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Deer Hunting in Decatur County Iowa
Whitetail Deer
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Successful Iowa Hunts
Scouting is Essential!
Mike, a successful bow hunter from Minnesota, harvested this mainframe 8 point (172 5/8 green score) whitetail buck on public land - November 6, 2007. If you're serious about hunting, and you've got hunting Iowa on your mind, you need a plan. We all know the techniques and equipment used have changed over the years, but one thing remains the same - the nature of a mature whitetail buck. There is no magic formula or secret-to-success manual. Tagging a big buck takes time and effort. It means gaining knowledge about the area you are going to hunt and applying that knowledge during the season.
Scouting is one of the most important actions you can take. Scouting allows you to accumulate knowledge about the woods. And it can't happen only a few days before the season opens. This means if you are a long way from the hunting land, you may need to make a few trips during the year. If you're coming to hunt in Iowa from a long distance away, but you don't have time to be scouting year-round and making multiple 500+ mile trips, don't worry, living inside Iowa we are constantly learning about our land and wildlife. Daily observation and year round scouting (on foot, with pickup, 4-wheeler, spotting scopes, and trail cameras) helps us to predict behavior and activity during the hunting season. Then, by closely monitoring a number of key locations, maybe we can outsmart a trophy buck.

Click a thumbnail image below to fill the screen with more successful whitetail deer hunters.
Eli from Iowa harvested this huge droptine during the early muzzleloader season in 2012.Kenny's 2003 archery season buck.DF and Eric 2003 shotgun.Cody with his first whitetail buck harvested on December 1, 2007. Unofficial green score 195 B&C. Dan from Wisconsin harvested this whitetail buck on public land - December 1, 2007. Unofficial green score 185 B&C.Dave from Pennsylvania harvested this tremendous 8 point whitetail buck on private land - November 6, 2007. Mike from Iowa harvested this whitetail buck on private land - December 1, 2007. Unofficial green score 180 B&C.Kent from Minnesota harvested this nice 8 point whitetail buck on public land - November 8, 2007 Marker from Iowa harvested this 8 point whitetail buck (inside spread measures 22 1/2 inches) - November 16, 2007. Danny from North Carolina harvested this awesome 12 point nontypical whitetail buck on private land - November 9, 2008. This whitetail deer was nontypical in more ways than one - other than antlers this buck has no male parts. Jimmy from North Carolina harvested this nice 10 point whitetail buck on private land - November 10, 2008.Ron from Oklahoma harvested this nice 10 point whitetail buck on public land - November 19, 2007
Successful whitetail deer hunters prove -
Persistence Has It's Rewards!
This is a story from Bob Hooven. Bob came to Iowa in 2010 on a hunting trip where he shot a beautiful deer. Here is Bob's story:

This is a short story of my hunt on Friday 10-29-10 in Decatur county Iowa. I was staying at the Bar M Bunkhouse, owned by Terry and Peggy Mothershead, in Grand River, Iowa. (Note from TM: We enjoyed your stay especially the excellent guitar picking!) It doesn’t include all the scouting, walking, and effort since Monday the 25th leading up to this day.

Bobs Iowa 8 point buck.
Iowa Deer, 8 point

It was my fourth trip into this area spaced out over 3 or 4 days. The first time in was mid-morning. At that time I saw signs of big bucks. The second time in later that evening, I set up a ground blind near a big scrape. While there, I had a 35 yd. marginal shot at another nice 8 point deer. At that time I didn’t draw my bow, thinking he would offer a little better shot. The next evening, on the ground, the big one walked out in front of me at 30 yards in a corn field. I just didn’t think I could shoot through 30 yards of corn stalks! That day most of the action seemed to be on the other side of the field. The next morning I was determine to be in their face. On the way out I picked out a big locust tree near a trail that would give me cover for my back but wide open in the front.

It was barely day light when I arrived the next morning at the site. I cleared the leaves with my feet then stepped out and cleared one shooting lane between me and the field. Now I was ready with my bow hanging from a limb, expecting the buck to come out of the field back to the timber in the creek bottom. Only a few minutes later I heard something snap over to my right. I turned my head to see the biggest buck I’ve ever seen while hunting. He was 20 yards and closing the distance to pass in front of me at 8 yards. I didn’t know I was that close to the deer trail. I reached for my bow, began to crouch, and was drawing at the same time. He stopped slightly to my right with no shooting lane. At full draw I sort of went around in a circle with my bow arm to find a little shooting hole in the brush. The arrow found it’s mark and the buck only went about 60 yards and gave it up. I stayed put for as long as I could. (about 45 minutes)

When I got to him I was so excited and there was no ground shrinkage. His gross score is 160+ inches. I’ve taken lots of deer over the years but this was the biggest, first one from Iowa, and the first one while hunting from the ground.

Well that’s about it except for tagging, picture taking, skinning, quartering, and the two ¾ mile long trips to pack it out.

Successful Hunts