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November 30, 2007

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BuckTracker: A Five-Star Night on Forty Acres

Carl Lipke apologizes for not getting a better photo of the buck he killed last month (below). But Carl—a devout Iowa bowhunter who’s studying for his Master of Divinity degree—had a story that trumps even the best picture, so I couldn’t resist sharing it with my BuckTracker friends.


“I hunt my father-in-law’s farm in eastern Iowa,” Carl says. “He only owns 40 acres, 25 of which are wooded, but it sits in the middle of a giant ridge system. There’s a secluded little field in there, and during the rut there are just a lot of deer moving through that little chunk of land. I’ve had some great bowhunts there and just treasure the place. 

Before Carl crawled into one of his favorite stands the afternoon of November 2, he placed a Flambeau decoy with one antler near his stand. “In front of the decoy I placed some dominant buck lure, and behind it I put down some estrous doe scent. Then I sat down to wait.” Carl wasn’t in the stand long when a doe appeared and worked within bow range of his stand. Carl made the shot, then watched the doe run off a short distance before dying. Jazzed by this success, and having a second any-deer tag in his pocket, he decided to sit back and enjoy the evening.

“Not long after the doe tipped over, I looked up and saw this nice 10-point buck heading my way,” Carl says. “He eventually spotted the decoy and I thought ‘I’ve got him’” but for some reason he just flicked his tail and walked off. I guess he wasn’t in the mood for fighting. As soon as he left, I spotted another buck. I tipped over a bleat can and he walked right into the decoy. There was a long, tense standoff as he stood within bow range but wouldn’t turn for a good shot. Finally, he stepped broadside at 20 yards and I made a perfect shot. When he ran off, I was on an absolute adrenaline buzz! All I could think was ‘Wow, I’ve got a nice doe down, shot a beautiful buck, and got to watch another buck.’ I had to sit down and gather myself a bit, it was such a cool afternoon in the timber!”

But Lipke’s hot stand wasn’t done producing. “I was sitting there soaking things up when I hear ‘crunch, crunch, crunch’ coming from behind me,” he says. “It was a monstrous 12-point, a magazine-cover deer, one of those that you just dream of seeing. Well he walked right up to that decoy and for the next few minutes he did everything you could imagine except attack that deke. He grunted, he postured, he snort-wheezed. He even did a long, low growl. I kept thinking he was going to turn sideways and knock that Flambeau into the next county. Eventually he just walked off and I sat there, amazed. The buck I killed is a beauty and I’m proud of it as can be, but that last one….he was an absolute giant. I felt privileged just to see him. I’ve enjoyed some great hunts on that little piece of piece of timber, but I’ve never had anything to match what I saw that one magic November evening!”

BuckTracker Stats
Date: November 2, 2007
Location: eastern Iowa
Weight: Unknown
Points: 15
Green Score: 150” estimate
Weapon: Mathews FX bow
Shot distance: 20 yards
Method: Tree stand


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Deer Blood

Should have taken the monster.


What a great story! Some days in the deer stand are good, some are great, and a few are pure magic.


I applaud you. Some guys (like Deer Blood above, it seems) would have put an arrow in that monster and called up a friend to slap a tag on the smaller one. As hunters, it is usually up to us to police ourselves. Sadly, some do a piss-poor job of it. Not you, Carl--and I tip my cap to you.


Exactly right, Don. Couldn't have said it better myself.

J. Johnston

Way to go, Carl. The buck you got is a beauty, and you have ever right to be very proud of it. Besides, every time you look at that rack, you'll see the big 12-pointer in your head.

Hunter Ed

Fine deer. Great story.


hey I am a relatively new deer hunter, having hunted deer only 2 years back on the farm where I grew up. That was 9 years ago, but I am now getting into it. I have been hunting an area in the hardwoods of nc and I found a couple of clearings with a scrape in one just yesterday the deer moved his scrape back 20 feet to the middle of the clearing, could this be that he knows he is being hunted and was trying to put it back out of the line of sight?


While I treasure the bucks I have taken, it's the one's that have gotten away that I seem to think of more often.



Gordon: Keep after this deer. He has not moved his scrape, he's just laying down more sign. I'd set up on the scrape in the thicker cover, as he's more likely to visit this area in daylight hours. Go get him!



K. Maloney

Hey Carl(Hunter) nice way to go! I am very impressed by your ethics - as a new bowhunter this season it is very important to me to know that there are ethical hunters out there I can look up to! Have you ever done any hunting around Potosi, MO? Say around Lakewood?

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