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Derek Watson’s 2019 Iowa Whitetail

Iowa Archery Whitetail

NAME: Derek Watson
YEAR: 2019
WEATHER CONDITIONS: 34 degrees, wind chill was 27 N wind at 10mph (gust were 15+). Barometric pressure that day was 30.03


Mathews Archery Logo
Mathews Triax

Products Used on the Hunt: (Click to View)

Nose Jam

Lonewolf Alpha

Lonewolf Sticks

Whitetail Photos

Whitetail Story

History with the deer:
The night before my Dad had him at 64 yards over a mile away from where i shot him the next morning. After reflecting on the 2018 season, i do believe i had one encounter with him, but i cannot confirm. My notes on the buck then was a giant 8 pointer i guessed would have gone 150-160. I told my Dad it was a night to remember, which nicknamed him ‘The Knight’.

The hunt is quiet an interesting story, but which hunt of your own isn’t in it’s own way.

I was lucky enough to draw an extra buck tag for Iowa. I participate in an Urban (City Hunt) and had my name drawn. I primarily focused my efforts on public urban land running all my trail cams. The night before (November 9th), my brother shot a small buck back in our home town, an hour away. I headed their way to help track. It was a marginal hit with minimal blood. We were searching for blood in the dark, and came up to the ridge I harvested my prior personal best buck. I asked him if he would be open to waiting until mid morning the following day to allow me to sit there the next morning before we traced through the entire property. That piece is only 23 acres, so it doesn’t take much to push everything out.

November 10th

Every hunt I do is run n gun, I was able to get snuck in there extra early. Not on purpose but was ahead of schedule. I was ready to hunt by 6:15am, about thirty minutes early. I had decent movement that morning, seeing about three bucks cruising. At 7:15a I look over my shoulder and there he was standing at 30 yards. It was windy, and I never heard him come in. I catch movement over my shoulder and see a doe at 20. I knew it was going to come together if he followed her. He turned his head and I stood and grabbed my bow. He walked straight to me and now is strong quartering to at 15 yards. Waiting patiently for him to turn and give me a good broadside shot, the doe does a 180 and starts running away, they stopped again about 65 yards away. I was devastated but was blessed with having the encounter on such a giant.

I no longer go to put my bow down and she turns 180 again and they are both running straight to me. They cut my tree and the doe is 10 yards off my left shoulder and the buck is directly under my stand. I am looking at him between my feet about a foot from my climbing sticks. The luck of the rut I believed saved me as he paid no attention to my sticks or scent. He is standing right in the spot I stood to get setup to start climbing.

Nervous as all get out they are going to start running off again I immediately go into kill mode trying to find a shot opportunity. He takes a few more steps behind my tree which allowed me to turn around the opposite side of the tree, I lean down and get a quartering away shot at seven yards. Instantly blood started dumping out of him like an empty milk jug. I see the arrow in the ground completely covered in blood. I knew he was dead. There was enough wind that day neither him nor the doe knew what happened. I grabbed my phone to video him going down but he mustered up enough adrenaline to stay on his feet. The doe walked back through and he wanted to follow, I knocked another arrow (over a minute later) and shot him again at six yards. He ran forty yards and piled up. It created memories I’ll never forget, and the best hunt of my life.

Score of Deer:
168 6/8″, Main Frame Eight, 11 score-able points. 

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