When Iowa deer hunter Justin Sieren tagged a monstrous six ½-year-old buck last month, he knew he had gotten something special. In the previous four years, he’s taken four unique deer. However, this fall’s hunt was different. Yet, it would take some research and planning on Sieren’s end to get this nontypical.
“A local guy who lives right by where I park my truck told me that he’d heard about a big nontypical in the area,” Sieren said in a recent interview. “This really solidified my game plan for changing spots and doing a hang-and-hunt, because I knew the exact buck he’d referenced. After talking to him, I had confidence that the deer was crossing a transition area that I had permission to hunt on its way toward food in the evenings. All I had left to do was pick a tree.”
Then, on the opening day of Iowa’s early-muzzleloader season, Oct. 16, Sieren found himself hunting a mix of pastures and hay fields with a creek running through it. The area was thick with brushy cover, and 15-plus-mph winds blew that day.
Later as the sun began to sink, Sieren saw a coyote across the field. Then, two does. After that, a couple of small bucks did the same.
Then, with just half an hour of daylight left, his dream hunt appeared. He started moving in the direction of a nearby agricultural field.
Sieren settled, slowly squeezed the trigger, and took the shot from 50 yards. The buck instantly fell in its tracks.
Buck’s third beam likely the result of genetics
“This is definitely a buck of a lifetime, and is truly one-of-kind,” Sieren said. “I don’t think I could have drawn it up better. I wasn’t for certain that this was where he was living, but I knew he was feeding at one of the ag fields. This transition made sense to cut him off during daylight, and that proved to be the final piece to the puzzle.”
When it was all said and done, the buck scored 188 4/8 inches. In addition, its unique rack makes it even more remarkable than its score, considering its unusual third main beam on its left side.
“My buddies, who helped recover him, and the neighbor I’d talked to before the hunt were all pretty shocked,” Sieren said. “People were definitely surprised by his nontypical side, saying he looks part mule deer or elk. The brow tines and third main beam—you don’t see that very often.”
According to wildlife experts, the 3rd beam on a deer’s rack resulted from either nontypical genetics or an injury. However, since this particular buck was five years or older, it’s more than likely genetics.