I have been hunting and fishing with my Grandpa Terry for as long as I can remember. I hunt a little bit of everything and always find an excuse to get out and hunt no matter what it is for. Deer hunting is by far my favorite thing to hunt. I started deer hunting with a break action 20-gauge when I was really young and have been shotgun hunting ever since. Last year I wanted to be able to hunt deer more often. I was torn between getting a bow or a muzzleloader and for the life of me could not decide what I wanted to buy, but eventually ended up getting a Mathews bow. One of the best decisions I have ever made!
This fall I got started as soon as I could pursue whitetails with my newly purchased Mathews bow. The season started really slow considering the fact I could only hunt on the weekends. By the middle of November I was getting a little discouraged hunting every weekend and not even drawing my bow back once. I kept thinking I was running out of time. It was the weekend of my birthday, November 12, and we happened to not have school on that next Monday so I decided I would hang around town for the night of my birthday and head down to my grandparents place Sunday morning and hunt until Monday night and head back home. I got there that morning and got right to it. The day started off slow and ended slow, as my entire season had been going.
Knowing that Monday was my last opportunity for the week I got out to the stand by 5 am. I saw three deer that morning, none of which warranting me to draw back my bow. I made it back to the house around 9:30 am and sat there picking at my food still discouraged about yet another unsuccessful morning. Sitting there with my grandpa, he started giving me all kinds of crap about sitting in the house saying, “There ain’t no way you’re going to get a deer sitting at the kitchen table”.
I knew he was right so I got my gear together and figured I might as well try a new spot on my grandpa’s property that I have not hunted all year. I got in to the stand at about 10 am and within the first few minutes I started grunting and rubbing antlers against the tree. Sure enough in strolls a small buck followed by another small buck. Seeing deer brought my hopes up, I continued to grunt and rattle every now and again for a few more hours.
I decided to let out a great long grunt to see if I could stir up a buck’s interest. As soon as I let out the deep-throated grunt I instantly heard thrashing behind me. A doe ran under my stand and was followed by a pretty nice buck. I stood, drew, and then heard wheezing behind me and then heard something hit the fence not far from where I was. I let down as the doe and buck ran past me, and put my attention to the noise I heard behind me. Through the trees I could see antlers, the biggest set I have ever seen. The buck ran under me and I instantly knew he was a monster! Trying not to focus so much on the antlers, I drew once more and bent down to grunt at him, I stopped him at 30-40 yards or so, he turned broadside, and looked my way. I let the arrow go and watched it hit him nearly perfect just a tad high. The biggest deer I have ever seen ran away towards another property with my arrow placed nearly perfectly inside his body cavity. I watched, and watched, and watched, until he made it into a small piece of thick timber until I could no longer see him.
I could barely dial the number to my grandma telling her I had just shot a monster. No more than ten minutes later my grandpa showed up to help me look for it. As we stood there and found not a drop of blood, my Grandpa wanted me to just head home for the night and we would look for it the next day, but I had to be back at school. I realize that letting a deer lay is what you are supposed to do, but I could just not do it. So we got permission to drive back and look for it on the neighboring property. We started walking the same path I watched my deer take and still, no blood. Finally after about 300 yards I hear my grandpa yell, “There he is”!
Just at the moment I too saw him, and trust me there was no “ground shrinkage” he actually looked bigger and better the closer I got to him, and right away I knew he had MASS. I have never seen this deer, never found sheds, and never had him on any trail camera pictures. After getting the beast on a trailer, because it seemed way too heavy to try and hoist in the back of the truck, we headed to town hoping to weigh it. After a hundred looks and few conversations we never did find a scale so we decided to head back to the house and take care of the processing. I decided to have the taxidermy done at Matuska’s Taxidermy back in Okoboji where I live so I did get to take home my trophy buck that night.
I wasted no time in putting this on Iowa Sportsman website or getting it to the taxidermist. That is where I found out about the Iowa Deer Classic. The taxidermist and a few other local guys and members on the Iowa Sportsman told me I should take it to the Classic. I talked to Matuska and he promised me that they would have it done by the classic; so, it was going to the Classic. Sure enough the day before the classic my mom surprises me by bringing my mount to me after work. Matuska’s did a fantastic job and in such little time, I couldn’t wait until the next morning!
Honestly, I did not think I would do very well at The Iowa Deer Classic and thought there would be deer there that made my buck look like a Bambi. I took my deer to the Classic early Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning it was still in first place on the leader board of Archery under 18 non-typical. By that time I was excited and worried that I was in first place, as there were two days for people to bring in deer that could beat mine.
By Sunday afternoon the Deer Classic had drawn to an end and my buck was still tops on the leader board! Cumulatively, from the time I shot the buck until the end of the Deer Classic was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Seeing my mount covered in ribbons behind a first place trophy was awesome, but what meant the most to me was sharing this moment with my Grandpa. I would like to thank him for all the time he took to teach me about hunting, fishing, and being an Iowa Sportsman. With his support and guidance I have become passionate about spending time in the outdoors, a pastime that will forever be with me! Thanks Grandpa!
The Parker Harms buck total Net Non-Typical score was: 166 5/8. It was a mainframe 8-point that had extremely large mass as you can see in the photos.