Midday Chance at a Big Iowa Buck

Big Game,White-Tailed Deer


Midday Chance at a Big Iowa Buck

Posted 2022-01-17T11:33:00Z  by  Josh Honeycutt

It took Art Helin four years to draw an Iowa whitetail tag, and he made good on his chance at a big deer on November 9

Rack Report Details
Buck:165 inches
Time of Year:November 9, 2021
Place:Clayton, Iowa
Weapon: Hoyt Ventum  Bowhunting 

Art Helin's Iowa buck scored 165 inches. Image courtesy of Art Helin

Art Helin, co-host of Own the Season, arrowed a great Wisconsin buck early in 2021. He followed that up in grand fashion by tagging an awesome buck in Iowa. Being a non-resident, it took Helin four years to draw that tag and plenty of scouting to dial in on a buck, but the effort was worth it.

He crossed paths with the buck on November 9. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and a cool breeze, and Helin carefully picked his way across the landscape, walking through classic Iowa hills and valleys along his entry route. After a slow approach, he eventually made it to his treestand, which was in in an area of timber and CRP fields.

He settled in around 11:45 a.m. and started scanning his surroundings, but didn't see anything. To his right was a thick bedding area, and to his left, a major pinch point. At about 12:30, a promising 3-year-old buck walked through, but Helin gave it a pass. About 45 minutes later, approximately 35 turkeys meandered by, scratching for bugs and other grub as they went. A little more than an hour after that, a pair of does moved through the timber, also feeding as they went.

No more than 15 minutes after the does disappeared, the giant stepped out. It happened quickly, as he was out cruising looking for a hot doe, Helin said. He was nose to the ground and moving along at a pretty good clip. I grunted at him, slowed him down, changed his course, and he walked perfectly parallel to me looking for the other buck.

He knew this buck well, and used trail cameras to pattern the deer. Image courtesy of Art Helin

Helin was ready when the buck entered a shooting lane. The buck stopped, and the waiting bowhunter took the broadside, 27-yard shot. The deer ran about 40 yards and fell over in sight. The recovery was easy.

Of course, the camaraderie is a big part of deer hunting, and so Helin called his friend, who jumped in his truck and drove an hour to help recover the deer. He was super excited, which made the moment that much more special, Helin said.

His wife and another friend were involved in the hunt, too. [I'm] thrilled with this buck, Helin said. It means a lot. During this hunt, we were faced with some family medical issues that came up. That weighed a lot on my mind. So, to be successful in taking a deer like this during those mentally tough times, and being able to share it with friends and family, was something special.

According to Helin, judging by the teeth, the buck seems to be four years old, and it scored 165 inches. It even sported cool split G2s, although one of them broke off. It also has two kickers on its right brow tine. And best of all, it was Helin's first Iowa buck. What a great way to kick things off in the Hawkeye State.

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