Photos: Bowhunter Takes Massive 195-Inch Buck in Iowa

Dana Holmgren had little time to hunt whitetails in Iowa this past fall after using his vacation time on a trip to Alaska. That, however, didn't stop him from hunting hard when he could. Dana had three farms to hunt, but only two were producing trail cam pictures of mature bucks. Here's how Dana was able to take this huge buck with precious little time to hunt.
One of the bucks was a deer that Dana was familiar with. The season before he had passed on a buck twice that would have scored about 150. Dana hoped the buck would make it through the 2010 season and was excited to see the buck on trail camera photos this past summer. The buck, however, was showing up infrequently. Dana figured the old boy wasn't living on the farm he was hunting, but couldn't be too far away.
Like many areas, the weather was funky this past November in Iowa. The temperature would dip during the middle of the week and always seemed to warm up on the weekends when Dana was hunting.
With only a half-day worth of vacation left, Dana was able to get the afternoon off on the day before Thanksgiving. After work he headed home for a quick shower and then went to the farm. He knew exactly where he had to go and headed for the pinch point. Dana had a good feeling about the spot.
Slowly, Dana made the 400-yard walk to the pinch point with his stand on his back and bow in hand. After getting his stand set, he set a trail cam nearby and by 3:20 p.m. he was settled in and ready for action.
It was an hour before the deer started moving and the first thing to walk by was a doe and two fawns. Trailing the doe was a yearling buck, grunting with each step – this was a good sign. Dana waited a bit and then began to rattle, which quickly drew in another small buck. Once the smaller buck left the area, Dana began another light rattling sequence.
That's when a twig snapped from the direction the smaller buck had just disappeared to. Dana grabbed his bow, but figured the smaller buck had made a U-turn and was heading back to see who was sparring. As Dana scanned the woods for movement, the giant 10-pointer stepped out of the thick brush with its hair standing up and walking stiff legged. The big buck was headed right toward one of Dana's shooting lanes, but Dana was facing the wrong way and had to slowly turn into position so he could come to full draw.
Dana drew back as the buck began quartering away to head back into the thick brush. Dana tried to stop the buck three times, but the buck had it's own plan. With the deer at 12 yards Dana settled the pin and squeezed the trigger. The arrow hit the buck farther back than Dana would have liked and he could see his fletching sticking out of the deer as it ran away.
It all happened so fast that Dana didn't even have time to get nervous. All the emotions – heart pounding and knee knocking – happened after the shot. Dana knew he had to get out of there and let the buck lay down so he headed back to the truck.
After consulting some of his hunting buddies, Dana decided to leave the buck overnight and come back in the morning with some help to begin the search. A long sleepless night followed for Dana as he replayed the shot over and over in his head.
The next morning Dana and some friends were back at the farm shortly after first light. The blood trail was light and after 80 yards the blood stopped all together. Dana and his friends pushed on, following turned up leaves and then began spreading out to search a wider area. As Dana headed east through some steep terrain he saw his buck with its rack lying on the ground next to a large tree!
Dana had estimated the buck to be in the 170s, but it was actually much bigger. The buck has a clean typical 10-point rack with 26-inch main beams, a 20-inch inside spread and G2s and G3s all over 12 inches giving the buck a gross score of 195 inches. It's an incredible trophy that any hunter would be damn proud of.

Iowa Bowhunter Dana Holmgren didn’t have much time to deer hunt last fall, but he still managed to kill this incredible 195-inch buck. Here’s how he did it.