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Steven Poppe

Steven Poppe harvested this 223-pound buck with a bow on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in rural Davenport to win the Quad-City Times' 2016-17 Big Buck Contest. It also marked Poppe's first buck harvest with a bow.

It will be hard for Steven Poppe of Davenport to forget the first time he harvested a buck with a bow.

It happened in the evening on Friday, Nov. 4, in rural Scott County. From about 20 yards out, the 20-year-old West High School grad aimed and knocked down a 223-pound buck, the largest deer he's ever killed. 

"It was a long time coming," said Poppe, a student at Muscatine Community College. "I had a few other deer that I lost, so it was good to actually find this one."

Deer hunting season in Iowa ended on Tuesday, and Poppe's shot earned him the win in the Quad-City Times' inaugural big buck contest.

Just two other contestants registered and weighed their field-dressed bucks at B&B Shooting Supplies in Bettendorf.

Kenny Westfall harvested a 175-pound buck in Rock Island County, and Trent Burns harvested a 177-pound buck in Scott County, according to B&B.

Poppe will receive a $500 gift certificate he can put toward the purchase of a new bow from B&B.

Archery, muzzleloader and shotgun hunters could have entered their bucks in the contest for free.

Entrants, however, were limited to antlered deer taken in the following counties:


• Scott

• Clinton

• Muscatine

• Cedar


• Rock Island

• Henry

• Whiteside

Archery season in Illinois ends on Sunday.

A relieved Poppe, who mentioned he spends most of his time in the classroom these days, already is looking ahead to his next outing in the woods.

"It felt good to get that first one out of the way," Poppe said. "Now, I've got to try and beat this one, but I'm sure it's going to be tough to do."


Jack Cullen covers health, wellness and outdoor recreation for the Quad-City Times.