Thursday, December 2, 2010

Iowa Hunt Recap

In mid-November I spent nine consecutive days on an archery whitetail hunt in Iowa, and it brought about some much needed time in the field. I spent an average of about seven hours in the stand each day and saw lots of deer. I saw a total of four "shooter" bucks on the trip, but never sealed the deal and harvested one.

Before the hunt began, I had been able to view some trail camera pictures from one of my homemade game cameras that was positioned on a deer trail on this property for the last two months. The camera revealed some really, really nice bucks that roam this property, and I decided to be really picky for the first few days of the hunt and hold out for a true trophy. I passed on this really good 10-point the very first evening I was in the stand with the hopes of seeing a bigger one...

On the last 4 days of the hunt I did see a bigger one. I spotted a big, wide 8-point way out across the corn field one evening with a couple does. It was very windy that evening and he was too far away to hear my attempt to get his attention with the grunt call. After getting a good look at him with the binoculars I easily determined this to be one of the big bucks from the trail camera. It was this one, which we simply referred to as "Wide 8".


The next morning I had another encounter with this buck in the food plot. The fog and mist was really thick and I only got a quick glimpse of him as he skirted the edge of the food plot and disappeared into the woods. But the next morning was my closest encounter. I had decided to hunt the bottom of a ravine to get out of the wind, and I was hunting from the ground next to a big oak tree. I hit the rattling antlers together and saw a buck heading my way about 80 yards straight in front of me. As he walked toward me I got my bow ready and stood motionless as he approached. Once I got a good look at him I realized it was this same big, wide 8-point that I had seen the previous two days. He closed the distance to approximately 30 yards and then stopped while looking directly at me. We both stood like statues for what seemed like forever but was actually only a couple minutes. I couldn't draw my bow until he turned one way or the other. When he finally made a movement to his right I drew the bow, but he caught my movement out of the corner of his eye and bound away. He stopped at about 50 yards momentarily but he was behind some brush. He then slowly walked off into the woods. The very next morning I tried this same spot, but instead of hunting from the ground I was in my climbing stand. I rattled in three different bucks that morning. The first two were just small ones, but the third one was the "Wide 8" again. This time he approached from behind me about halfway up the ridge. I heard him coming and as I grabbed my bow and moved into position I could tell he caught my scent, as more than likely it was drifting up the ridge right to him. He paused for a moment, looked around, and then turned around and walked away. Close, but no cigar.

I was able to harvest a young doe while I was there, and I have to say this is the best venison I have ever tasted. Much better than the deer meat we get here in Texas.

Here is me with my doe...

The hunt was really challenging and lots of fun. I was able to visit with friends I don't get to see that often and was blessed by their hospitality. I had a wonderful time and hope to be able to go back next season!

1 comment:

Trey said...

sounds like a good hunt! Sorry you didn't bag the big one!