Iowa’s Biggest Big Buck Contest

Sponsored by Budweiser/ Doll Distrbuting., one of our most popular attractions at the Iowa Deer Classic is our Big Buck Contest which typically brings in over 350 trophy whitetails for scoring and display! Leader Boards are rotated for the many categories and on Sunday an Awards Ceremony showcases the biggest Iowa bucks of the year and awards the lucky Iowa hunters. Our first class display of entries is truly a sight to see!

How To Enter:
It’s easy! Bring your trophy to the Iowa Deer Classic Big Buck entrance in the North end of the main lobby of Hy-Vee Hall and purchase a $20 Big Buck Contest entry ticket which includes a 3-day Show Pass (a $36 value) and official scoring of your whitetail. You will be asked to fill out a complete registration form and receive a numbered claim check which correlates to a registration tag that will accompany your whitetail. Security and safety of your trophy is always our number one concern. Your whitetail will be scored and put on display at the show and may be picked up Sunday afternoon after 3:30 PM

Big Buck Special Awards
Best of Show
Most Unusual
Biggest Scoring Bucks (6 pt, 8 pt, 9 pt, 10 pt, 11 pt, 12 pt)
Big Buck Contest Awards Divisions
Top Five (5) Archery Typical
Top Five (5) Archery Non-Typical
Top Five (5) Firearm Typical
Top Five (5) Firearm Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Muzzleloader Typical
Top Three (3) Muzzleloader Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Youth Firearm Typical
Top Three (3) Youth Firearm Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Youth Archery Typical
Top Three (3) Youth Archery Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Historical Typical
Top Three (3) Historical Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Ladies Archery Typical
Top Three (3) Ladies Archery Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Ladies Firearm Typical
Top Three (3) Ladies Firearm Non-Typical
Top Three (3) Crossbow Typical
Top Three (3) Crossbow Non-Typical


Our plaques are laser engraved and made from Iowa White Oak.
They can be customized to add information and pictures.
CLICK HERE for more information.
To go to the Wilson Custom Tree website. CLICK HERE

Big Buck Contest Rules of Entry:

  • Contest open to hunters who legally harvested an antlered whitetail deer in the State of Iowa.
  • Entries will be accepted starting 3:00 pm on Friday March 2, 2018 and close at 11:00 am on Sunday March 4, 2018.
  • Antlers do not need to be mounted. Antlers must have a solid skull plate. 60 day drying period applies. ie: harvested before January 3, 2018 to be scored March 4, 2018.
  • If your deer has been previously scored, you MUST bring a copy of the official score sheet. It will not be re-measured.
  • Entry Fee is per Trophy and contestants will receive a FREE three-day pass (a $36.00 value), and entry in the prize drawing.
  • Bucks must have been harvested in the Fall 2016/2017 or the 2017/2018 Iowa Hunting seasons to enter the Firearm, Archery, Muzzleloader, Crossbow, Ladies Archery, Ladies Firearm or Youth categories.
  • Bucks harvested prior to Fall 2016 hunting season must be entered into the Historical category.
    Found Deer (deadheads) can be entered in the Historical Category.
  • To compete in the Youth Firearm or Youth Archery category, hunter must have been under 18 years of age at time of harvest. Proof of birth date may be required.
  • No previous Iowa Deer Classic winners are eligible for an award with the same trophy deer in the same category.
  • Female entrants can choose whether to complete in the Ladies Archery category, Ladies Firearm category or in the appropriate method specific category (Firearm, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloader, Youth). Once entered, category cannot be changed.
  • Deer from Game Farms or deer harvested in high fence areas may NOT be entered in the contest and they will not be measured.
  • Awards and Judging:

  • Awards will be given at 3:00 Sunday in the Big Buck display area.
  • Plaques and Deluxe Place Ribbons are given for the top five (5) entries in four (4) categories: Archery Typical & Non-Typical, Firearm Typical & Non-Typical.
  • Plaques and Deluxe Place Ribbons are given to the top three (3) entries in the following fourteen (14) categories: Muzzleloader Typical & Non-Typical, Youth Firearm Typical & Non-Typical, Youth Archery Typical & Non-Typical, and Historical Typical & Non-Typical, Ladies Archery Typical & Non-Typical, Ladies Firearm Typical & Non-Typical, Crossbow Typical & Non-Typical.
  • Plaques and Deluxe Ribbons are given to the biggest 6 pt, 8 pt, 9 pt, 10 pt, 11 pt, and 12 pt bucks entered in the contest.
  • Entries eligible for one Award only, and must be present at the Awards Presentation to win.
  • Award Ribbons are awarded to all entries meeting Iowa DNR record list, Pope & Young Record Book, Boone & Crockett Record Book or Long Hunters Society Book entry standards.
  • All entries will be measured by Official Measurers using the Boone & Crockett and/or Pope & Young Scoring System. Bucks can be entered into the Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young Record Books if qualified for an additional fee. Bucks that qualify will be entered in the Iowa DNR record book for no charge.
  • Each entrant is eligible for a Special Door Prize Drawing. You do not have to be present to win the drawing.
  • Judging will be performed on Sunday afternoon. No entries can be picked up without permission before 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
  • Awards will be determined based on the Boone & Crockett score and/or Pope & Young score. Trophy deer must be present to win an award.
  • You MUST have a Claim Check AND Proof of Identity to claim your entry. No exceptions. Security is a high priority at the show. We strongly suggest your trophy be locked in your car after return. No trophy deer will be allowed on the show floor after return.
    We offer the option to have your deer officially measured by our certified scorers. It will NOT be entered in the contest or displayed. It will NOT be eligible for awards. Antlers may be picked up after they are scored. Priority is given to deer entered in the contest first. Cost $20.

    Please print and fill out the Big Buck Registration Form to expedite the check in process.
    for a registration form CLICK HERE

    All Deer meeting Boone and Crockett All-time Book requirements will be added to our Hall of Fame list and will get an invite to future shows with free admission in return for displaying the deer.