It's getting very hard for me to get up at 4 am to hunt turkeys for a few hours and then farm until dark so I try to pick the days I know I can't be in the tractor to go out. This morning when the alarm went off it was raining out but a quick check of the radar looked like there would be several breaks in the rain on and off all morning so off I went. My blind was already set up in what I thought was a good spot on one of my farms so all I had to carry in was my new Bowtech BT-X bow, decoy bag and a cup of coffee with my calls in a small fanny pack. Shivvering in the blind as it started to get light I still hadn't heard any gobbles, it was starting to rain and I was getting very COLD! Second guessing my decision to go out this morning. I hit the slate trying my best to sound like a lonesome hen and it was immediately answered by several gobbles. It was game on! Being so dark and rainy it took forever for them to fly down but sure enough, I looked out the side window and here came four toms right for my decoys! They strutted around, picking at my jake and were totally unaware that i was sitting only 18 yards away in my Double Bull blind. I lined up a shot and let a Grim Reaper loose and watched that tom do a back flip and land right there flopping among the decoys. The other toms stayed right there and started to strut again so I loaded another arrow, picked out a second tom and let another arrow loose. That bird just dropped to the ground without a flop and was stone cold dead instantly. The other two toms were still there and didn't run off until I stepped out of the blind. Archery hunting for turkeys is awesome!!! Two birds down and it was barely past 6:30 AM. Smaller one was 21.9#, 7/8" spurs and 9.5" beard. Bigger bird was 24.4#, 1 1/8" spurs on both sides and 9 9/16" beard for a score of 66 on NWTF scoring.




It finally happened! After hunting every single day since we finished harvest on October 27 (except for Halloween) I finally got to see a shooter buck from the stand and was lucky enough to put the deal together.

I have been struggling in a major way to find a good mature buck to hunt this season. Lots of trail cam pictures and countless hundreds of hours in a tree stand were showing dozens of young up-and-comers but nothing I wanted to harvest. I finally got a picture of a nice mature ten in the daylight on a camera back in the far corner of one of our farms and then again about a week ago, also in the daytime. I determined that this must be close to his wheelhouse if he is on camera in daylight twice this time of year so I researched the weather patterns on the days he showed up and found there was a good northwest wind on both times he appeared on camera. The prevailing wind on the days he was photographed may be irrelevant but I think deer move in different ways with different winds and was sure to help me a little as it also seemed to be the perfect wind to hunt this stand. And now, studying the weather showed that we would again have the northwest wind that I had been waiting for.

I hit the stand about 1:30 and had a good feeling about the night. A cold wind was blowing right in my face but the sun was powerful and made it rather nice out. Three smaller bucks cruised past me but not a single doe (actually have not been seeing many does at all). Finally about 20 minutes before dark a cracking stick had me peering through my binoculars at a shooter ten straight west of me on the other side of my clover plot but across the fence in the timber about 100 yards away. He seemed to be feeding and heading away from me so I threw a couple soft grunts at him. He was starting to turn my way when a nice small doe ran out into the clover plot in front of me and started feeding. This was all the attraction he needed as I watched him jump the fence and begin to feed in the clover as well, although about 60 yards away. I got pretty excited and shook up as he slowly fed in my direction, keeping an eye on the doe the whole time. As the doe exited the field it became time to get my long-awaited arrow down range. I judged him at 35 yards (since I had dropped my rangefinder about an hour earlier) and let my Muzzy fly. My new Bowtech Experience had done the job!

Patience paid off! All the hours of hunting this season and seeing nothing big had forced me to re-examine tactics and make a plan to go after one certain animal. I love it when a plan comes together!



156" 8 Point - Old and Heavy PIG of a buck

Holding at full draw while a nice big 6x6 bull elk is bugling at 25 yards will raise the hair on the back of your neck and if your adrenaline isn't pumping at full capacity, you're probably not alive! But we'll get to that later.

Going on a good elk hunt has been number one on my list of dream hunts for so long it just seems like forever. And when I think about elk hunting, a pack-in hunt deep into a wilderness area would be the perfect scenario. This year I finally decided to bite the bullet and my good friend, Randy DeVries of Sully, Iowa and I decided that we were going to go somewhere to chase elk. Randy met and talked with Chris and Cody Korell of Korell Outfitters from Idaho at this winters Iowa Deer Classic. He called me all excited and said he had found our hunt. We decided to go ahead and book our hunt through them and then had to wait six months until time to leave. Lots of target shooting, packing, weighing packs, shooting bow, practicing, getting more gear, working out, more practice and then more working out followed by more shooting and it was finally time to go. We both brought two bows that I had tuned to perfection and were hitting small dots with broadheads - even at 60 yards - it was "game on!" I own and operate Buck Hollow Sports, an archery ProShop near Pella, Iowa. Both Randy and I shoot on Bowtech's Factory Pro Staff. We were ready!

The worst part about hunting in Idaho is that for some reason, they decided to place it on the map seemingly on the other side of the world. After about a 23 hour drive finishing up through the unbelievably steep Sawtooth range, we pulled in Korell's lodge and I was introduced to several soon-to-be friends. Chris & Cody Korell (brothers) and Kid Youren are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. We found out Cody and Kid would be packing us in and guiding us while Chris took another guy to a different camp on the next mountain. We stayed the night in their beautiful lodge that they built themselves from solid Lodge Pole Pine logs � incredible! The next morning had us packing everything evenly in mantie's (a canvas square used to make a man-tied pack). We went down the road a ways and then 14 miles up a two-track gravel road to the trail head. From there we loaded the Decker pack saddles on the mules, swung onto our own horses and waved goodbye to civilization for the week. No electricity, no cell phone service, no roads or motor vehicles � just us and what lives on the mountain. About three hours later my backside was really excited to see the camp and climb out of that saddle. Many hours on the treadmill and on the elliptical had taken away much of the padding on my behind that sure would have come in useful for all that time in the saddle.

We pulled into a beautiful camp with two wall tents, woodstoves, a stack of firewood, cots, picnic table, lawn chairs, a scenic outdoor restroom and more � maybe we wouldn't be roughing it as bad as I thought? It was nice to set camp, unpack, shoot the bows and relax a little. We shared numerous hunting stories and ate like kings (I lost absolutely no weight on this trip � they fed us that well!) Turning in early seemed fitting to try and get some sleep before the hunt began in the morning.

Cowboy coffee on the woodstove and a plate full of bacon and pancakes started out a perfect day. We rode out at dawn to the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. We were on top of the world, riding on mountain tops and high ridges, bugling and cow-calling from horseback in good draws and drainages. It is so incredibly peaceful up there � dead silent with no noticeable wind and no background noise at all. A few hours later we found a nice spot to tie up the horses and started down a narrow ridge on foot. Hearing a bull elk answer our calls gave me the goose bumps and I knew we were in for a good day. We worked down the mountain, getting closer and hearing the bull answer our calls every time. At 11 o'clock we sat down, ate some lunch and waited and listened. Apparently, the elk bed down typically from 11 to 3 and don't move much. The weather was gorgeous, probably in the 60's so laying back in the sun for a little "elk nap" would feel good. I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep the night before, too much nervous excitement and anticipation. Just as I was dozing off we heard a bugle down below us. Somebody said "sounds like another hunter?" but Cody assured us that if someone was down there, there were extremely ambitious. I truly believe outside the four of us, there wasn't another human being inside 5 or 10 miles. We bugled back a little and got an immediate answer � Closer!

We quickly set-up shooting positions only to see him pass by about 75 yards downhill and headed right for the bull we had been talking to all morning! More bugles down below as we scurried down the mountain to close the distance. We found the beautiful grassy flat spot the elk herd had been in all morning. Fresh sign was everywhere and the smell of elk was in the air. It seems the new bull had caused our herd bull to take his cows and move on. Another bugle! Again, we ran down a little drainage and set-up � quickly ranging landmarks with the rangefinder and trying to pick a place to shoot. Here he came, prancing along like a trained draft horse � head held high � passing right by Randy at 33 yards. He kept coming and got around us, winded us and took off to parts unknown. Randy had passed the little raghorn bull because he was only a small 3x4 and it was barely noon on the first day.

We tracked the herd bull and his cows on down the mountain and got him to answer our calls again, although he sounded very far away. Finding a nice log to sit on and finish our lunch, Randy and I stayed put while Cody and Kid were on a ridge a hundred yards away or so bugling at our herd bull. He seemed to answer every single call, must have been pretty mad at all the commotion upsetting his day. Suddenly, another bugle rang out not far below us � another bull was down there! He bugled again � closing the distance. I quickly picked out a nice thick brushy spot to stand in front of where it was some-what level and starting picking my shots and ranging them. Two beautiful trees in open shooting lanes at 40 yards, one straight down the hill and one to my right with Randy setting up off to my left gave me some shooting options. By now Cody and Kid had heard the incoming bull and were set-up behind us up the hill � ready to call and catch all the action.

I first saw him straight down the hill below me about 75 yards, prancing up the hill at a high rate of speed, head held high. I saw an amazing 6 point side and quickly drew my bow as he stepped behind cover, this was happening all too fast! Someone blew a cow call up the hill and instead of staying on the path he was on which would have placed him in the open right in front of my 40 yard tree to the right, he stopped right behind a thicket at 25 yards and bugled! With my hair standing on end, adrenaline flow at max and my heart beating so hard I could feel it in my toes, he turned and came right towards me. Fully in the clear now, closing the distance and coming straight at me � I held full draw until he paused at 18 yards. Had he seen me, smelled me, saw someone else or was he just going to run me over? All this ran through my head as I slowly squeezed my release and watch my arrow completely disappear in his chest � exactly where I wanted it to go. He stayed on the same path and ran past me at only six feet as I raised my bow in the air in a victory celebration. I could see his back side was trying to pass his front only 30 yards down the hill before he went over the ridge out of sight. I had done it! I shot an elk with my bow on public land in the middle of nowhere! Kid was first on scene and asked if I had shot, amazed he hadn't heard my bow. The look on my face and the bow held high over my head gave him the anwer he was seeking. (And maybe the victory dance I was doing was a give-away as well?)

Blood on the trail in front of us was a welcome sign but we semi-patiently waited for a half hour before pursuing the blood trail and looking for my trophy. We hadn't gone 20 yards when Cody spotted him down the hill, he had only gone about 60 yards! High fives all around and lots of pictures later, we began the work of gutting, quartering and caping him out. It was so steep there that we had to tie his horns and feet to tree above us to keep him from rolling down the hill further. I had managed to hit lung, heart and penetrate through the diaphragm � a good killing shot.

Needless to say, I had an awesome hunt. Kid took a pack string in after him and Cody packed him into town to the processor a day later while we continued to hunt. Randy shot a gorgeous 5x5 bull only a day after that and I managed to get his shot on video. Two flat landers from Iowa went to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho and shot two great mature elk with only one shot each. (And both recovered in 60 yards or less) I would definitely hunt with Korell again, great people that will work their tails off to get you an elk and they run an incredible camp. They also hound hunt cougars and color-phase black bears in the winter � anyone want to go to Idaho?

Equipment List: Bowtech Invasion CPX-30" draw at 61# Easton A/C/C Pro Hunter arrows Muzzy MX-3 125 broadheads Montana Black Gold Surge Sight Vapor Trail Pro-V drop-away rest Stokerized Stabilizer Tight Spot Quiver Stan SX-2 release Vanguard Endeavor ED Binoculars Bushnell Bowhunter Rangefinder Sitka Gear Clothing Danner Boots

Korell Outfutters - Lowman, Idaho

What a gorgeous morning!

I'd left my blind and chair out in a new spot on one of my farms yesterday after I failed to get any birds close enough. Had them within Benelli range but not within broadhead range. This new spot seemed like the ultimate ambush area - down the hill tucked into the fence line below a gateway on an interior line fence I knew the birds walk through. Set the Dave Smith decoy so they could see it from the other side and at a perfect 18 yards from the blind. I hoped they would come off roost into the field below, see the decoy through the gate and strutt on though with full attention on my decoy hen and not even notice me in the Double Bull. Worked out perfectly!

A single jake flew down right on top of my decoy at only 6:05 - too early to shoot but there was a ton of gobbling below me. I was really enjoying listening to them gobble below me, and they answered my calls all too readily - I knew it would be getting good soon. Finally a nice gobbler was working its way to the top of the ridge and sure enough, he popped into full strut when he noticed my decoy. I picked out a perfect feather to aim at as he strutted through the gate and gave him a Muzzy moment! He tetered off about 20 yds and went down - 27.25#, 1 1/4 and 1 5/16" spurs and 10.25" beard for a 73.375 score.

On my way back home to get back by work by shortly after 7 AM - what an awesome morning!



After finally getting a year with an early finish to harvest, I was going to get the chance to hunt the rut hard. I was fortunate to harvest a 175 buck on Halloween and pass innumberable smaller buck, multiple broken-up bucks, and several 140+ bucks hoping for something over 150 to walk by. Being a landowner has multiple rewards, one of which is an extra buck tage for any season - I choose bow! A cold brisk East wind sent me back to my ridgetop observation stand, the same one where I had harvested my 175 3 weeks earlier. I went to the stand early because I had been seeing so much early deer movement and it paid off. I was all snuggled up warm in my many layers, letting my ears do most of the work, knowing the dry leaves everywhere would give away any deer movement with plenty of advance warning. I WAS WRONG! A slight crunch sound behind my left shoulder sounded like a field mouse was moving around in the leaves and a quick glance showed a real nice buck standing there, no more that 10 yards away! I slowly grabbed my bow off the hook and hooked up the release as he stepped forward a few steps into a perfect shooting lane. The razor sharp head did quick work at only about 12 yards and I watched the arrow pass thru quietly. A short but furious run by the buck left him laying only about 75 yards away, a quick three count and he was down for good. No need to wait for this one as the blood trail was evident from up in the tree, leading to the final reward not far ahead. Just like my last buck, I have multiple trail cam pics of him. He was a fighter, with the hide missing off his back and numberous puncture wounds, scars and sores everywhere. I think he may be an old mature buck after looking at him and studying some trail cam pics. Either way, I am happy and a very fortunate man! Bring on late muzzleloader season, it's time for my first trifecta!


Harvest finished early for us this, first time in several years I was looking forward to having lots of time to hunt the rut. I harvested two does just a couple of days ago. A simple double, taking two shots on two deer in less than 30 seconds and having both go down within 25 yds and pickup accessible (no dragging required) Doesn�t get much better than that! While they were off to get processed into deer sticks and summer sausage it was time to go back to the stand. I hadn�t seen any rutty activity yet but I knew the time had to be getting close. We had family plans to all go together on Halloween and pick out a new Christmas tree for our recently enlarged living room. Just as we were about to leave we found out the store in question was closed on Sunday, so it didn�t take me long to shower up and head out to the woods instead. After all, it would be the last chance to hunt this month! A brisk east wind prevented me from going deep into the timber where the best big buck movement usually takes place but I had a backup plan. A tall ladder stand on a ridge overlooking a timbered draw and a finger of CRP grass had previously netted me two P&Y bucks, so it would have to be the place for tonight. I knew right away that the rut was starting as I immediately saw some chasing and running around on the ridge behind me. A nice older non-typical came cruising through the grass right to me and turned broadside at less than 10 yards but he just wasn�t was I was looking for. As I was kicking myself for not shooting him (After all I do have two buck tags thanks to being a landowner) a doe ran by at 60 yards, looking back over her shoulder a lot. I know something had to be after her so I got ready. The shakes started taking over my body when I spotted him through the glasses, it was Notch! He is a very nice 10 pointer with lots of kickers and a big notch missing out of one ear. I had studied enough trail cam pics of him to know he was on my hit list and I wanted a chance at him. Unfortunately, he was after this doe and although my grunts and snort-wheeze did manage to stop him and get him to consider coming my way, the hot doe prevailed and he disappeared into the timber across the CRP from me, hot on her tail. My heart sank as I watched him go out of sight, blessed to be able to see such a buck, but would rather be shooting at him. Low and behold, the doe came back out of the timber and headed out into the grasslands again, but the path she was on would not bring her anywhere close to me. ( maybe I could just watch him again!) Plus, you never know what can happen during the rut! She held up and kept looking back, watching for him and he wasn�t following her. Finally I put the glasses down and saw him heading straight towards me on the same path the non-typical had come earlier in the evening. My heart was racing out of my chest as I came to full draw, he stopped at 30 yards and hesitated, turning and seeing the doe he was after and started off in her direction. I let the arrow fly out of my new Destroyer and heard a satisfying THUNK as arrow meets deer. Recovery was easy as he only went about 30 yards from the point of the shot and went down, all within view of the stand and out in wide open grassland, easy to get the truck to. It took me some time to calm down before I felt safe unhooking my harness and climbing down, plus I wanted to give him a little time as he was between me and my truck. I was a little disappointed to see that one G2 was completely sheared off and his G4 was broke on that same side, but luckily I know a guy who is really good at fixing that. He can make him look just like the pictures of him did a few weeks ago. A quick tape shows he will easily net out into the Pope & Young scorebook, will score about 159 gross as-is broken-up and should gross about 175 with his tines fixed back up the way he was. I am a fortunate man!


Also had a wonderful opportunity to go fishing on Lake Michigan and reel in this super King Salmon - almost 30 pounds!!!


2009 has been a crazy year.  Starting out with having a new baby boy and finishing it out with adding on to the house and shop as well as harvest being about a month delayed.  I knew when I saw this buck coming that it was one I wanted.  I watched him work a scrape about 50 yards away and then spar and fight a little with a smaller buck before stepping into a perfect shooting lane and allowing me to make a perfect 25 yard shot.  I recovered him in less than 45 yards (in some of the thickest brush on the property!) and he should score about 145. 


Nice Big Boar Taken on IowaWhitetail.com hunt at Boar Ridge in Oklahoma



Finally made it out to go turkey hunting this morning, can't believe turkey season has been open for four days before I could get away. It was really hard to roll out of bed just after 4 am for me but it was well worth it! The gobblers were answering owl hoots real well by 5:30 this morning as I was setting up the blind. It was so dark I had to use a flashlight to set-up and get the decoy out, something I hardly ever do. I was on a little draw running down to a bigger creek with corn field on both sides. The area is real isolated and can't be seen from any roads, just like I like it! I could hear the gobblers hammering away both up and down the creek from me and even behind me up the draw so my expectations were growing. A lone hen appeared behind me up the hill, must have been roosing up the little draw - she didn't seem to mind the Dave Smith Decoy out there and fed right past it. I saw a group of 3 strutters on the next little draw, about 200 yards away (I don't have a pin for that range) and misc turkeys coming and going in every direction. Pretty quick a pair of hens and a pair of jakes came straight across the big creek and directly to my decoy. I hadn't shot a bird for a couple years so I hammered the biggest jake through the mesh at 17 yards and he only went about 20 feet before dropping dead within about 10 yards of the blind. Victory! But I stayed still and quiet as there were more birds to be had and I had another tag! I passed the other jake and hoped a longbeard would come in. Several passed by at about 60 yards with some hens and 3 were working the ridge behind me at over 100 yds. One of them must have got curious and kind of snuck in quiet behind me. I had him at full draw at under 10 yards but could only see the top of his head. The decoy was behind the blind from me from his angle, so he went across the ditch and strutted on down. I quick guessed him at 30 yards and let one rip through a dropped back window and knew he was mine when I heard the arrow thump him. First bird weighed in at 15# with 3 3/4" beard and the second one was 25#, 1" spurs and 10" beard. What an awesome morning!



2007 Iowa Handgun Deer

146" 11 point taken at 127 yards with a handgun - Full story to follow when I can find the time.

2007 Iowa Archery Deer

I really got a late start hunting this year due to too much time in the combine. Ten rainy days really shut us down and extended the harvest season but about 10 days ago it was "Game On." I've probably over hunted my Honey Hole spot but it is so perfect with numerous scrape lines intersecting, lots of rubs, water nearby and out in the middle of absolute nowhere with a nice little clover plot(I don't even think you can get there from here). Too many times already I have sat there and saw practically nothing - quite discouraging. Seeing we would have a NE wind tonight I knew I had to get back in there as that is the most perfect wind ever for this stand. Wind in my face all the way in and blowing towards a big steep bank the deer hardly ever come through. I had barely gotten strapped into the stand, arrow nocked, everything all ready for the sit and got about 2 pages into my paperback novel when I heard him coming. I knew by the deliberate heavy crunch in perfect rhythm that it was no squirrel so I put the book down, picked up the bow and stood up. No sooner had I done that but I looked up and saw him coming. With the high sweeping tines and huge browtines I immediately knew I was going to try to take him. I drew the bow before he stepped out into the clearing and had the pin on him squarely. I let out a little bleat as he passed by at 25 yards and he stopped Oh-So perfectly and I let it rip. I must have made the perfect shot as I saw him do an end-over-end roll less than 50 yards away. My arrow was laying there in the clover field in front of me. I looked at my cell phone for the time and it wasn't even 3:00 pm yet! I managed to ssit still in the stand for an hour but decided to get him cleaned up, drug out and loaded before the sun set which is so much easier than in the dark. He's a good management 8 pointer with 10" G2's and a 9" brow tine amd 18" inside spread. he broke off one G2 and has one huge extra brow tine hook. I hunt only my own land and try to manage the deer as best I can. This was a good one to get out of the gene pool so I am tickled. Now that my landowner tag is filled, its time for some serious head hunting!



2006 Iowa Archery Deer

Even though it has been terribly hot for hunting, I could not stay out of the stand. A year and a day after last years buck, and here I am in the same stand I started in that day (although then I moved mid-morning before harvesting my buck) It was real slow with nothing moving but some distant squirrels and turkeys, so I was playing games with the cell phone. I looked up about 5:00 pm to find that I had a doe in front of me that pinned me down. I was frozen in my seat with the bow on the hook and could hear something coming from behind me but didn't dare turn to look. I listened to him approach from behind me for 10 minutes sight unseen while I was still frozen in place. He stopped less than 3 yards from the base of my tree, directly behind me. I could hear him breathing and milling around, raking his horns on the brush. Finally he came around my left side and I got my first look at him and decided he was a shooter. The doe bugged out as she wanted nothing to do with him so I was able to slowly reach for my bow. He was directly downwind of me at this time but my ScentBlocker must have been working good as he stepped into the open at less than 15 yards. My new Muzzy MX4 hit it's mark right behind the shoulder and was driven clean through by the incredible energy of my new Bowtech Allegiance. (Is is just me or is this starting to sound like a Nascar post race speech?) I watched him run off less than 50 yards and do a stumble and tumble down � YES, I was happy! No bloodtrailing required!

I quick taped him at 156.

  • 12� G2

  • 9� G3

  • 19� inside spread

2006 Iowa Archery Deer #2

One nice thing about being a landowner and hunting your own farm is the option of getting a landowner archery tag for another buck. Being able to keep hunting has been awesome this year. This Monday I had 8 bucks within 25 yards of me, Wednesday I saw 4 bucks and tonight there were 6 bucks passing the stand, (however only 5 of those kept going) This mature 9-point management buck was sneaking in from downwind and passing by just before dark. I had a split second to make up my mind � Shoot or don�t shoot? I have never shot two nice mature bucks with a bow in the same year before, I could put two in the record book in the same year, I could receive the Iowa Bowhunter Expert Bowhunter Award with enough points accumulated in only one year, and my wife and new baby need more time with me as I have been putting in quite a few hours in the trees.
Guess what decision I made?
(ps - I quick taped him at 146. I thought he had a huge neck and was hard to drag out and later found out that he weighed 220# field dressed - big old boy!)


2005 Iowa Archery Deer

Two-fer On A Blustery Day
It was a breezy and colder than normal morning - there were even high wind advisories posted by the weather bureau. (Wednesday, November 9, 2005) I started out in an observation stand and soon determined that the deer were sticking to deep in the timber and not coming out in the open. About 7:30 am I decided to pull some of my trail cameras and move to another stand - one that I had not hunted from in two years. I quietly pulled two memory cards from my game cameras and went deep into the timber down in a creek bottom near some really thick cover. I had to trim some limbs just to climb into the stand! After settling in and strapping up my safety harness I popped the memory cards into my camera for viewing. There were several bucks I hadn't seen before and some daytime photos so I knew the rut was upon us. I had barely put the camera away and settled in when a nice doe ran by with a small buck right on her tail. She came by me again at full speed and must have lost him as she tuned back and stopped in the creek below me, looking around as if to say "where did he go? I sure hope he didn't give up!" Those thoughts were erased from her mind as a sharp broadhead quickly passed through both lungs and she ran off less than 30 yards before expiring. I was just reaching around to pat myself on the back for a nice shot when I heard a rustling leaves in the opposite direction. Here come a nice mature 10 pointer. Could it be the same one I had just seen on the trail cam? He was hurriedly making his way through some of the thickest Multifloral rose bushes that no man would want to walk through, twisting his head around to force his way through. He was just entering a nice shooting lane as I reached full draw. He did a quick spin and stopped behind a tree when I let out a soft bleat to halt him. After holding full draw for about 30 seconds he must have decided all was OK and stepped forward and met the second broadhead flung from my new 2006 Bowtech Tribute in less than 2 minutes. He went less than 40 yards back into the deep thorny brush (BUMMER!) and went down. Wow! 2 nice deer in 2 minutes and no blood trailing necessary - my first two-fer!

2005 Wyoming Antelope Hunt

Shotgun Buck for 2004
It was kind of a dark and muggy day on Sunday, December 5, 2005 but I knew the deer wouldn't mind. Halfway back to where I was planning to sit for the evening, I rethought the situation due to the east wind. It just wasn't ideal for that spot so I circled back and around to sit along a brushy fence line where my father had built a home-made makeshift turkey blind between a CRP grass field and one of our whitetail clover food plots. This spot hadn't been sat it for a couple of years so I spent the next twenty minutes or so trimming limbs, knocking down brush and cleaning out leaves to make a cleaner, quieter spot to sit. It was starting to rain softly so I planned on sitting there for only a short time to learn the shooting lanes, range some distances and head home to dry off. I hadn't been there long when I heard a deep cough in the brush to my north. Either a wayward deerhunter was trespassing on my land or deer were coming in. I hunkered down on the ground, put up my hood to deflect the ever increasing rainfall and put the gun in my lap with scope down to hopefully keep the lens dry. Four does came out and walked within 15 yards of me grazing on my clover plot. The wind was perfectly in my face so they were totally unaware of my presence. They were followed by a beautiful young 8 pointer with forked G2's that really caught my attention. I was busy trying to study his rack wondering if he might be the son or grandson of the 200 inch buck I had harvested on this same farm two years earlier. In the meantime, three more does came out on a different trail and passed at only about 7 yards, again totally unaware of me watching them. It was one of those days you will remember forever because of being so close to nature and watching the deer graze on clover that I had planted in a field that I cleared. I must have been a little too complacent because the next thing I knew a doe was closing in on me and watching me a little too closely. She must have seen me move because she was coming straight for me. She stopped about 15 yards out and just stared at me for close to ten minutes while I tried to freeze in position, which wasn't too hard because it was now raining fairly heavily and I was getting cold and wet. Another doe came in and joined in trying to stare me down when suddenly their attention shifted to something to the side of me. I just knew another deer was closing in on me and eventually could see antler tines in my periferal vision. My heart was pounding in my chest so hard I was afraid they could hear it as the buck stepped out in the clear...right in front of me...totally broadside...less than 10 yards away... watching the does...unaware of me watching this all unfold...and I didn't dare grab for my gun due to two voyueristic does staring at me, now less than 10 yards away as well. I field judged his size as over 160 and felt blessed to be able to see him this close. I knew I had several picture of him on my trail cameras but had never laid eyes on him while bowhunting. I couldn't believe this mature Iowa Whitetail was this close and I might never get a shot. It was all happening so fast, I knew I would never be able to make a slow motion move to pull my gun up so I did a three count in my head and went for it. The second I reached for the safety on the gun and started to raise it to my shoulder, the doe exploded, turned inside out and high-tailed it for deeper cover. The buck also spooked but fell nicely into my crosshairs as I pounded several slugs his way. I could tell he was hit hard and found him in the timber about 100 yards below me. What a perfect ending to a beautiful day! I could care less about the cold rain at this point as adrenaline was keeping me warm! We quick taped him at 168 inches and he should net over 160.

Turkey #2 for 2004!!
I can still hardly believe it. After having such good luck and shooting a mature tom on opening day with my bow I concentrated on getting some farming done.

With the forecast showing rain, I decided to go out and try to fill my other bow tag this morning. I tried a different spot this morning that I have always wanted to watch for turkeys. It has a lot of clover and rye grain coming up and is always loaded with sign. Wouldn't you know it, just after I got the decoys set up and was comfortably situated in the blind, it started to rain. When it got light enough I could see turkeys in the trees roosting only about 150 yards away. They didn't fly down until after 7:00 am. There were several gobblers hammering away just over a ridge from me (they seemed to love to answer to the thunder clasps) and even though it was still raining, the birds started to filter my way. I was watching a bunch of hens and some jakes start to move in on me when a big gobbler crested the ridge in the clover, apparently noticed my jake decoy on the far side of the blind and came in mad in kind of a half-strut all ruffled up but the fan kind of rolled up behind him. He looked pretty pissed but soon got over it as he ran into my Muzzy launched from only 9 yards. I glanced at my watch and it showed 7:28, the same time as a week earlier when I shot my first bird.

I had him officially weighed at our local locker at 26.0 lbs. and he has a 10.5" beard and 1.25" spurs. My nicest bird so far with a bow. I can hardly believe that I shot two birds in only two days hunting with only about 3 hours total in the blind. This makes turkey #4 for me with a bow in only two years hunting since I switched to bow-only and so far I am 4 for 4 (recovered every bird I shot at)

Opening Day Success!!!

It sure was cold out there this morning! Not as much gobbling close as I would like to hear but I decided to stick it out and wait, I've moved out too quickly and jumped birds coming in silent a few too many times. The last gobble I had heard was probably 150 yards away and 10 minutes earlier when low and behold a nice longbeard walked right through an opening exactlty like I had hoped and came straight in to my decoys and strutted around only 10 yards away. Somehow I managed to keep my composure and get the bow drawn and let it rip right as he turned his head quartering away just a little bit. A few flops and it was over, he was lying there dead only 11 yards from the blind. I looked at my watch and it was only 7:28 am.

24 pound gobbler with 10" beard and 1 1/8 spurs. I love it when a plan comes together!!

Equipement used: 2004 Bowtech Patriot with Copper John Dead Nuts sight and Trophy Taker Fall-Away rest shooting Easton Epic arrows tipped with Muzzy broadheads and Zwickey Scorpio grapplers that grip the shaft and slide down to the fletching after the hit to inhibit shoot-thru's. Double Bull T-5 Pro-Staff blind on my "Double Bull Caddy" (A golf club hand cart converted to carry my blind along with daypack containing decoys, bow holder, etc.)

2003 Shotgun season produced this very mature large-bodied 7 1/2 year old 8 point buck.
I have sheds from him for 3 of the past 4 years.
He has been living on the back corner of my farm all this time and I finally got a shot at him.


I was fortunate to have a very good year bowhunting in 2002. I harvested this mature Non-Typical Iowa Whitetail that grosses 205 7/8 and nets at 200 1/8 officially scored for both Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett. I have his sheds from last year as well as DeerCam pictures of him for the past two years. He was taken with one Easton carbon arrow in a perfect broadside shot with Muzzy 100 grain 3 blade Broadheads flung from my new Bowtech Patriot bow and went less than 50 yards before dropping within sight.

He received first place honors in the Iowa Bowhunters Association Big Buck Contest and Second place at the Iowa Deer Classic for Non-Typical Archery.

Shop Pictures
And finally a few pictures of my shop. Looks like I should do a little clean-up!