Archery Deer Hunting in IowaDec 18, 2009

     My deer season started in Missouri, but my first road trip took me to Iowa! I waited four long years to get my Iowa bow tag, and needless to say, I was fired up! I called up my good friend Paul Fountain, who outfits several hunters in Iowa, and asked him if he had any properties up there that I could hunt.  He told me to head up there whenever I could find the time, and thatís exactly what I did!  I set aside the first part of November to give myself the best chance at finding a big bruiser buck, and Jesse and I took the short two hour drive North!
    We met up with Paul the first day, and he took us to scope out the area that he had for us to hunt. It looked like a dynamite spot, with tall standing corn, and big buck tracks everywhere! We found a good tree for us to put a set of stands in, and headed away with high hopes!  Before we got completely out of there, we went ahead and put up a couple of trail cameras, just to see what our options were during the next few days of our hunt.

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Paul and I discuss hunting locations.

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    That evening, we put a set of stands in the tree, and hunted. The temperature had warmed up to about 75 degrees, and of the few deer we saw, none of them were shooter bucks.  We werenít deterred though, because we knew that Iowa produces some giant bucks, and at any moment, a tank buck could walk by.

     The next day was much like the first, as the warm temperature kept the big deer in their beds all day.  We stuck it out though, studying where the deer came from, and where a big buck would likely appear. The one promising thing was that we noticed a couple does that were acting as if they were about to come into estrus. We also noticed that several of the deer kept going by the same nice rub on a cedar tree. I took that little bit of information, and fed on it, because if thereís one thing that I know about deer hunting, itís that if the does are around, then the bucks will eventually show up!

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     The temperature dropped on the third day, and our warm, doe filled day before turned into a cold, hunterís paradise for us to enjoy.  From sunup to sundown, we were seeing good bucks!  Right at daylight, we rattled in two ten pointers that looked like they were pushing 150, and it was all that I could do to keep from putting an arrow through one.  When I say it was all that I could do, I mean I rattled in the same ten point 3 times! He ended up coming by our stand something like seven times!!
    Like I said, I was in paradise, with deer coming from all directions. If people donít think the temperature has anything to do with buck activity, then they are just plain crazy, because the bucks were all coming out of the wood work!

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    Just before dark, a really big, wide 8 point lumbered toward our stand. He walked by the rub that all the deer had been going by and headed right at us with no idea we were anywhere around. I said to Jesse, ďhere we goĒ and I let an arrow fly! I heard it hit the buck with an alarming thud, and I watched the buck take off.  My shot must have hit a limb or something, but the arrow hit much farther back than I intended.  We saw the buck lay down, but he kept his head up, so I made the decision to let the buck lay over night, and head back to find him in the morning.  I was upset with myself, but I knew that there was no point in bumping him in the dark.

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    Sure enough, the next day, the buck was gone, and we had to start tracking.  Tracking the deer took almost all day, and I had given up on finding any more blood.  There was a horse pasture next to the property we were hunting, and I decided scan over it to see if the buck happened to stumble out there.  To my surprise, I saw him, laying next to a small pond, sprawled out like he had dropped in his tracks!  He turned out to be a big bruiser 9 point that scored right at 150!

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    I canít thank Paul Fountain enough for showing me some of the best property I have ever hunted! I donít know if I can wait another four years until I get to hunt there again, but thereís no doubt that Iíll be back!