I snapped a few pictures with my camera phone of my
shadow in the tree and then waited.
Around 4:30 pm I glassed a deer walking the creek it
was a doe. She crossed the creek and followed a fence line heading over
the hill away from me. About 15 minutes later I glassed another deer
following the same creek. In the grass I could barely make out that it
was a buck. He disappeared for a few minutes and then appeared on the
fence line following the doe's path…..now I could see he was a shooter
but he was heading away from me. I thought well tomorrow at 4:30 am I
will be on that fence line in a tree and I will be there all day! The
weather was nice and I had seen a dandy buck so it had been a good night….but
in the back of my head I could remember what George always said
"there is something about Halloween Night".
I looked to my right and there was a doe standing
along the CRP patch. She cut across the picked bean field to the creek
and walked by my tree at 20 yards. I looked back to the CRP field and
there was the buck. Of course he didn't walk down to the creek he walked
the edge of the CRP to the fence directly in front of me and stood 70
yards out. When he headed towards me I thought "this is it"
and got ready. He jumped the fence and crossed to my left at 20 yards.
My arrow clicked the rest when I drew and he bolted out to 40 yards and
stood stomping. I thought it was over I had blew it. After an eternity
of stomping he stopped and stared across the picked bean field to the
left. I turned and watched as another buck cut across the field towards
us. I would guess the second buck to be in the 125" to 130"
range. Immediately the larger buck's posture changed his hair bristled
and he began pawing at the ground. The larger buck then turned to the
right and stared. Standing at the edge of the CRP was another buck. The
3rd buck headed towards my tree and stood at 25 yards. There was no
doubt this guy was the king you could see it in his face and in the mass
of his antlers. If he would have been an even 10 he would definitely
been a Booner but one side was really messed up. I decided to pass on
him and gamble I figured at least I would get a heck of a show! Now the
doe was at the base of my tree and the king was standing 25 yards to my
right. Buck number 1 crossed the creek and headed towards the smaller
buck. The smaller buck dropped into the ditch and crossed the creek 15
yards from the base of my tree I released as number 1 reached the bottom
of the ditch and my arrow found its mark. He made it to the middle of
the bean field and went down. At 15 yards to my right the smaller buck,
the doe and the king all stood looking into the bean field. I have had
success hunting where there is nothing before but never like this.
What a night!!
Somewhere in Iowa
Taylor and myself sat on the ground by a long skinny
draw last night. At 6:15pm we heard a tree being rubbed and it sounded
like an elk tearing it apart. I stood up and peeked over the hill ,
about 200 yards away I saw him. I grunted softly once and he whipped
around, his hair stood up and he started coming in all stiff legged. As
he was walking in Taylor saw him and said "shoot him dad he’s got
antlers!" He hopped the fence and I drew. He stopped and looked in
our direction, but it was too late the arrow was on the way. Double
lungs, he ran about 400 yards and piled up in the bean field. I looked
over at Taylor and her jaw was still wide open. She said "good job
dad I knew you would find a buck someday!"
Somewhere in Iowa
Tori got her 1st deer last night. Here are a few pictures.
Happy Tori & proud me.
Somewhere in Iowa
Another memorable and successful 2011 muzzleloader
deer hunt! After listening to turkeys in the grass looking for grass
hoppers for about 20 minutes I heard a big crash that sounded like
someone beating up a tree which I assumed was a buck raking a tree. I
was in HIGH ALERT mode. Keeping my eyes pealed towards the timber I saw
this bruiser appear at 34 yards away right in front of me on the other
side of the fence. I was standing in a small pine tree that I trimmed
out so I could stand and be covered. He jumped the fence and was raking
his antlers on a scrub pine tree. The setup was perfect because I was
down wind and he was broadside. I lowered the scope and shot and when
the smoke cleared it was gone and all I could hear was leaves. After
reloading and waiting I went to check out where the buck might have
gone.. It jumped back over the fence and rolled down a ravine. I
harvested it at 6:30 p.m. and it took Gary and me a while to drag it out
of the ravine, 2 feet at a time! I believe this is the heaviest deer I
have every shot. I then called my friend George and he brought his deer
cart to the rescue! It would have been a long drag to the pickup and
frankly I don’t think I was up to the task and I can’t speak for
Gary? Thanks Gary and George for all of your help!!!! Fun hunt and GREAT
memories! I shot it with a Knight Predator 50 Caliber with a Leupold VX
scope. The deer scored 124 3/8.
Somewhere in Iowa
Opening morning of bow season I decided to sit on the
edge of a corn field owned by one of my employees that had let me set up
a stand the year before. The corn was still in the field and I sat
between the corn field and the river in a tall tree. On the way to the
stand I saw several deer and noticed that they had been feeding heavily
on the edge of the corn. In one area about the size of a large house it
looked like they had a big party and decided to remove it all. That was
a sign that the deer were heavy in that area once again.
I got in my stand and let things settle for about 20
minutes and thought I might send out a few doe bleats. That got the
interest of a few deer in the corn as I could see them coming towards me
but couldn’t make out what they were. About 20 minutes later I bleated
again a few times and just a couple of minutes later I saw this nice 10
point buck coming at me from the river behind me. He was about 50 yards
out at that point and coming hard. I waited until he jumped the fence
about 20 yards behind me and as soon as he turned I drew back and put
the sights of my Mathews Reezen on him and let it fly. I knew I hit him
hard as the arrow buried up inside him. He had some adrenaline flowing
because he ran about 250 yards before piling up. My partner was in
another stand on the other side of the property and had hunted with me
for the past four years with no luck. I just knew he wasn’t going to
be happy because this is the third year in a row that I had my buck on
the ground within an hour of getting in the stand on opening day. Two of
the bucks are mounters and all of them are outside their ears. Therefore
as soon as I got to the deer I took a picture with my cell phone and
text messaged it to him in his stand as that is how we were
communicating while on stand in case one of us got one. I can’t put
the words he used in his reply from the stand on this web site, but you
can use your imagination. I usually like waiting until the bucks are in
rut to get the winter coat and large necks, but this is still a pretty
buck in his summer coat!
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Somewhere in Iowa
Some tips on
taking your success photos. Please respect the animal:
all the blood,
tongue back in the mouth,
strive to maintain equal height between the top of your head and the
top of the buck's rack,
afraid of close-ups,
afraid to use flash, even during the day,
pickup and garage photos, we have quite a few people request that we
don't show them,
deer back out to the field with your buddy or family member, it is a
memory that will last your entire lifetime,