Iowa deer hunter Justin Sieren tagged a monstrous 6 ½-year-old buck. He’s taken four big bucks in recent years, but this fall’s hunt was all about chasing this one-of-a-kind atypical. Sieren told F&S that he wasn’t seeing the buck in his prime hunting spot, and thinking the deer must be close, he began searching the maps.
“A local guy who lives right where I park my truck told me he heard about a big atypical in the area,” Sieren said. “It really solidified my game plan for changing spots and hunting because I knew the exact amount he had mentioned. After talking to him, I was confident that the deer was crossing a transition area that I had permission to shoot on the way to the evening feed. All I had left to do was pick a tree.”
On Oct. 16, the opening day of Iowa’s early season, the weather brought highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, which is exactly what every deer hunter hopes for in October. Sieren was hunting a mix of cattle pastures and grass fields, with the bottom of the creek running through it. The area was thick with brush cover. Leaves fell and blew near him as 15 mph winds whipped the area.
Late in the afternoon, with the sun setting fast, a coyote wandered along the edge of a CRP field. Then, two has filtered the past. After that, some small bucks did the same. Finally, about 30 minutes before dark, the big deer appeared. He walked down the edge of the CRP, eased into a pasture, and began moving toward a distant farm field.
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Sieren settled his sights, slowly squeezed the trigger and shot 50 yards. The statement fell in its tracks. “This is definitely a lifetime dollar and it’s really unique,” Sieren said. “I don’t think I could have drafted it better. I wasn’t sure this was where he lived, but I knew he was feeding in one of the ag fields. This transition made sense to break it up during the day, and that turned out to be the final piece of the puzzle.”
Overall, the buck scored 188 4/8 inches. It’s an unusual rack that makes it even cooler than its score, especially – especially the long, dagger-like third main beam on the left side of the deer. “My friends who helped retrieve it, and the neighbor I had talked to before the hunt, were all shocked,” Sieren said. “People were obviously surprised by his atypical side, saying he looks part mule or deer. Eyebrows and the third main ray—you don’t see that very often.”