“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.
Rob from Iowa asks, Topic: Best Iowa Counties for Hunting Mature Bucks: 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.
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.
I managed it for three or four years, and then we moved to Michigan to be closer to my wife’s family. 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 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.
Our farm is pretty empty when it comes to mature bucks right now, so we will have a couple of rebuilding years. Species coverage includes Deer, Waterfowl, Turkey, and Grouse.
Hawks are renowned for their keen eyesight, swift flight, and sharp talons. This combination of features makes hawks truly formidable hunters.
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 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.
Wicked Whitetail Outdoors is an Iowa Whitetail Hunting Outfitter located in Zone 4 providing Guided Deer Hunts on 3,500 acres of land. Using Tree Stands & Blinds, Our Experienced Guides And Outfitters Will Help You Snag Your Monster Buck.
Less Hills State Forest Location : west Iowa Size : 11,266 acres ZIP : 51040 The south and west sides hold native prairie dotted with encroaching red cedars, while farm fields and food plots are largely confined to the bottoms.
The reservoir's irregular shape creates small pockets of land that are harder to get to than others-good spots to look for good deer. Prairie and food plots dominate the open areas, while oak-hickory hardwoods can be found in broken woodland blocks.
Go to the Iowa DNR site and check out the public land they have on there. Plenty of public land, and you can get away from people during archery season.
With 3 u should be a go ! If it don't work on the public I can find u a farm to hunt for a trespass fee. If you have invested 3 years building preference points along with the expense of an Iowa NR license, I would try to find a way to come up and spend a weekend driving around and general looking around.
It used to be much less crowded back in the day, but resident pressure has increased each year due to all the hype. One good thing going for you is the pheasant population has collapsed, eliminating bird hunters from beating down the old fields on the public.
Coon hunting is still popular there so beware the area you pick could be pounded by barking dogs all night while you're gone. They like to do that, and sometimes bring ATV's which are illegal but the DNR won't enforce the law.
ZIM good points to go and just hunt some public for whitetail is banking on a lot of luck ! I would not sweat the fact that you have not been there, I've had many good hunts based on knowing how whitetails move and aerial photos.
Some of my favorite areas in November are thick fence rows and small thickets around farm ponds. Many times these are the places I found a monster buck holed up with a doe or two.
Killed a couple in November doing this, plus saw a ton hunting pheasants in these areas. Most people don't ask to hunt these areas, but they can be killer if the corn in still in and actually better than timber many times, because the deer have cover and food.
I would suggest looking for some uncut corn and I would not be afraid to stop in at the local coop or diner at noon to talk farmers about hunting corn fields. Feel free to PM me if you have questions or want to look at a public area online, good chance I've hunted it or know someone that has.