Hunter: Curtis Goettsch
Trophy Score: 153 5/8
Weapon: Bow - Xpedition MX-16
Public/Private Land: Private
Where hunt can be viewed: Victory Outdoors on Mossy Oak GO (coming soon!)
2020 marks my sixteenth season bowhunting my home state of Iowa, eleventh year serving on the Mossy Oak ProStaff and ninth year since I founded Victory Outdoors . As bad as 2020 has been, when I am 20 feet above the ground in the fall, everything seems right with the world. The farm I was hunting was new to me but not to Victory Outdoors team member Dennis Hensley. He had successfully hunted this farm the last two seasons and invited me to hunt it with him. We have 14 Reveal Cell Cameras on this 350-acre farm. With this many trail cameras and six stand location, the HuntStand app helps us put together the puzzle. Knowing how the deer move on this farm combined with the HuntZone feature helps us identify the best wind to hunt a particular stand.
Early on I identified a beautiful main frame 8-point that had a split G2 on his left side. We had trail cam photos from last year of this buck, and it was my mission to kill this five-and-a-half-year-old buck. He would become my number-one target for 2020.
On my first sit of the season I would miss the split G2 buck. I didn’t expect an opportunity so soon. This buck came to 20 yards and worked a scrape. He was slightly downwind of us and when he was done with the scrape, he started to jog a bit. I drew my bow and stopped him at 15 yards. From my line of sight I had a very small window to shoot through, however, my arrow’s line of flight did not have the same window. What I didn’t see was a small twig and sent my arrow high and far left of the buck, missing him by more then five yards. I was bummed but had hope as I knew this buck had been a homebody all summer.
As the season progressed we saw a number of great bucks, however, when the rut started to kick in, we broke out the Primos Scarface decoy!
First night using the decoy, a really nice 10 stomps his way into 20 yards. It was a fantastic encounter. As a bow hunter, if you have never hunted the early rut with a decoy, you owe it to yourself to try it. The next morning we found ourselves right back in the same stand. Does began to work our way at daybreak, and we saw a small buck pushing does around at about 200 yards. I decided to rattle, as it with the combination of our decoy had been a successful recipe the night before.
Fifteen minutes went by and as we watched the does feeding closer, Dennis catches movement to our left. I heard him say, “Curtis there is a buck right here. It’s the split G2 buck. Get you your bow.”
This buck being older, then the 10-point from the night before, circled wide of the decoy at 40 yards, working his way down wind of the decoy. This brought him to a shot window at 25 yards and my Xpedition MX-16 zipped my arrow right through him. I would recover him about 120 yards from the stand. What an amazing fall I had during the Iowa archery season.