March 19, 2008
BuckTracker: Hawkeye Field of Dreams
By Scott Bestul
I am going to devote the next two entries of BuckTracker to a very special place for deer hunters: the state of Iowa. I will go into greater detail about why the Hawkeye State is so good in the next installment. In this blog I am simply going to offer an example—Exhibit A, if you will—of what is possible if a state knows how to manage deer.
Jesse Godwin is a young, energetic whitetail nut who lost one of his favorite hunting areas just before the ‘07 season. Scrambling for a backup plan, he and a couple of buddies settled on a small tract of public land not far from their homes. The place is small enough that I will not relate the acreage for fear of exposing its location. Suffice it to say the spot is one that most folks would drive by on their way to greener—and larger— pastures.
But Jesse & Co. were undaunted. They developed a plan for hunting the lightly-timbered parcel and stuck with it. Indeed, one of Jesse’s pals shot a nice buck there in October, and the trio had spotted other good deer as they hunted. But nothing as big as the buck that chased a doe near Jesse’s stand the morning of November 3. Jesse—a devoted Iowa Hawkeyes football nut—was just about ready to crawl down from his stand so he could watch the game when he heard deer crashing in the brush nearby.
“Suddenly a doe popped out of the brush, with a big buck behind her,” Jesse says. “I could tell he was a big one, with lots of points and a huge body. The doe trotted back into the timber, and for some reason, the buck just paralleled the timberline. When he popped out from behind a pine tree he was 22 steps. I grunted and he stopped and I made the shot. When my buddies and I found him a couple hours later, I could finally see how big he was.”
Date: November 3, 2007
Location: Central Iowa
Points: 17 (main-frame 10-point with stickers and 40” of mass)
Score: 204-5/8” (P&Y non-typ)
Shot Distance: 22 yards.
Method: Tree stand