Owning a Piece of God's Country & Hunting an Iowa 10-Point Buck


Owning a piece of America is one of the most rewarding purchases a person can make. For a hunter, purchasing your own unique piece of hunting ground in this grand country is something to be cherished. For Mark Heck, from The Given Right, his special chunk of American soil lies directly on one of the most prime hunting destinations: Iowa. Renowned for its hearty, mature buck population, hunters dream of being able to land a tag that enables them to hunt this great state. As a land owner, Mark gets a tag each year to take a buck off the property, and today is no exception.

Its opening day of muzzleloader season in Iowa, a frigid 3° out, Kenneth Lancaster comes to hunt with his longtime friend but Mark is nowhere to be found. Kenneth simply cannot resist the perfect opportunity at a mature buck, so he decides no more waiting around the lodge for Mark to show up.

“It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” Kenneth Lancaster

So Kenneth heads out in search of a 10-point they call “Fatty”.


In the blind, Kenneth easily comes across his trophy buck but isn’t able to get a shot off.

How can a big buck walk out into an open field like this and a hunter not be able to cock the hammer and just shoot him, you might ask? Oddly enough, this time, there were too many deer. Every time Kenneth tried to get a shot off on Fatty, a smaller buck would walk in front of him or behind him, a doe would walk behind him, or the deer would stand facing the blind . . the deer was almost able to exit the field without Kenneth getting a clean shot at him. Almost.

Kenneth did the responsible thing and waited patiently. It’s terrible to take an unstable shot and risk only wounding the animal. But he also knows he can wait too long for the perfect shot, and miss his chance to bring home some big buck antlers.

Even for the best of the best, things don’t always go as planned. Quitting is not an option. If we were to quit every time the hunt does not go as planned, none of us would be hunters. That is why fighting the elements and beating the odds that are not in your favor makes the reward of harvesting an animal that much sweeter. It never gets old.

It is not about an end result. It is about a journey. A journey to find who we are.

Whether you are green in the hunting world or whether you eat, sleep, and breath hunting, every hunter knows one thing: no matter how long you do this - every time the trigger is pulled or every time an arrow is loosed, you can still get that knock in your knees and that shake in your hands. Kenneth always wonders at this anomaly, promising that if it ever goes away, he will hang up his boots and be done.

So then why do we hunt? What is the end goal, if it is not the end result, but a journey?

. . .To discover where we’ve come from. It is an effort to overcome challenge and adversity. We provide food for the table while fighting to restore the foundations our forefathers have laid. They may bend, but they will not break. So, we fight with a heart of respect. You see, it is not an effort to look down on anyone, but rather an effort to look back on where we have come from and most importantly, where we will be if we don’t. You see, it is our life. You can stand with us or you can stand against us, but the life of a hunter is our DNA. We’ve all come from hunters, so we continue to move ahead as hunters. You see, this is who we are.

This is our creed. This is our life. This is our given right.
— The Given Right

Watch the full story in “Where the Heck is Mark” from The Given Right.

S4:E10 - “Where the Heck is Mark”




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