June 06, 2023
After hunting a buck he named Baby Boy for the past four years, Bruce Severson’s prayers were finally answered.
Four years ago, Severson chose not to hunt Baby Boy. “I did not even want to see him, because he was young and I knew he would be something special,” Severson says.
On one occasion three years ago, Severson let him walk right under him as a mid 170s buck. He was hunting another big deer that his friend Colton Rhinhart was able to kill. It ended up going in the 180s.
In 2021, Bruce tried everything to get Baby Boy.
“I had four very close encounters with him,” Bruce remembers. “Two with my bow, one during shotgun season and one during late muzzleloader season. The last time I saw him that year I was sitting in a blind and I watched him fight another great buck. Unfortunately, there was a tree right in the line of fire, so I could not shoot him before legal shooting time was up.”
Fast-forward to Nov. 9, 2022. While walking into his stand within the timber overlooking a fresh scrape, Severson stopped to say a good luck prayer for the hunt. Continuing his walk, Severson crested a hill and saw Baby Boy. After dropping his gear, Severson closed the distance to 60 yards and began a series of grunts, but the buck had no interest.
After the short-lived encounter on the ground, Bruce hurried to his tree stand, hoping the buck would stroll by for a shot.
“I got in my stand eventually,” Bruce says. “And I banged on my rattling antlers as hard as I ever have. Soon a lone doe strolled by. Within a half an hour from that encounter, I had him back below my stand with the doe.”
Baby Boy stood where Bruce didn’t have a shot, and it took 15 minutes before the deer stepped into a shooting lane. During that 15-minute period, Bruce says that he and God had a conversation.
“Through that time talking with him, I was able to calm my nerves,” Bruce says. “At 46 yards I took my shot, and my arrow flew like a dart and hit its mark. I could hear him crash roughly 80 yards away; the hunt for Baby Boy was over!”
The Southeast Iowa trophy grosses 207 7/8 and nets 194 6/8 as a non-typical.