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2022 IA public land 8 point


PMA Member
Iowa Public land 8 point.
Rough year for me, couldn't locate many shooters on the private ground I hunt or public and I was hunting my tail off. Spent a lot of time in the tree just hoping for a mature cruiser buck. My 2 week rut vacation came and went and I had a single encounter with a giant at 59 yds. Buddy killed him the next night so it was back to hoping for a random cruiser and checking cams.
I had Friday 11-18 off from work so I went to a public spot I hadn't been to in a week and a half and planned to sit till 11am since it was so cold. I had 2 cams on this piece, so I grabbed the 1st SD card on my way to the second cam near where I was gonna hunt. Both cards had nothing except for a big buck walking through on 11-17 right before dark. I setup on the downwind side of a ridge top I've been hunting this year and immediately had 2 bucks cruise by downwind of my setup. As the daylight improved I could see there weren't a lot of tracks in the snow upwind of me, but there was a trail wore down to the dirt about 3/4 down the ravine where those bucks both cruised by downwind. In the next 2 hrs, two more bucks cruised by following the exact trail. They all either caught my scent or knew something was up. Ok, time to move. I decided I'd sit all day and at 10am I pulled my lone wolf set and sticks and moved 50 yds away. I'd be right on top of them and about eye level if they travel mid or top ridge, but at least I'd have a chance now.

By 11am another buck cruised by, maybe a 120-130" 10 point, and I thought, as frigid as it is, at least they're moving good. Wrong. Didn't see a single deer from that point on till 4pm when a couple does trickled out into a hayfield about 150 yds away. After that it was quiet until I caught movement on the ridge top and a doe popped onto the sidehill at 4:50pm. She headed straight for me and stopped, she was now staring directly at me. I'm sitting down holding my bow not moving at all. She carries on and I see antlers on the ridge top. I can tell it's an 8 pointer and immediately my heart sinks cuz I've passed a 130" 8 point in here and I initially think it was that buck. Meanwhile the doe gets perpendicular to me at about eye level and stares right at me again. I haven't moved a muscle, but she knows something is up. She moved off cautiously and the buck starts to follow her trail. The buck gets on the sidehill and he freezes, staring right at me, now I'm realizing this is a different 8 point. He looks pretty good at this moment, but I can't decide if he's a shooter. He follows the does footsteps and stops perpendicular to me and stares right at me again. I was wearing my all white snow camo, which is fine, but I'm directly in front of the tree so I'm sure the contrast stuck out like a sore thumb. At this point I realize I'd be crazy to pass this deer and I need to shoot him. Eventually he realizes he lost track of the doe and turns his head to find her; I seize the opportunity and come to full draw as he takes two steps, now he's at 16 yds. He stops for just a second, just as I center the peep on my sight housing and settled the pin. Thwack! Arrow zips through him, he mule kicks and tears off. I instantly know I smoked him. I hear him tearing through the brush and then it goes quiet. Pack my stuff and find one of those arrows covered in blood that tells you this is gonna be a short track job. I followed a spray pattern in the snow down one ravine and up, then down another ravine. Now I'm questioning the shot; just about then I see a buck on the side hill ahead and I'm relieved. Got him out that night and took pics locally the next day.

Earlier that day I had asked God to please send me this buck because I didn't want to sit another day in these frigid temps and boy did he deliver.
I taped him at 149 3/8 as an 8 point and I couldn't be happier. No history other than the blurry pic the night before. Just goes to show, keep grinding and maybe something will happen.

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PMA Member
Cudos to you for sticking it out in brutal conditions! I couldn't handle that anymore. Well-deserved reward for your efforts and a slammer 8. Best part...team 3!!!


PMA Member
Thas a great story/buck! Congrats!

However, I don't think that cam pic is the buck you killed?
I think you are right, I just assumed it was him based on the brows. I have 2 other pics but they're all very blurry. Definitely a different deer! Good catch.

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