A spooked 10-pointer and raucous turkeys seemed to have ruined the evening. Then this buck walked by at 14 yards
Rack Report Details
170 (green, gross score)
Time of Year:
October 29, 2019
Wapello County, Iowa
Christina Krajcsovics is the matriarch of a family of serious bowhunters. Along with her husband, RJ, and their kids, this crew hunts whatever is in season with a stick and string, from deer and turkeys to elk and black bears. For four years, Christina has applied for a coveted Iowa non-resident bow tag and in 2019, she finally drew one. They scheduled the trip, and several months later, made the trek from their New Jersey home.
She planned to hunt on a friend’s farm, and the place is the classic Iowa scene. It’s crop land with timber blocks, it’s managed for big deer — and it doesn’t get much pressure during archery season. Christina and RJ arrived to hunt at midday on October 28. They were the first to sit a stand on the place all season.
They saw deer that first afternoon, but nothing Christina wanted to shoot. That night brought winds of change, with temperatures falling into the 20s with a little snow. Deer moved again the next morning, but still, no shooter bucks.
On the evening of the 29th, the Krajcsovics moved to a stand near a heavily used trail just below a ridgetop cornfield. As the hunt progressed, a nice 10-pointer came in, but downwind. The buck caught their scent and blew out, making quite a commotion. “I was really bummed when the buck started blowing,” Christina said. “I was certain it spooked every deer in the area.”
As the evening drew to a close, a flock of turkeys came through, and flew up to roost nearby. RJ — who was perched in a lock-on stand next to Christina with a camera in hand — had little faith in their chances for the evening. He switched off the camera and lowered it to his lap.
That’s when he noticed the deer. A giant buck walked from the cornfield above and slipped down the trail toward them. The drop from the ridge to the stand location positioned the buck at eye level. RJ wanted to pick up the camera, but he knew better than to take a chance on spooking the deer. He remained motionless as the buck made its way into shooting range.
Christina knew it was a good buck — a solid shooter — but didn’t study the antlers beyond that. “I always look at a buck just long enough to know if it’s a shooter or not,” Christina said. “Then, I try not to look at the antlers again.”
RJ, on the other hand, studied the antlers. He knew it was a giant.
Christina concentrated on the buck as it slowly stepped into bow range. It stopped 14 yards from her tree and turned broadside. She drew, aimed, released and watched as the arrow hit its mark. The buck lunged down the trail toward the creek drainage below, crossed to the other side and dashed out of sight. They heard the buck crash, and then the woods went quiet.
They gave the deer a few minutes before taking up the track. The shot was perfect, but the big buck still went nearly 300 yards before falling.
“You hear people all the time say their buck was smaller than they thought it was when they shot,” Christina said. “This one was the opposite. I had seen enough of his antlers to know it was a shooter, but I had no idea how big it really was.”
Christina’s buck featured 14 scorable points on a 10-point main frame and green scored 170 inches. That’s not a bad surprise on an evening the Krajcsovics thought was ruined.