This awesome Minnesota whitetail grosses 234 inches and nets 227 inches. If those scores hold up, it could possibly be the biggest nontypical buck ever killed by a bowhunter in the Gopher State!
by Daniel E. Schmidt
Minnesota’s Jeff Iverson could not believe his eyes when he viewed his trail camera photos on opening day of Minnesota’s archery season last weekend. The avid bowhunter and Deer & Deer Hunting reader was pulling cards that morning in an attempt to pick a spot to hunt that evening. When he viewed the images, he laid eyes on a buck that he thought he might never see again.
The big deer is a buck that he missed two years ago. Staring back at him in the photo was a giant nontypical.
“He popped out along the edge of a cornfield about 100 yards from my stand,” Iverson said. “He just was really casual. He walked a few yards, stopped, ate some corn, and kept working down the field. I watched him for over an hour.”
Finally, with light fading, the buck worked its way to within 43 yards of Iverson’s stand. “I came to full draw, put my pin on him and made sure nothing was in the way,” he said.
The arrow hits its mark, and the buck bounded toward Iverson’s stand in the woods. “He stopped broadside at about 15 yards, so I started knocking another arrow … just in case. Then he collapsed right there.”
Iverson was especially careful to make sure that first shot was true. You see, in 2010, he had the buck in bow range, but his arrow never made it to the deer — center-punching a small sapling before it got there. “He was a 160-class 12-point back then,” Iverson said. “He was really easy to identify, though, because he had those crab claws in the front. He was eating maples leaves when he came through that time … just real relaxed. But that stand was kind of in a bowl, and he got a whiff of something he didn’t like and stopped suddenly. I knew it was now or never so I squatted to take the shot — about 30 yards. The arrow hit a limb dead center.”
Iverson said the deer then vanished. He assumed another hunter had killed it, especially when word got out of a big 12-pointer that had been killed later that season. “I was bummed,” he said.
His hopes were renewed, however, when the buck showed up again on trail camera photos in December 2011. “That was really cool, because I immediately knew he was still around.”
The buck, however, again vanished from sight, with no photos being captured during this past summer. That is, until Iverson checked his cameras last Saturday morning.
“I hadn’t been out there for quite a while. I ended up pulling the cards and had at least 15 photos of him — from all angles — I knew he was back. I texted the photos to my buddies and they all told me I had to go after him right away.”
Little did Iverson know that his big moment would come only hours later.
“It’s kind of crazy how it all worked out,” he said. “I’m just trying to process it all. I want to take some time and just enjoy this moment.”
The Minnesota state archery records for whitetails are a typical that scored 197-6/8; and a nontypical that scored 227-3/8 inches on the Boone and Crockett scoring system.
The biggest nontypical ever killed in Minnesota was a gun-kill that scored 268-5.8. That deer was killed in 1974.
From everyone here at Deer & Deer Hunting, congratulations, Jeff! We can’t wait to hear more about your incredible buck and see more of your awesome photos!
According to the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, the following are the largest nontypicals ever killed in the state: