“In addition to relatively mild winters, compared to the northern extent of whitetail range, Iowa has some of the best soil quality in North America,” notes Andrew Norton, who heads up deer management for the DNR. “The combination of favorable climate and ideal soils provides nutrient-rich vegetation available to deer much of the year.
“Alternatively, across more rugged areas, where agriculture is less predominant in southern and northeastern Iowa, there will be a higher density of trophy bucks. Riparian habitat along major river corridors in Iowa, such as the Mississippi, Missouri, and Des Moines, provides ideally suited cover in addition to rugged terrain.
“Provided the deer population remains well below carrying capacity, there is relatively little food competition, which maximizes antler growth rates across Iowa. Not long after the October bow opener there's a short muzzle loader season (resident only), followed by more bow hunting clear into early December.
That's one obvious reason this trophy-rich state is so highly regarded by residents and outsiders alike. Iowa's herd is on the upswing again after spotty outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in 2012 caused localized losses.
The only other known health threat in Iowa is chronic wasting disease, which is always fatal to infected deer. While the disease has been found in scattered parts of the state, it's difficult to know for sure what impact it could have on deer hunting opportunity in the future.
“As in many other regions, CD is the primary disease concern in Iowa, because the long-term population impacts are unknown,” Andrew explains. “We are intensively monitoring prevalence rates in areas where CD has been detected, and we continue surveillance testing across the entire state.
And with the state's reputation as a hotspot, it's no trouble finding takers for the 6,000 nonresident deer permits made available annually. In fact, Iowa limits each zone's archery permits to 35 percent of the total quota.
You can find growing zones in Iowa by looking at the map above and locating the general area in which you live. You should take time to understand your Iowa growing zones, so you can choose plants that will tolerate your winter region.
By choosing plants matching your zone, or one lower, they will be better equipped to survive wintry conditions. You can find plants appropriate for growing zones in Iowa at your local nursery.
Reputable nurseries will sell landscaping plants that survive your area’s climate conditions. Gary from asks, Public land hunt- That was a great segment recently with your pro staff.
I just want to hunt somewhere that's not overcrowded-Please keep up the great show you guys have worked so hard at producing. I personally like NE Iowa because of the huge Upper Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge (River bottom land) that is actually about 200,000 acres of public hunting land.
Wine, In my search to purchase mature buck whitetail property in the great state of Iowa, I had a lot of counties to choose from and questions about each parcel I looked at. I have hunted Eastern, Southern, Northern, Northeast, and Central Iowa.
Bill responds, For better or worse, I was attracted to southern Iowa back in 1995 because I found a large farm that was owned by a group of guys. We moved from Northeast Iowa (where I grew up) down here to live on and hunt that property.
Eventually, again about three years later, we realized that was not a good move as I was gone a lot of hunting (I was writing for magazines then) and we had a young family. Me being gone put stress on the family, so we decided to move back to southern Iowa closer to the farm we were part owners in.
When we moved back to Iowa, we bought 125 acres and a house about 3/4 mile from that big farm and I started to hunt the new property too. I think there is more deer management here (on average) than in NE Iowa, but if you can get your neighbors on the same page as you and form a kind of loose co-op you can grow giant bucks anywhere in the Midwest (and a lot of other areas too).
When we moved south, I left behind permission on 62 farms in NE Iowa ! I also grew up fishing and hunting the Mississippi River and the many trout streams in that region.
Hawks are renowned for their keen eyesight, swift flight, and sharp talons. This combination of features makes hawks truly formidable hunters.
It is fitting then that one of the most popular activities is hunting in the Hawkeye State. Red Rock Public Hunting Area Foremosthunting.com cites Red Rock as the best public area to bag a trophy buck in Iowa.” It is roughly 30,000 acres of mostly marshland.
Hawkeye’s 13,000 acres contains timber, marsh, bottoms, and upland cover. It is 6,500 acres of upland cover, dense woods, and river bottoms.
VOTE NOW: Is Iowa Sen. Jodi Ernst Doing a Good Job? Less Hills State Forest This State Forest hunting area consists of 10,000 acres of dense woods.
It consists of 6,500 acres of flat bottom land and upland cover. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge These 8,000 acres of dense wood are best suited for hunting pheasants.
Its 50,000 acres of upland, bottoms, and timber cover hide plentiful pheasants, deer, waterfowl, turkey, small game, and bobwhite quail. Rathbone Wildlife Area These 15,792 acres of mostly timber cover are ideal for those who wish to focus on hunting deer.
Full Potential Outdoors LLC offers an outstanding hunting experience. We are a Southern Iowa Outfitter in Zone 5 offering unique whitetail hunts for individuals and small groups.
Southern Iowa has some of the best habitat and trophy whitetail deer in the nation. Please take the time to read the information provided on our website.
Especially considering there are tens of thousands of hunts sold each year through outfitters. They are not vast, but I can tell you that if you are anything like me booking a hunt with an outfitter that does not fit your style of hunting or goals will frustrate you to no end and leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.
I was on a hunt with an outfitter in Missouri in the earlier parts of October a few years back. To my surprise and dismay, the “guides” put us in the timber for our evening hunts and had us bumbling around in the mornings with deer snorting and bolting all over.
And the lodging…the lodging itself was ok but living and sleeping quarters were shared with other hunters. The other hunters spent most nights up partying and keeping the rest of us awake.
Between guides that had no clue and living arrangements that were unacceptable I found myself wondering why anybody would pay for this! I hunted with an Iowa outfitter once that had similar sleeping arrangements.
I don’t know how any outfitter with this arrangement could ever claim you were hunting pressured deer and fresh stands. We spent countless hours and years developing the habitat on the farm.
We created interior food plots in the timber in numerous areas. Small yet strategically placed clear-cuts were made throughout the farms' timber.
By doing so, he not only ruined a lot of good spots on our farm, but I can’t imagine being one of his clients. He also did some things that were actually against the law and I have no doubt his clients didn’t even know.
But here’s the thing, if you were to look at the website for this outfitter all you would see are pictures of big bucks and TV personalities. So here’s the deal…if you haven’t figured it out yourself what he was doing was running the “average” hunters through by the dozens on burned out stands in bad areas and saving the better spots for the advertisers.
Be careful when picking an outfitter that runs through hunters and advertises personalities. If I am going to justify spending good money on a hunt I need to know the outfitter has my interests in mind.
If I can’t have these things I am not going to risk taking a week of vacation and the out lie of money on the hunt. Call and talk to the outfitter and ask pointed questions…if they are evasive, short with their answers, or are more interested in “selling” you the goods, you might want to look elsewhere.
By pointed questions ask if they will have any previous hunters on stands that you will be sitting when you show up. If things are important to you make sure you get the answer you need to hear.