January 16, 2023
In 2019 Zac Geith, of Western Iowa, acquired permission on an 8-acre property near his home. The small property was an old cow pasture overgrown with thick cedar trees. Curious about what was on the tiny parcel, Zac decided to put out trail cameras. On Nov. 4, 2019, a big buck appeared on Zac’s camera that he estimated was between 185 and 190.
Zac says he never laid eyes on the buck. Soon after season closed, Zac was running cameras in the small parcel once again trying to locate the buck. “I got pics of him in February of 2020, so I knew he’d made it through the 2019 season,” says Zac.
The pictures of the buck kept coming in throughout spring and summer. Zac watched the buck grow with each passing month, and by late August Zac felt like the buck could push 200 inches going into the 2020 season.
No other buck would do, and this buck became Zac’s target. Every fall the buck seemed to disappear until November, then he’d stick around for a week or two and disappear until late January. Running a cell camera on the small parcel, Zac got a picture on Nov. 4 once again. With perfect conditions, he went to his stand.
Around 2:00 p.m., Zac was in his stand. Unbeknownst to him, the buck was just down the hillside from his location. The buck cautiously slipped through some thick brush and cedars at 20 yards, but Zac elected to pass on the not-so-good-opportunity because he didn’t want to wound the buck.
When the spring of 2021 rolled around, the buck continued his pattern of hanging around through the summer but disappearing in the fall. Again, on Nov. 4, the buck showed up. But Zac was unable to hunt.
“I was dealt with an evil twist of fate,” Zac says. “I got Covid pretty bad and lost 35 pounds. I was forced to set out most of the season.”
In the spring of 2022, the buck showed up again like clockwork. And since the deer historically had shown up on Nov. 4 of each year, Zac made sure he was in his stand on the small parcel that day. Arriving in his stand around 1:30 p.m., it was a dead quiet afternoon. Over the past few seasons, Zac had often daydreamed about where the buck would come from, envisioning the entire sequence in his head. Around 5:15 p.m., Zac heard movement down the hill from him.
“When I looked, I could see it was a buck and when he hit an opening 80 yards away, I knew it was him,” Zac recalls. “He was on the neighboring property, and I wasn’t sure if he’d come my way. Grabbing my grunt call, I was about let out a few grunts, but I decided not to as I watched the giant tear up a tree no more than 60 yards away.”
Eventually the buck worked his way up to a mere 12 yards from Zac’s location. The buck wheeled upon the shot and tore off through the brush.
“After the shot, I got the shakes so bad,” says Zac. “I just sat there replaying in my head what had just happened. Fearing the shot was high, I waited in my tree, calling family and friends.”
After finally climbing down and walking to the spot of the shot, Zac peered down the hill through his binoculars and could see the giant piled up!
“As I kept getting closer to the downed buck, he seemed to just keep getting bigger and bigger,” Zac states. “I couldn’t believe it; the quest was over.”
With towering G2 tines over 15 inches, this great Iowa bowkill unofficially grosses 210.