March 13, 2023
By Blake Garlock
Curt McCarty rewrote Iowa whitetail history on Oct. 13, 2022. That’s the day that he arrowed the state’s new No. 2 all-time archery typical.
Surprisingly, Curt’s hunt for this world-class typical began just one week before the day he put his tag on the buck. Curt first discovered the giant on Oct. 6.
“On October 6th, I picked this deer up on a scrape,” Curt says. “He was hitting a grape vine, but that picture didn’t show just how big the deer was.”
The trail camera photo only showed the buck’s side profile. It was enough for Curt to know he was a good deer, so Curt went home and began researching to find where the buck was living. It didn’t take long, and Curt’s efforts paid off when he received another picture of the buck.
“He saw the camera when I got that picture of him,” Curt remembers. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to hunt that area again, so I knew I needed to get off to the side of him.”
On the afternoon of Oct. 10, Curt hung a new tree stand to hunt the buck just inside the timber near the edge of a beanfield.
He was ready to pursue the giant on Oct. 13. Curt arrived at his tree stand a little late that day because of work obligations, but luckily he was settled in before the deer began moving. The temperature was dropping, and the wind had picked up on that day, and it didn’t take long for some does and young bucks to appear. Then, Curt saw the one he was after.
“I think the buck was already on high alert after he saw my trail camera,” says Curt. “So, he came in and began scent checking the area before he would head toward the field. Then he turned and started walking on my right side.”
Curt was able to get turned and draw his bow on the buck that was now only 35 yards away. When he released his arrow, he watched his lighted nock bury in the dirt just 20 feet from the buck.
“After 40 years of hunting, this was my pinnacle moment,” Curt says. “My arrow was in the dirt, and I thought the opportunity had passed.”
Fortunately, the buck calmly walked into the field unfazed by the miss. After the buck had been in the field, two does returned to the timber and walked toward Curt before stopping right below his tree stand. Shortly thereafter, the giant typical entered an opening where Curt could shoot, but the does were staring right at Curt.
“They were completely erect and looking at me,” Curt recalls. “I started to draw my bow and the does blew, and the buck whipped his head around on high alert. I just counted to three and shot right through him.”
The buck ran just 50 yards from Curt and tipped over in the field.
After being officially scored for Boone and Crockett, Curt’s buck is the new No. 2 all-time Iowa archery typical. With beams pushing past 30 inches, G-3s over 13 inches and a 23 3/8-inch inside spread, this unbelievable Iowa buck gross scores 215 6/8 inches and nets 195 5/8. It is the biggest typical taken in Iowa in 32 years, and the full story of the hunt will appear in an upcoming edition of North American Whitetail magazine.
You can click here to watch Curt tell the story of his hunt with North American Whitetail Editor in Chief, Haynes Shelton.