Bill Winke Arrows Lefty

White-Tailed Deer


Bill Winke Arrows Lefty

Posted 2016-11-02T23:23:00Z  by  Darron McDougal

The Conclusion of a Three-Year Quest

Rack Report Details
Time of Year:October 18, 2016
Place:Monroe County, Iowa
Weapon: Hoyt Nitrum   Bowhunting 

The mass on this buck was incredible. (Bill Winke photo)

Midwest Whitetail Host Bill Winke needs no introduction. Without question, Winke is one of the nation's foremost whitetail hunters with dozens of outstanding bucks to his credit. And he recently added another - a buck he nicknamed Lefty - to his tally on a date when most world-class bucks are moving very little.

Controversy always surrounds the nicknaming of deer. But, given Winke's history with Lefty since 2013, a relationship inevitably grew wings.

We first filmed the buck in 2013 when he was 2 years old, Winke said. We filmed him again several times in 2014 as a 3-year-old, and even found one of his shed antlers that winter. The following year, we captured many trail-cam photos of Lefty, but didn't encounter him or find his sheds. This year, we took lots of trail-cam photos of him again, but the first live encounter was the night I killed him.

Winke said the history is what drives him to target specific mature bucks. Anytime you assemble some history with a buck, it makes the quest more special and personal, he said. I like hunting bucks that have been part of the farm for years.

Enter October 18, 2016. The day was calm and relatively warm - 70°F during the day with a light north wind, Winke told. I was hunting over a freshly picked cornfield from a Redneck Blind that I'd pulled into the field only three days prior. I generally move blinds into cornfields the day the farmer is combining them so the deer adapt quickly. I'd been getting some borderline-daylight photos of the buck in that general area, but I was lucky to shoot him that night. He was the only deer that entered the field.

I didn't even have time to get nervous before the shot, but I started to shake a bit afterwards, Winke continued. It happened so fast - I shot within five or six seconds of spotting him. I was excited to finally see the buck up close after getting so many trail-cam photos. He's larger than I expected. I think the size of his head and body make his rack appear smaller in the trail-cam photos. No ground shrinkage in person!

When you're an Iowa resident, it's not a one-and-done deal. Now that I got Lefty, I'm after another buck that has been on the farm for a few years, Winke said. He's not equally as impressive as Lefty, but I believe he's 5 years old. He's showing up on many of my trail cameras, but always in the dark. I'm doing my best to keep tabs on him until he starts exhibiting daylight activity. Hopefully that will happen by the first week of November. I have a decent idea of where he's living, but he seems to move around a lot and bed in many different places within that range. He might be tough to get and, like Lefty, will require a good measure of luck in the end.

Note: Watch Bill Winke's hunt for Lefty here.

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