Gearing Up For Your Iowa Whitetail Deerhunt
Iowa Whitetail Deer Hunting is has become the best location to harvest a Boone and Crockett Buck in the United States or Canada. It is in Zone 5 that Iowa whitetail deer hunting is re-writing the record books. While whitetail deer hunting in Iowa in 2007 I sat high atop a black oak tree watching a dense funnel located between two cornfields that were attracting the biggest whitetail bucks in the area. It was from this location that I was in pursuit of a wide racked 12 point that was making rubs on trees much larger than telephone poles, and had been sighted many times throughout the year. At dawn the freezing Iowa rain began sprinkling down and turning into a constant freezing rain. A condition that I thought would ruin my Iowa whitetail deer hunt. In an attempt at being “GI Joe” I was determined to sit it out as I knew Iowa deer hunting was my best shot at taking a buck that would land me on the cover of any Whitetail Deer Specialty Magazine in the nation. I screwed a camo umbrella above my treestand location in an attempt to shelter myself from the harsh conditions Iowa deer hunting can often present. Within 10 minutes the umbrella collapsed on my head and sent both cold water and icicles down the back of my coat. The freezing rain bearing down on me was frozen in heavy sections of ice at least 2 inches hanging from my shotgun barrel. The first thing to get cold was my feet during my Iowa whitetail deer hunt. After about an hour I couldn’t feel my feet. In an attempt to revive them I took shake up heat packs and put them in my ill equipped boots which did bring the feeling back to my frozen feet for a brief time. My torso was bearable in the cold but my hands were wet and cold enough I had to hold heat pads under my coat and hang my gun upside down so that the freezing rain wouldn’t enter the barrel. Their was not way to hold the gun and keep my hands from frost bite. Beyond belief I was seeing a lot of deer. While this may come as a shock, Iowa deer will move in just about any environmental condition. After all it is Iowa deer hunting. Iowa whitetail deer hunting does bear harsh conditions but the bucks their grow to mammoth proportions.
In 2008 the Iowa Whitetail Deer Firearms Season started out with a couple inches of snow and bearable conditions however this year I was geared up properly. Winds were 20 miles per hour bringing wind chill temperatures to a miserable state. However at first light I passed up 4 different trophy animals that any novice hunter would be proud to shoot before I brought a monster whitetail to his knees with my Benelli Super Black Eagle equipped with Nikon Scope. On this same morning the two hunters I was guiding in Iowa also tagged out on huge whitetail deer in less than 20 minutes of first light, as like I said, “Iowa deer move in almost any condition.” Iowa deer hunting is so strange in Zone 5. As a whitetail hunter when we go out to hunt in 20 mph winds and bad conditions we normally assume whitetail deer won’t be moving, however in Iowa the deer are simply used to it and pay no mind to it. Three years ago in 20 mile per hour winds the first three deer to hit the dirt the hour of light in our camps were all over 180 inches.
When I delivered the Iowa whitetail deer to the taxidermist of IMB Outfitters he stated, “Darrin, the weirdest thing about Iowa deer is that out of all 5 states you outfit the Iowa deer have twice the hair other deer possess like those in Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, and Kansas and the hair is much longer.” Truly just an example of how the whitetail deer adapts to any environment and thrives despite conditions.
At the end of the 2nd Iowa deer hunting camp, As Kevin Marshall smiled from ear to ear over his 150 inch plus whitetail deer lying in the snow, he turned to me (a hunter) and said, “Man if you would have told me it was gonna be this cold I would have just worn my snowmobile gear with helmet and I would have been toasty.” This statement has motivated me to present an article informing hunters just how to prepare for the gun season and late muzzleloader hunting of Iowa Deerhunting in Zone 5. I will also present information on how to hunt Iowa whitetail deer properly and prepare for the harvest of the buck of a lifetime.
Gear You Will Need to Prepare Properly for Your Iowa Whitetail Deerhunt
In preparing for your Iowa deer hunt, one must realize that while it is probably your best location for the harvest of a Boone and Crockett Whitetail Deer that the gun seasons occur during the second rut or early December. Iowa Whitetail Deer Muzzleloader Only Hunting occurs even later in December and January making the Iowa Whitetail Deer Muzzleloader hunts even harsher environmentally.
I have been a Missouri resident throughout the majority of my life although I spend a lot of time in all the states we outfit. Iowa borders the State of Missouri thus one would think their isn’t much of a difference between winter weather in those locations. Far from the truth. Iowa deer hunting always seems to be an colder than Missouri deer hunting. I have often referred to Iowa as “the Midwest’s Arctic Circle”. Iowa deer hunting absolutely requires the modern day whitetail deer hunter to equip him or herself with the best cold weather gear available in the industry. Over the course of my Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitting Career I have watched dozens of hunters come to camp with cheap insulated coveralls and boots and subject themselves to nothing short of torture. It is customary to assign treestands to our deerhunters the night before the next day’s outing. I have watched many a hunter state, “Ill sit all day and take a sack lunch.” By 10 AM some of them call me which are ill equipped with average hunting gear and request to come out due to being too cold. Even hunters that have the best of intentions can’t hunt as long as they need to or want to due to the fact they need better gear. While Iowa deer hunting is your best key to taking a monster whitetail buck, Iowa deer hunting will also demand you possess the best cold weather gear in the hunt industry.
(In the event you understand hypothermia simply forward your reading past this section to continue to gear up for you Iowa Whitetail Deerhunt. To make this process easier I have used green ink or font for the hypothermia section. Again while you won’t experience hypothermia just by hunting in Iowa it would be beneficial to understand how hypothermia occurs and effects you as a hunter or in the event you are ever caught in a situation related to hypothermia.)
While you won’t experience hypothermia just by deer hunting in Iowa it is beneficial as a hunter to understand and discuss what hypothermia is and the symptoms of it.
Hypothermia occurs when more heat escapes from your body than your body can produce. Signs and symptoms of hypothermia may include gradual loss of mental and physical abilities. Severe hypothermia can lead to death.
For most people, hypothermia isn't a serious risk. Still, each year nearly 700 people in the United States die of hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to cold air or cold water temperatures are common causes.
When you're outdoors enjoying such activities as camping, hunting, fishing, boating and skiing, be aware of weather conditions and whether you or others with you are wet and cold. If you get cold and wet, move indoors and get warm and dry early — before you develop hypothermia.
Hypothermia usually occurs gradually. Often, people aren't aware that they need help, much less medical attention.
Common signs to look for are shivering, which is your body's attempt to generate heat through muscle activity, and the "-umbles":
These behaviors may be a result of changes in consciousness and motor coordination caused by hypothermia. Other hypothermia symptoms may include:
Abnormally slow rate of breathing
Cold, pale skin
Fatigue, lethargy or apathy
The severity of hypothermia can vary, depending on how low your core body temperature goes. Severe hypothermia eventually leads to cardiac and respiratory failure, then death.
1. Radiation - loss of heat to the environment due to the temperature gradient (this occurs only as long as the ambient temperature is below 98.6). Factors important in radiant heat loss are the surface area and the temperature gradient.
2. Conduction - through direct contact between objects, molecular transference of heat energy
o Water conducts heat away from the body 25 times faster than air because it has a greater density (therefore a greater heat capacity). Stay dry = stay alive!
o Steel conducts heat away faster than water
Example: Generally conductive heat loss accounts for only about 2% of overall loss. However, with wet clothes the loss is increased 5x.
3. Convection - is a process of conduction where one of the objects is in motion. Molecules against the surface are heated, move away, and are replaced by new molecules which are also heated. The rate of convective heat loss depends on the density of the moving substance (water convection occurs more quickly than air convection) and the velocity of the moving substance.
o Wind Chill - is an example of the effects of air convection, the wind chill table gives a reading of the amount of heat lost to the environment relative to a still air temperature.
4. Evaporation - heat loss from converting water from a liquid to a gas
o Perspiration - evaporation of water to remove excess heat
Sweating - body response to remove excess heat
Respiration - air is heated as it enters the lungs and is exhaled with an extremely high moisture content
It is important to recognize the strong connection between fluid levels, fluid loss, and heat loss. As body moisture is lost through the various evaporative processes the overall circulating volume is reduced which can lead to dehydration. This decrease in fluid level makes the body more susceptible to hypothermia and other cold injuries.
Response to Cold
Cold Challenge - (negative factors)
• Wet (rain, sweat, water)
• Wind (blowing, moving, e.g. biking)
Total = Cold Challenge
Heat Retention - (positive factors)
• Size/shape (Eskimo vs. Masai)
• Insulation (layering/type)
• Fat (as insulation)
• Shell/core (shunt blood to core) shell acts as a thermal barrier
Total = Heat Retention
Heat Production - (positive factors)
• Exercise, shivering Limited by:
o Fuel stores (glycogen)
o Fluid status (efficient exercise)
o Food intake (kindling, sticks, logs)
Total = Heat Production
Heat Retention + Heat Production less than Cold Challenge = Hypothermia
Surface to Volume ratio
Shell to Core shunting Exercise
Your Body Core Temperature
1. Heat is both required and produced at the cellular level. The environment acts as either a heating or a cooling force on the body. The body must be able to generate heat, retain heat, and discharge heat depending on the body activity and ambient external temperature.
2. Body temperature is a measure of the metabolism - the general level of chemical activity within the body.
3. The hypothalamus is the major center of the brain for regulating body temperature. It is sensitive to blood temperature changes of as little as 0.5 degrees Celsius and also reacts to nerve impulses received from nerve endings in the skin.
4. The optimum temperature for chemical reactions to take place in the body is 98.6 degrees F. Above 105 F many body enzymes become denatured and chemical reactions cannot take place leading to death. Below 98.6 F chemical reactions slow down with various complications which can lead to death.
5. Core = the internal body organs, particularly the heart, lungs, and brain.
Periphery = the appendages, skin, and muscle tissue.
6. Core temperature is the temperature that is essential to the overall metabolic rate of the body. The temperature of the periphery is not critical.
How Your Body Regulates Core Temperature
1. Vasodilation - increases surface blood flow, increases heat loss (when ambient temperature is less that body temperature). Maximal vasodilation can increase cutaneous blood flow to 3000 ml/minute (average flow is 300-500 ml/minute).
2. Vasoconstriction - decreases blood flow to periphery, decreases heat loss. Maximal vasoconstriction can decrease cutaneous blood flow to 30 ml/minute.
3. Sweating - cools body through evaporative cooling
4. Shivering - generates heat through increase in chemical reactions required for muscle activity. Visible shivering can maximally increase surface heat production by 500%. However, this is limited to a few hours because of depletion of muscle glucose and the onset of fatigue.
5. Increasing/Decreasing Activity will cause corresponding increases in heat production and decreases in heat production.
6. Behavioral Responses - putting on or taking off layers of clothing will result in heat regulation
1. Hypothermia - "a decrease in the core body temperature to a level at which normal muscular and cerebral functions are impaired." - Medicine for Mountaineering
2. Conditions Leading to Hypothermia
• Cold temperatures
• Improper clothing and equipment
• Fatigue, exhaustion
• Poor food intake
• No knowledge of hypothermia
• Alcohol intake - causes vasodilation leading to increased heat loss
3. What are "hypothermia" temperatures
• Below freezing
• 40 degrees - Ex. Shenandoahs, wind and rain
• 60 degrees - Ex. Rayanna and hurricane
• Any temperature less than 98.6 degrees can be linked to hypothermia (ex. hypothermia in the elderly in cold houses) or peripheral circulation problems such as trench foot and frostbite.
4. Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia
a. Watch for the "-Umbles" - stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles which show changes in motor coordination and levels of consciousness
b. Mild Hypothermia - core temperature 98.6 - 96 degrees F
• Shivering - not under voluntary control
• Can't do complex motor functions (ice climbing or skiing) can still walk & talk
• Vasoconstriction to periphery
c. Moderate Hypothermia - core temperature 95 - 93 degrees F
• Dazed consciousness
• Loss of fine motor coordination - particularly in hands - can't zip up parka, due to restricted peripheral blood flow
• Slurred speech
• Violent shivering
• Irrational behavior - Paradoxical Undressing - person starts to take off clothing, unaware s/he is cold
• "I don't care attitude" - flattened affect
d. Severe Hypothermia - core temperature 92 - 86 degrees and below (immediately life threatening)
• Shivering occurs in waves, violent then pause, pauses get longer until shivering finally ceases - because the heat output from burning glycogen in the muscles is not sufficient
to counteract the continually dropping core temperature, the body shuts down on shivering to conserve glucose
• Person falls to the ground, can't walk, curls up into a fetal position to conserve heat
• Muscle rigidity develops - because peripheral blood flow is reduced and due to lactic acid and CO2 buildup in the muscles
• Skin is pale
• Pupils dilate
• Pulse rate decreases
• at 90 degrees the body tries to move into hibernation, shutting down all peripheral blood flow and reducing breathing rate and heart rate.
• at 86 degrees the body is in a state of "metabolic icebox." The person looks dead but is still alive.
e. Death from Hypothermia
• Breathing becomes erratic and very shallow
• Cardiac arrythmias develop, any sudden shock may set off Ventricular Fibrillation
• Heart stops, death
5. How to Assess if someone is Hypothermic
• If shivering can be stopped voluntarily = mild hypothermia
• Ask the person a question that requires higher reasoning in the brain (count backwards from 100 by 9's). If the person is hypothermic, they won't be able to do it. [Note: there are also other conditions such as altitude sickness that can also cause the same condition.]
• If shivering cannot be stopped voluntarily = moderate - severe hypothermia
• If you can't get a radial pulse at the wrist it indicates a core temp below 90 - 86 degrees
• The person may be curled up in a fetal position. Try to open their arm up from the fetal position, if it curls back up, the person is alive. Dead muscles won't contract only live muscles.
Stage Core Temperature Signs & Symptoms
Mild Hypothermia 99º - 97ºF Normal, shivering can begin
97º - 95ºF Cold sensation, goose bumps, unable to perform complex tasks with hands, shiver can be mild to severe, hands numb
Moderate Hypothermia 95º - 93ºF Shivering, intense, muscle incoordination becomes apparent, movements slow and labored, stumbling pace, mild confusion, may appear alert. Use sobriety test, if unable to walk a 30 foot straight line, the person is hypothermic.
93º - 90ºF Violent shivering persists, difficulty speaking, sluggish thinking, amnesia starts to appear, gross muscle movements sluggish, unable to use hands, stumbles frequently, difficulty speaking, signs of depression, withdrawn.
Severe Hypothermia 90º - 86ºF Shivering stops, exposed skin blue of puffy, muscle coordination very poor, inability to walk, confusion, incoherent/irrational behavior, but may be able to maintain posture and appearance of awareness
86º - 82ºF Muscle rigidity, semiconscious, stupor, loss of awareness of others, pulse and respiration rate decrease, possible heart fibrillation
82º - 78ºF Unconscious, heart beat and respiration erractic, pulse may not be palpable
78º - 75ºF Pulmonary edema, cardiac and respiratory failure,death. Death may occur before this temperature is reached.
The basic principles of rewarming a hypothermic victim are to conserve the heat they have and replace the body fuel they are burning up to generate that heat. If a person is shivering, they have the ability to rewarm themselves at a rate of 2 degrees C per hour.
Mild - Moderate Hypothermia
1. Reduce Heat Loss
• Additional layers of clothing
• Dry clothing
• Increased physical activity
2. Add Fuel & Fluids
It is essential to keep a hypothermic person adequately hydrated and fueled.
a. Food types
• Carbohydrates - 5 calories/gram - quickly released into blood stream for sudden brief heat surge - these are the best to use for quick energy intake especially for mild cases of hypothermia
• Proteins - 5 calories/gram - slowly released - heat given off over a longer period
• Fats - 9 calories/gram - slowly released but are good because they release heat over a long period, however, it takes more energy to break fats down into glucose - also takes more water to break down fats leading to increased fluid loss
b. Food intake
• Hot liquids - calories plus heat source
• Sugars (kindling)
• GORP - has both carbohydrates (sticks) and protiens/fats (logs)
c. Things to avoid
• Alcohol - a vasodilator - increases peripheral heat loss
• Caffeine - a diuretic - causes water loss increasing dehydration
• Tobacco/nicotine - a vasoconstrictor, increases risk of frostbite
3. Add Heat
• Fire or other external heat source
• Body to body contact. Get into a sleeping back, in dry clothing with a normothermic person in lightweight dry clothing
1. Reduce Heat Loss
• Hypothermia Wrap: The idea is to provide a shell of total insulation for the patient. No matter how cold, patients can still internally rewarm themselves much more efficiently than any external rewarming. Make sure the patient is dry, and has a polypropylene layer to minimize sweating on the skin. The person must be protected from any moisture in the environment. Use multiple sleeping bags, wool blankets, wool clothing, Ensolite pads to create a minimum of 4" of insulation all the way around the patient, especially between the patient and the ground. Include an aluminum "space" blanket to help prevent radiant heat loss, and wrap the entire ensemble in plastic to protect from wind and water. If someone is truly hypothermic, don't put him/her naked in a sleeping bag with another person.
2. Add Fuel & Fluids
• Warm Sugar Water - for people in severe hypothermia, the stomach has shut down and will not digest solid food but can absorb water and sugars. Give a dilute mixture of warm water with sugar every 15 minutes. Dilute Jello™ works best since it is part sugar and part protein. This will be absorbed directly into the blood stream providing the necessary calories to allow the person to rewarm themselves. One box of Jello = 500 Kilocalories of heat energy. Do not give full strength Jello even in liquid form, it is too concentrated and will not be absorbed.
• Urination - people will have to urinate from cold diuresis. Vasoconstriction creates greater volume pressure in the blood stream. The kidneys pull off excess fluid to reduce the pressure. A full bladder results in body heat being used to keep urine warm rather than vital organs. Once the person has urinated, it precious body heat will be used to maintain the temperature of vital organs. So in the end urinating will help conserve heat. You will need to help the person urinate. Open up the Hypothermia Wrap enough to do this and then cover them back up. You will need to keep them hydrated with the dilute Jello solution described above.
3. Add Heat
Heat can be applied to transfer heat to major arteries - at the neck for the carotid, at the armpits for the brachial, at the groin for the femoral, at the palms of the hands for the arterial arch.
• Chemical heat packs such as the Heat Wave™ provides 110 degrees F for 6-10 hours.
• Hot water bottles, warm rocks, towels, compresses
• For a severely hypothermic person, rescue breathing can increase oxygen and provide internal heat.
What is Frostbite?
Frostbite occurs when tissues freeze. This condition happens when you are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point of skin.
The condition has long been recognized. A 5000-year-old pre-Columbian mummy discovered in the Chilean mountains offers the earliest documented evidence of frostbite. More recently, Napoleon’s surgeon general, Baron Dominique Larrey, provided the first description of the mechanisms of frostbite in 1812, during his army’s retreat from Moscow. He also noted the harmful effects of the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle endured by soldiers who would warm their frozen hands and feet over the campfire at night only to refreeze those same parts by the next morning.
Although frostbite used to be a military problem, it is now a civilian one as well. Most people who get frostbite are males aged 30-49 years. The nose, cheeks, ears, fingers, and toes (your extremities) are most commonly affected. Everyone is susceptible, even people who have been living in cold climates for most of their lives.
Your body works to stay alive first and to stay functioning second.
• In conditions of prolonged cold exposure, your body sends signals to the blood vessels in your arms and legs telling them to constrict (narrow). By slowing blood flow to the skin, your body is able to send more blood to the vital organs, supplying them with critical nutrients, while also preventing a further decrease in internal body temperature by exposing less blood to the outside cold.
• As this process continues and your extremities (the parts farthest from your heart) become colder and colder, a condition called the hunter’s response is initiated. Your blood vessels are dilated (widened) for a period of time and then constricted again. Periods of dilatation are cycled with times of constriction in order to preserve as much function in your extremities as possible. However, when your brain senses that you are in danger of hypothermia (when your body temperature drops significantly below 98.6°F), it permanently constricts these blood vessels in order to prevent them from returning cold blood to the internal organs. When this happens, frostbite has begun.
• Frostbite is caused by 2 different means: cell death at the time of exposure and further cell deterioration and death because of a lack of oxygen.
In the first, ice crystals form in the space outside of the cells. Water is lost from the cell’s interior, and dehydration promotes the destruction of the cell.
In the second, the damaged lining of the blood vessels is the main culprit. As blood flow returns to the extremities upon rewarming, it finds that the blood vessels themselves are injured, also by the cold. Holes appear in vessel walls and blood leaks out into the tissues. Flow is impeded and turbulent, and small clots form in the smallest vessels of the extremities. Because of these blood flow problems, complicated interactions occur, and inflammation causes further tissue damage. This injury is the primary determinant of the amount of tissue damage you will have in the end.
It is rare for the inside of the cells themselves to be frozen. This phenomenon is only seen in very rapid freezing injuries, such as those produced by frozen metals.
What Products the Iowa Whitetail Deer Hunter Needs to Consider for Purchase
When you arrive at your Iowa deer hunt you have made taken the first step towards your best chance at harvesting the whitetail buck of a lifetime. Many times what determines who will go home with a giant whitetail buck and who won’t is what type of hunting gear you have equipped yourself with. The reason is the longer the whitetail deer hunter can sit in the woods the higher the probability the opportunity of a lifetime will present itself. I’ve witnessed novice hunters with the proper gear literally out perform veteran hunters with average cold weather hunting gear.
Since the core of your body temperature resides in the torso the first parts of the human body to get cold are your limbs or parts of the body farthest away from the torso. These include feet, hands, fingers, legs, etc. Thus when whitetail deer hunters seek out gear for cold weather hunting much thought and preparation needs to be considered to protect one’s limbs. Boots, gloves, and headgear are very important, as well as protection for the entire torso. That’s why when whitetail deer hunting in bitter cold conditions the first parts of the body to get cold will be your feet and hands. Luckily companies like LaCrosse Footwear, Artic Shield, Heatmax, and Walls Industries have provided us with the appropriate gear no matter what temperatures the whitetail deer hunter is exposed to.
The Boots for Your Iowa Whitetail Deer Hunt may be the Most Important Decision with the exception of the Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter you Select.
In 2006 I was given a pair of Pac boots by a friend of mine. I remember my first hunt for whitetail deer in them. While they were quite warm they were so huge that it was like wearing a five pound brick on each foot, as I clumsily trudged through the snow covered ground in route to my treestand. I was like wearing my grandfather’s cowboy boots as a child round the house. They kept my feet warm during that cold winter but it was so horrid to walk in them that I walked to the treestand in rubber boots and changed into the Pac boots after I got to the treestand. As recently as this year Justin Buenke at LaCrosse Footwear introduced me to their new line of Pac Boots which I was so impressed with that I will never hunt frigid conditions again without them. Justin designs a lot of the hunt boots for LaCrosse and is an absolute upstanding guy. LaCrosse has many types of great hunt boots but the two boots that are suggested for your Iowa whitetail deer hunt.
Ice Man Pac Boot by LaCrosse
The Alpha Iceman was the first great winter pac boots I was ask to field test and are guaranteed to keep your feet warm and cozy in the coldest, harshest conditions. Alpha Soft Shell technology gives you the warm, lightweight, waterproof comfort of Alpha technology without the weight. 5.0mm of naturally insulating neoprene combine with 400 grams of Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation and a removable 9.0mm wool liner for added protection against the cold. The high abrasion, blown rubber bottom is 100% waterproof. This boot is designed to make cabin fever a thing of the past. This is my Pac Boot of preference and kept my feet warm despite temperatures that were around 10 degrees.
• 400 grams of Thinsulate&trade Ultra Insulation lines the inside of the boot to keep you warm on the coldest days in the treestand or on the ice.
• Blown rubber, high-abrasion bottom ensures 100% waterproof protection.
• 5.0 mm of naturally insulating neoprene stretches for a personalized fit. Not only will the neoprene give you the most comfortable rubber boot you’ve ever had, but also keep you as warm on your 100th outing as it did on your first.
• 9 mm removable wool felt liner for added insulation.
• Water-resistant leather upper provides abrasion- and scuff-resistance.
• 10" of support.
• 4.4 lbs per pair.
Ice King Pac Boot by LaCrosse
If you want to kick things up a level in heat you’ll need to purchase LaCrosse Footwear’s Ice King Pac Boot. They are rated for temperatures that far exceed the Alpha Ice Man, and indeed are what they say, “the King of Pac Boots.”
This waterproof winter pac boot lives down to its name and keeps you warm in extreme temperatures. The Ice King™ winter pac boots feature 400 grams of Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation and a removable 3/4" poly foam liner for added warmth. The ozone-resistant rubber bottom and full-grain leather and 1000 Denier nylon upper provides 100% waterproof protection. A classic, heavy-duty Trac-Lite™ outsole provides outstanding all-around traction in snow.
• Rubber bottom provides 100% waterproof protection.
• 400 grams of Thinsulate&trade Ultra Insulation lines the inside of the boot to keep you warm on the coldest days in the treestand or on the ice.
• Full-grain leather and 1000 Denier nylon upper for classic styling and waterproof protection.
• Removable 3/4" foam liner keeps you warm and can be quickly dried for multiple outings.
• 6mm felt footbed and 8mm felt midsole insulate from the cold ground.
• Trac-Lite™ outsole delivers outstanding all-around traction in mud, snow and other loose terrain.
• 10" of support.
• Weight: 7.4 lbs per pair.
Now that you have the specs on the two best Pac Boots in the industry let me tell you what I discovered. I was pleased that when using either boot that I didn’t feel like I was walking around clumsily without control of my ability to employ stealth. When utilizing the Ice Man or Ice King by LaCrosse Footwear I could pick up and place my foot firmly and quietly wherever I wanted to as if I were a cat after a mouse. Prior to my experience with LaCrosse Products I liked the fact Pac Boots kept my feet warm however I hated walking in them. These two types of Pac Boots aren’t gonna get in the way or defer your attention to uncomfortable footwear conditions. They are just gonna keep you warm and cozy and keep you on stand. Also they are the first Pac Boot that I didn’t have to stick those shake up heat pads down in to assist in the foot warming and heat stabilization of your feet while hunting.
Let me take this as far as I can without running the risk of a lawsuit. I have been an Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter for 13 years. The first few years of my career we had a different boot company that sponsored us. A boot company that is a household name and Fortune 500 Company that provided my guides and I with footwear for several years. That first boot sponsor was not LaCrosse. The hunting boots we happily received from our first boot sponsor were only happily received because we received them for free. The rubber boots supplied by the company that was NOT LaCrosse continually ripped. The same companies pac boots were way too heavy and didn’t keep our feet warm. The companies leather boots were stiff and were not comfortable. It just seemed like they never would break in for us. When I called the first boot sponsor I we had as an Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter to report the problems they told me and I quote, “We make the best work boots in the world but if you want the best hunt boots in the world you need to speak to LaCrosse Footwear.” That came straight from the Marketing Director of this mighty Fortune 500 Boot Company. If your “privy” to boots it won’t take you too many guess’s to figure out what opposing boot company I am speaking of. From that point I called LaCrosse Footwear and between Lori Shaw and Justin Buenke of LaCrosse Footwear we have switched over 100% to LaCrosse, dropped the other boot company and are now equipped with the best boots in the hunt industry…………………..are you?
Gloves versus Mittens
When cold weather whitetail deer hunters take to the field I watch the choice between gloves with individual fingers versus mittens made. I suggest mittens as with mittens one is able to place fingers beside one another to assist in heat retentions. Gloves separate the fingers allowing for less heat retention thereby resulting in colder fingers and hands. Of course the problem with the selection of the common mitten is the whitetail hunter cannot get their trigger finger out of the mitten many times in order to make a shot. Thus a specialized mitten must be selected.
With the advancement of hunting technology for today’s whitetail deer hunter various companies have developed mittens that have a glove mitten combination. You place your hand into the glove (normally I cut my trigger finger off the glove) and then a mitten cover folds up and over the glove for double the heat retention. To further the technology there are a variety of companies that have compartments in within the mitten that will hold shake up heat pads that produce heat for up to 8 hours and sometimes longer. Many companies now features an integral pouch that will hold a HotHands® Warmer (1 pair included) for up to ten hours of continuous warmth. Mitten cap folds out of the way, exposing the lightweight inner glove -- great for bowhunters or rifle shooters. This is the best way to keep your fingers and hands warm.
Hot Hands Warmers
While we have discussed how to retain body heat we must address the issue of how to produce heat aside from what the human body can do in extremely low temperatures. Absolutely without a doubt do not attempt the Iowa deer hunt without hot hands by Heatmax. Heatmax explains certain technologies developed and products available on their website as follows:
Their products for the Whitetail Deer Hunter include:
Hot Hands 2: Designed for skiers, hunters, fishermen, golfers, or people who work or play in the cold for long hours. HotHands-2® hand warmers are air-activated and will provide up to 10 hours of soothing warmth inside gloves, pockets or wherever you feel a chill.
• Packaged in pairs.
• Small size (2.25” x 4”)
• Produce heat (130F)
• Individually sealed in airtight package to guarantee a shelf life of six years.
• Portable (No wires or batteries)
• Nontoxic, nonflammable
• Environmentally friendly
• Contains all natural ingredients
Super Hot Hands 2: Super HotHands® are larger (4” x 5”) air-activated hand and body warmers designed to last up to 18 hours providing safe, comfortable warmth in the coldest of temperatures. When placed in pockets or between layers of clothing, these warmers will help you enjoy cold weather activities longer, whether it’s hunting, fishing, working or just being a spectator.
• Individually sealed in airtight package to guarantee a shelf life of six years.
• Portable (No wires or batteries)
• Nontoxic, nonflammable
• Environmentally friendly
• Contains all natural ingredients
Footwarmers: Heated Socks by HeatMax® are designed with the dedicated outdoorsman in mind. The main feature of the Heated Socks by HeatMax® is the elastic band that surrounds the top and bottom of the toe area. The Foot Warm-Up® inserts are the only warmers recommended for use with the Heated Socks by HeatMax®. Use of any other warmer may result in excessively high temperatures that could result in burns or non-effective low temperatures.
• Heavyweight sock constructed of 92% acrylic, 7% polyester, 1% nylon.
• Holds one Foot Warm-Up® in place for up to 6 hours of comfortable heat.
• Available in sizes 9-11 and 10-13
3 In 1: 3-in-1 HandMuff is an ergonomically designed hand muff that keeps hands warm especially when used with the HotHands warmers.
• Convenient for carrying personal belongings, sports accessories, and extra warmers.
• Serves as a comfortable seat cushion.
• One size fits all.
• Super large zippered pocket.
• Mossy Oak New Breakup fleece face with solid black cotton outer shell and high grade polyfiber fill insulation.
FAQ of Heatmax:
Q. What’s in a pack? What makes it work?
A. Our HeatMax® family of air activated warmers all contain a mixture of natural ingredients that when exposed to air react together to produce heat. This is accomplished through an extremely fast oxidation (or rusting) process. Ingredients include: iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite. HeatMax® has perfected the process so that our warmers, depending on the individual product, produce heat anywhere from 100°F to 180°F for duration of 1 to 20+ hours.
Q. What about the environment?
A. Another great point about the HeatMax® product line of warmers is that they are completely environmentally safe. Just use and dispose of in your everyday garbage.
Q. Is every warmer the same?
A. No. HeatMax® has the ability to manufacture air activated warmers in different sizes and with different temperature ranges. Packs are manufactured to fit the needs of our consumers.
Q. Why can’t the warmers be applied directly to skin?
A. Although all HeatMax® warmers are safe to handle and use, some people with sensitive skin (especially young children, Diabetics and the elderly) may have reduced sensation to heat. Please read all instructions for use with each product and apply them properly.
Q. Can HeatMax® warmers be taken aboard airplanes?
A. Yes. There is absolutely no problem with taking them aboard or using them during flight. They are completely safe for air travel.
Q. Are HeatMax® warmers reusable/rechargeable?
A. No. Our warmers are designed for one-time use and then disposed of in regular garbage.
Q. What are some of the other benefits of “Air-Activated” technology?
No external energy to activate
Guaranteed six year shelf life
Head and Neck
Over 80% of all body heat escapes from the head and neck area thus the head and neck as well as face areas are vital for retaining body heat so one may endure the Iowa Whitetail Hunt. Many companies produce advanced headgear however I have found that a barclava which covers the face and neck are vital for sitting long periods of time. A barclava will serve as a stocking cap, face protector from wind and cold, and prevent heat from escaping from the neck area. Barclava’s can be made of wool, cotton, fleece, but my personal favorite is neoprene. A good barclava will keep today’s Iowa Whitetail Deer hunter in the woods for a long time provided the other gear one needs has been obtained and is possessed by the whitetail deer hunter.
As the whitetail deer hunter might expect once limbs or extremities are properly equipped one must concentrate on the product to cover and retain heat of the whitetail hunter’s torso and major organs, with emphasis on the heart. There are only two companies I trust in the cold Iowa Deerhunting weather. They include Walls Clothing and Artic Shield. You will find Walls 10X Clothing to be a tad cheaper but will provide the same or more protection than Artic Shield. Also the 10X Clothing from Walls incorporates a scent elimination technology that has my vote.
Prior to covering the only two products for consideration of an Iowa Whitetail Deer Hunt let me tell you in an ole fashioned “punch in the arm” friend to friend statement that consideration of torso covering for cold weather conditions is the meat and potatoes of being able to put more time in the treestand or coming back to the lodge with your tail between your legs and a look of embarrassment on your face. Still remember that without the selection of the “RIGHT IOWA WHITETAIL OUTFITTER” all this cold weather gear can be a waste of money if you are not with the right Iowa Whitetail Guide or Outfitter.
Up until about two years ago I was absolutely hooked on Artic Shield cold weather hunt gear. Then I ran into Walls Industries and their advanced technology surrounding what they have developed in their cold weather lineup.
Walls 10X Insulated Clothing
Walls industries sources and website reports the following data:
Walls 10X Insulated Coveralls
• Great for late-season hunts
• Scentrex scent-control lining
• Waterproof, yet breathable protection
• Full-coverage hood for extreme conditions
• Bi-swing action back for easy movement
• Internal suspender straps for improved comfort
What's standing between you and that trophy buck? Trek undetected with 10x® Scentrex® series. Scentrex® was designed with the trophy hunters in mind. Scentrex® has patented technology that allows hunters to move undetected by smell in any terrain or weather. Sweating produces warmth and moisture where bacteria thrive. Scentrex® forbids the growth of bacteria and minimizes human odor. Few garments can match the cold-weather comfort of these 10x Coveralls. They're constructed of a polyester brushed shell with a waterproof and breathable laminate to provide you with years of use and weather protection. Heavyweight polyester fiberfill lining seals in body heat. A concealed snap-closed storm flap and elasticized knit cuffs combine with a three-piece hood sporting a snap-closed beard guard to prevent chilling breezes from entering the garment. A bi-swing action back offers easy movement. Inside suspender straps for comfort. Zip front with double storm flap. Two welt front pockets with snap handwarmer pockets above the beltline give you a place to take the chill off of cold hands. Full-length fly. Smooth 100% nylon Scentrex® scent-control lining. Inside radio/GPS pocket with hook-and-loop closure and left-side storage pockets. Imported.
Camo patterns: Mossy Oak® New Break-Up™, Realtree® AP HD®.
Chest sizes: M-3XL
Walls Weather Block 4 in 1 Parka
• Weather-BLOCK protection from the elements
• 4-in-1 parka versatility
• 150-gram insulation in liner
Worn alone, the uninsulated outer shell of the 4-in-1 makes a great windbreaker or foul-weather parka. Weather-BLOCK treatment protects you from bone-chilling wind and rain. And when the thermometer drops, zip in the reversible liner and head for your treestand. The liner's 150-gram insulated microfiber polyester outer shell is camo so it can be worn on its own as a light hunting jacket. When worn in the parka, it traps body heat for comfortable use in cold weather. Nylon taffeta interior. Imported.
Chest sizes: M-5XL.
Camo patterns: Mossy Oak® New Break-Up™, Realtree® AP HD®.
The great thing about Walls Industries is that I couldn’t begin to list the line of clothing they have for cold weather hunting. I can tell you on a recent hunt with reknown Outdoor Television Celebrity, Roger Raglin, Walls Industries sent us some clothing that kept up nice and cozy in the most extreme weather conditions in the Midwest. Not just gear that was run of the mill clothing to block out the cold but high quality gear that was in a word, “awesome”. Jackets of all types with reversible camo versus hunter orange. I was so thoroughly impressed I simply told Mr. Raglin he needed to land Walls as a Sponsor of his television show as they were possibly the greatest cold weather clothing company in the United States of America. Even Mr. Raglin was very impressed and as we all know Roger Raglin has seen just about every hunt product throughout the last couple decades or more. IT WAS HIGH QUALITY CLOTHING TO SAY THE LEAST.
Arctic Shield Clothing
The only other company I would recommend to pursue bruiser Iowa whitetail bucks during the cold Iowa deer hunting seasons is Arctic Shield. A company that is somewhat new to the industry in regard to my understanding with less than a decade of experience but quite impressive to say the least. A durable product as well. I have owned a Arctic Shield cold weather set of bibs and parka for 5 years now and it is still ready to tackle the coldest of weather conditions. In fact, like Walls I never can wear my outer torso clothing into a treestand location for hunting as if I do I am sweating by the time I reach the treestand its so very warm. I roll the clothing into a roll and strap it on my backpack and then gear up or put it on when I arrive at the treestand.
The drawback to Arctic Shield is it is significantly more expensive in price which makes it less affordable to the modern day whitetail hunter. I remember years ago when North Starr Treestands produced what was argumentatively the best treestand in the industry and was run by Bill Goodwin. While treestands were expensive they were indestructible and very comfortable. Do to the high prices of the stands the company literally priced themselves out of the industry and no longer exist. To this day I would argue that North Star had the best treestand on the market at one time and I still use them. I pray Arctic Shield doesn’t price themselves out of the marketplace as they produce a great product.
Arctic Shield sources and website report the following products and data surrounding their line of cold weather clothing which is ideal for Iowa Deer hunting.
My set of Arctic Shield clothes contains only two items however the company has much more to offer. I protect my torso with their bibs and parka during cold weather hunting. One trick I utilize is rolling them up in a sleeping bag roll fashion and strapping them to my backpack. When I arrive at the tree to hunt I then and only then put them on. This prevents me from sweating and getting wet during cold weather. Believe me, with Walls or Arctic Shield you’ll need to do the same or you’ll be sitting in wet under layers of clothing during your hunt which will make you miserable. I would suggest utilizing the two following Arctic Shield products for torso protection:
X Scent H1 Hunting Bibs.
The XH1 Bib combines the best technology available in scent control and thermodynamic advances for the outdoor hunting industry. Now scent control and cold weather protection are available in one bib making the XH1 the highest performer in the outdoor industry today.
The XH1 Bib has a 280-gram Tricot outer shell that encapsulates RE-tain technology with a 5 percent X-STATIC and 95 percent polyester inner lining for scent control, heat transfer and moisture wicking. This bib is relaxed fit and includes six pockets, full length two-way side zippers, adjustable snap closures and adjustable elastic shoulder straps while remaining waterproof, windproof and breathable.
Combine the XH1 Bib with the XH1 Jacket for the ultimate cold-weather, scent-control, turn-key solution.
Notable: Windproof, water resistant
Fabric: 280-gram Tricot outer shell; 95% polyester, 5% X-STATIC inner liner with RE-tain
Colors: Mossy Oak New Break-Up®
Sizes: M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
X Scent H1 Hunting Jacket.
The XH1 Jacket combines the best technology available in scent control and thermodynamic advances for the outdoor hunting industry. Now scent control and cold weather protection are available in one jacket making the XH1 the highest performer in the outdoor industry today.
The XH1 Jacket has a 280-gram Tricot outer shell that encapsulates RE-tain technology with a 5 percent X-STATIC and 95 percent polyester inner lining for scent control, heat transfer and moisture wicking. This jacket is waterproof, windproof and breathable – it has it all!
Combine the XH1 Jacket with the XH1 Bib for the ultimate cold-weather, scent-control turn-key solution.
Notable: Windproof, waterproof
Fabric: 280-gram Tricot outer shell; 95% polyester, 5% X-STATIC inner liner with RE-tain
Colors: Mossy Oak New Break-Up®
Sizes: L, XL, XXL
Now you can gear appropriately for Iowa deer hunting, if you are hunting in December or January. Normal October and November conditions do not require this type of preparation and can be considered mild.
Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters and Iowa Whitetail Deer Guides
While Iowa holds the biggest whitetail deer in the World, high quality Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters are very difficult to find. In fact this area may be the absolute hardest location to find a good whitetail deer outfitter in. Don’t give up as I’m about to help you answer some of your own questions. There are some areas of the world where there are a number of good hunt outfitters in one area. (for example, Africa and Colorado.) Iowa is not one of those locations. Iowa is plagued with farm boy after farm boy trying to run hunts on the family farm.
While most of these local outfitters have great intentions the truth is most of them are inexperienced and don’t have a great deal of exposure to professional outfitting nor do they understand or can afford what today’s modern day whitetail hunter needs and wants to pursue huge whitetail deer in Iowa. There is nothing worse than waiting all season long to go hunt with an outfitter, buying new hunt gear, and when you finally arrive realizing you have selected the wrong Iowa whitetail deer outfitter.
Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters have went bankrupt or failed in the past because it’s so hard for archery hunters to draw bow tags. The process of obtaining an Iowa Whitetail Deer Archery Permit can take up to three years, but normally can be done in two years.
Gun tags are easy to get, while late muzzleloader tags are even easier with 84% of applicants drawing the first year.
Whitetail Deer Outfitters in other locations have no problem with clients drawing bow tags. This process is easily done throughout the Midwest with the exception of Iowa. Therefore Iowa Outfitters can’t get many archery clients leaving their Iowa outfit service to survive solely on the revenues of gun hunts. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Because of this situation Iowa doesn’t attract many non resident Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters and Hunt Guides of high quality. So as a result of Iowa’s failure to attract non resident whitetail outfitting services what’s left is a bunch of local farmers turning hunters lose on their ground without offering the appropriate services to clients which they need to be successful. While at first you might think, “I can do it myself, the truth is any Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter that is of high quality wouldn’t let hunters just come in and walk around messing up the farm via means of pressure.”
HERE’S AN IMPORTANT EXAMPLE: I spoke to a hunter on the phone just days ago that was trying to select between our Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitting Service and another. Politely I ask the hunter what other Outfitter he was considering as so few exist in Zone 5 that are even worthy of consideration. We both went to the “other outfitter’s” website. I noted several red flags right off the start which the hunter hadn’t seen.
1. The “other Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter” only had one paragraph and one photo on his website’s homepage while our website held 8 strong paragraphs, award verification, with almost 2 dozen other website pages to access along with hunter stories. Normally if the hunt outfitter doesn’t take care of you on his website he won’t take care of you in the woods.
2. The “other Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter” had 20 photos in his photo gallery but the 20 photos were only of the same 5 deer from different positions. Thus one point I quickly made was that IMB Outfitters had been in the hunt industry for over a dozen years and won many awards, and that no comparison was present between IMB Outfitters and some local farmer/outfitter that had only 6 deer under belt with clients in a mere 2 years of business.
3. The “other Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter” claimed he had 12,000 acres and only took 12 hunters per year. After I explained how land leases run and the high cost of ground in the area the hunter soon realized for an outfitter to have 12,000 acres in Iowa and only take 12 hunters per year simply was not mathematically possible.
One thing to remember is as I have taught over and over is that with IMB Outfitters you can see credibility with a quick glance of the website. We here at IMB Outfitters have won many outdoor awards, have been placed in the Hall of Fame, and have been in business with over two dozen sponsors for 13 years. IMB is a name you can trust to work hard for you and not some new local farmer’s boy running hunts on the neighbors farm.
You will absolutely want to hunt no other Zone in Iowa than Zone 5. Forget everything else. Next you will want to hunt with a credible outfitter. Literally in Zone 5 where the record books are being rewritten by the State of Iowa I don’t have any other Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters I even know of as nobody can make any money off hunts due to the problems of drawing a archery tag. I do know several farmers whom along with their family offer a what I would call “uneducated and barbaric” outing where you would be hunting with somebody who does not understand big deer nor Iowa Whitetail Deer movement. In fact most of the local farmers who try and run deer hunts perform deer drives or let hunters just walk around on the farms doing their own thing. Farmers don’t scout and hang stands the way they should be by studying aerials, topo maps, trail cameras, and intense year round scouting. When you go to Iowa don’t cut any corners on your best chance at a 170 inch plus buck. Go with a professional outfitter like IMB Outfitters. Anything less and you’ve cheated yourself.
How the Iowa Whitetail Deer Hunting Tagging System Works
Archery Season in Iowa opens October 1 of each year and normally closes on January 15. Tags are obtained through a very strict lottery process wherein first year applicants almost never get a bowtag. Hunters need to apply for the archery tag in May via telephone. If the hunter is not selected for an archery tag he or she then obtains a preference point. In years following the preference point will serve as preferential treatment to applicants who do have a preference point. Simply put………..my experience has been with archery tags that the first year the hunter applies he will get denied and awarded a preference point. Then when the applicant applies year 2 with the preference point he or she usually draws, however sometimes it takes 2 preferences points or 2 year of being declined to be awarded the archery non resident tag, however its well worth the wait. With outfitters who conduct in multiple states hunters may apply for an Iowa tag and then if not drawn they may go hunt a different state while waiting to be drawn during year 2. IMB Outfitters would be a perfect example of that. IMB is located in 5 states and can be viewed online at www.imbmonsterbucks.com Hunters born after 1966 must present a hunter safety tag to purchase a permit. Archery season can be a wonderful experience any time of year. Early season hunting needs to take place over food plots or in white oak groves bearing acorns. My suggestion would be if awarded an Iowa tag to hunt during the peak of the rut as it may be years before you draw another archery tag in Iowa. You want to utilize that tag at the most opportunistic time which of course if the peak of the rut. Good dates begin around Halloween with pea of the rut being around November 15 or sometimes sooner. Late season archery hunting can is awesome as well as deer are literally starving to death and forced to come to food plots to present shot opportunities to hunters. Also believe it or not Iowa has the strongest 2nd rut I have ever seen in any state. Bucks are chasing does as late as December. You must remember that any doe not bred in mid November comes back into heat 30 days later making mid December archery and muzzleloader hunting a very successful tool for the harvest of a trophy whitetail buck. Late season hunts should be conducted on a solid green food source. Non residents may only harvest one buck during a year by any means, bow, gun, or archery.
Firearms Season normally opens on the first four days of December and is referred to as the “First Gun Season” The “Second Gun Season” occurs 5 days later running normally 12-9 to 12-12. The State of Iowa mandates hunters to use shotguns or muzzleloaders only. No rifles are allowed for firearm hunting. A lenient lottery begins in May via telephone. Hunters call and apply for gun tags with high rate of success regarding tag obtainment. Hunters born after 1966 must present a hunter safety tag to purchase a permit. Only one buck can be harvested per hunter if you are a non resident. Oddly enough even landowners who reside out of state may only take one buck and have no advantage to drawing a tag over the average client who hunts with an outfitter or on public ground. This minimizes hunt real estate value, as land normally sells for an estimated $2000 per acre.
Late Muzzleloader tags are relatively easy to obtain through lottery process with high success rates as a bonus. Season dates on Late Muzzleloader Hunting in Iowa normally run from 12-17 to 1-10.
When you go looking for your Iowa Outfitter you will also find location will close some doors as well. I learned long ago that its not enough just to go hunt a great whitetail state like Missouri, or Illinois, or Iowa. One must locate county specific areas or zones wherein quality whitetail bucks are being harvested. One way to perform this function is to simply purchase a copy of the latest Pope and Young Record Book. In the book each state displays a color coordinated map with the darkest counties in the state being the ones that have “coughed up” the most number of entries in the record books. One must be careful when using these maps as counties which border major metropolitan areas are always dark colored or represented as high quality simply because they are receiving the most pressure due to higher populations of hunters.
Early in the history of Iowa deer hunting the Northeastern part of the state was responsible for the highest quantity of entries in the record books, however things have changed over the past 10 years. Currently Iowa is re writing the whitetail records books in the South Central and South Eastern portions of the State. The State of Iowa Deer hunting is divided up into zones. The ONLY two zones one should pursue trophy whitetail deer in are Zone 5 and Zone 6 when considering a trip to this state with a Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter. Counties included in these zones include Wayne, Appanoose, Van Buren, Lee, Lucas Monroe, Wapello and Warren. This is the current hotspot of Iowa. As a general rule of thumb hunting areas within an hour any direction of Centerville, Iowa are placed to concentrate on.
IMB Outfitters possess’s what I believe are the best farms in the State of Iowa for Whitetail Deer Hunting.
IOWA RANKINGS IN THE WHITETAIL RECORD BOOKS
Iowa deerhunting ranks as the #2 state in the nation for number of entries in the Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young Record Books behind Wisconsin. I would suggest that although Iowa ranks #2, that it is indeed the #1 qualitative state to pursue trophy whitetail deer. Studies show that Iowa awards fewer Non Resident deer tags to hunters than any other state. Further Iowa is a shotgun firearm state. Both they factors are of relative importance when stating Iowa is the best trophy whitetail hunting in the United States.
If Iowa awards fewer deertags to Non Resident hunters than any other State you would assume the number of entries or harvest rate would be minimal. Afterall, the fewer tags the state hands out the fewer deer will be harvested, thereby reducing the number of entries the State of Iowa may present to the whitetail record books. Its like playing with a handicap. In Iowa we literally have a state handing out a minimal amount of tags and still laying claim to being the 2nd highest ranked state in the nation for number of entries in the record books. Imagine if they handed out unlimited tags. One could only assume they would be the #1 state in the nation for number of entries in the record books. 4 of the top 10 animals recorded with typical antlers of whitetail deer in the Boone and Crockett Record Books come from Iowa. An incredible amount. Bottomline, Iowa presents more record book deer per square mile than any other state in the nation. It seems each year the American Whitetail Hunter can count on another breathtaking harvest of world class animals like the Lovenstien Buck taken in 2006 scoring in excess of 200 inches.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Many reasons for the States high quality whitetail production is due to the credit of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, hereafter referred to as Iowa DNR. The Iowa DNR states on their website located at www.iowadnr.com information pertinent to why the whitetail herd is thriving in the State of Iowa. “The white-tail's ability to thrive in Iowa is likely the result of an abundant, reliable food source and a winter climate where snow depths rarely exceed 12" for a prolonged length of time. These factors combine to allow deer to come through the "winter bottleneck" in excellent condition. The excellent nutrition also enables deer to have high reproductive rates. Many deer in Iowa have a single fawn their first year and 2 fawns each subsequent year. Deer in the wild can probably maintain these high reproductive rates until they are 10 years old. Past research in Iowa has found that 8 to 12% of adult does have 3 fawns.