November 23, 2022
A five-year wait and a three-hour hunt is all it took for Minnesota native Brandon Johannes to score big in Iowa on opening day of the Hawkeye State’s archery season.
Brandon booked a hunt with Nick Boley, owner of Windy Ridge Outfitters, in southeast Iowa prior to the start of season. Brandon drew a long-awaited nonresident archery tag (a five-year wait). Originally Brandon hadn’t planned on hunting Iowa until November. However, in July Nick began getting trail camera pictures of a rather unique and big buck.
“I didn’t know if the buck was a local buck from last year that exploded into a giant, or if he was a new one that moved in,” Nick says. Regardless, he was definitely one worthy of going after. The buck was on a pretty regular pattern, and Nick felt if he kept doing what he was doing he could be killed.
“I gave Brandon a call a few days before the season,” Nick says. “And I asked if he’d like to have a go at this buck.”
Brandon obliged and soon was in Iowa anxiously waiting to get in a tree. An unusual southeast wind changed things up a bit, so Nick and Brandon decided it would be best to hang a stand where it would blow Brandon’s scent out over a pond.
The stand was situated at the edge of the timber and a standing bean field, and after they hung the stand around 2:00 p.m., Brandon stayed and hunted it.
Around 5:00 p.m., the buck made his appearance and Brandon made the most of his opportunity with a 35-yard shot with his Mathews v3 bow. The buck didn’t go far and crashed within sight of Brandon’s stand!
Brandon’s biggest buck before this was a 147-inch deer. This Van Buren County, Iowa, giant surpassed that easily with an unofficial gross score of 207 5/8.