Iowa Deer Hunting
After hunting trophy whitetail deer for 16 years and being a whitetail deer outfitter for 13 years I found myself in the middle of gravel road in the State of Iowa getting ready to walk out a huge tract of ground. I was considering leasing this tract of ground for hunting deer in the State of Iowa. I had heard that Iowa Deer hunting was incredible however I had no idea was I was about to witness over the next several days of scouting Iowa deer hunting ground.
To be quite honest as a whitetail deer outfitter we were providing hunts in Pike County Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas with thought of opening up an Iowa deer hunting division. That was the reason I had traveled to Iowa that day to inspect land tracts.
My research had proven that Zone 5 of Iowa, which is located in the States extreme South Central region is superior to every other Zone in Iowa for deer hunting. During my research I discovered that a stringent lottery process occurs for archers which elect to hunt trophy whitetail deer in Iowa. Normally it will take an archer 2 to 3 years to obtain a Iowa deer tag. 84% of our Iowa deer hunters that wish to hunt with firearms have obtained tags, however Iowa deer hunting limits its firearms hunters to the usage of shotgun or muzzleloader only. One might initially ask why is it so easy to get firearm tags in Iowa yet so difficult to obtain an Iowa deer hunting archery tag. Rumor has it that the State of Iowa wishes to harvest and manage their deer herd but that some residents donít ďtake kindlyĒ to the idea of non resident deer hunting Iowa. Thus to manage the herd the State of Iowa believes if they give out the archery tags deer will be more likely not to be harvested than with firearms. In turn Iowa deer hunting affords the non resident hunter to obtain a gun tag easily but discourages non resident archery hunting to appease local residents that donít want non residents in the area.
The aforementioned scenario has produced two results that have absolutely made Iowa deer hunting the best place in North America to harvest a Boone and Crockett Buck.
1. If non resident archers participating in Iowa deer hunting cannot get tags easily then very little pressure is placed upon Iowa whitetail deer during the archery season.
2. Due to the fact the State of Iowa has not afforded hunters to use a rifle during the Iowa deer hunting season, it is slightly more difficulty to harvest a trophy deer because of distance limitations of shotguns and muzzleloaders.
The end result of both of these factors is that whitetail deer in the State of Iowa simply live longer, and if they live longer they grow larger racks. Thus Iowa deer hunting is second to no other location as long as you hunt in Zone 5 with the right Iowa Whitetail Outfitter.
As a Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter part of my job is to sell hunts over the phone or email to interested parties. When I present the Iowa deer hunts to potential clients over the phone or by email I most often times donít tell deer stories about Iowa deer hunting. The reason is because the stories simply are not believable. Imagine a State that has such great deer hunting that as a Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter I cannot tell the stories about it because Iím afraid the hunter will not believe the stories, and therefore wonít believe Iím honest, despite the fact I am an honest man.
I recall in during the Summer of 2008 I had been watching 3 bucks on one of our Iowa deer hunting farms that were all close to 200 inches or possibly higher. Of course everyone I told this thought I was exaggerating. One night prior to seasonís opener I received a phone call from the neighbor bordering the farm. It was a disappointing yet validating phone call to receive. The neighbor had called to report his daughter had just hit a deer with her car and killed it coming off our ground into their beans. He reported the deerís green score as being 193 inches.
In 2007 I watched a buck throughout the summer that sported so much non typical antler that we simply referred to him as the ďhornets nest buckĒ. Why? Because when he turned profile against the sky while feeding in the beans he had so much bone on his head you could not see daylight through his rack. Possibly scoring in the top 10 non typical whitetail deer of all time.
Believe me I could tell Iowa deer hunting stories all night long, however my belief that is shared with many hunters I have met is that Zone 5 of Iowa with IMB Outfitters is the best chance any hunter would ever have at harvesting a Boone and Crockett buck on the entire North American Continent.
Let us take a moment to ponder thoughts and research obtained from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources before we proceed with the rest of the Iowa deer hunting article. The factual information will be presented in italics in the event the reader wants to skip forward into Iowa deer hunting tactics, season, tag obtainment, etc. Thus italic print is literally the evolution of the whitetail deer in Iowa, yet very informative to those interested.
Deer hunting in Iowa: A Historic Perspective
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were reported to be quite abundant when white settlers arrived in Iowa in the early 1800's. Although the clearing and cultivating of land for agriculture may have initially improved the suitability of the landscape for deerhunting in Iowa, uncontrolled exploitation for food and hides rapidly reduced deer numbers. By 1880 deer were rarely sighted in much of the state and in 1898 the deer season in Iowa was legally closed. By this time Iowa deer hunting had been virtually eliminated from all parts of the state.
Reestablishment of Iowa Whitetail Deer
Reestablishment of deer into the state can be traced to escapes and releases from captive herds and translocation and natural immigration from deer herds in surrounding states. A conservative estimate of the population in 1936 placed statewide numbers at between 500 and 700 animals. This small herd grew steadily. By 1950 Iowa deer were reported in most counties and the statewide estimate topped 10,000. Concentrations in some areas were beginning to cause problems by damaging agricultural crops. In response to these problems the first modern deer season was held in December of 1953 and 4,000 deer were killed during the Iowa deer hunting season. Currently, the deer herd is estimated to be about 200,000 after the hunting season, and harvests have approached 100,000 in recent years.
Although Iowa deer hunting is normally associated with forested areas, Iowa whitetail deer will utilize many different types of habitat as long as the area provides adequate cover. Examples of these types of areas include brushy draws and fencelines, marshes, and grassy areas like those provided by the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Standing corn also provides ideal habitat for part of the year since it provides food, cover and easy travel lanes. Deer utilize almost all plants for food at one time or another during the year. Deer feeding habits can best be described as being erratically selective as deer will sample many plants while feeding but often utilize a single source of food for the majority of their diet.
Deer Do Well in Iowa
The Iowa white-tail's deer 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.
Another reason that deer do so well in Iowa is that they are very mobile. Although many Iowa deer stay near the area where they were born, a significant number leave and travel to new areas before establishing a core area. These core areas may change seasonally with deer shifting between wintering areas and breeding areas. These movements allow deer to fill voids left open due to deaths and easily pioneer into new areas when habitat is suitable. High rates of movement occur during 2 periods of the year. The first is in the spring when deer move to their fawning areas. Many of last years fawns are forced to find areas of their own at this time. The second period is in the fall during the breeding season. The breeding season begins in mid-October and runs through mid-January, although the peak of activity occurs during the first 3 weeks of November.
Careful management of Iowa deer populations by man has also played a crucial role in allowing deer numbers to return to the levels enjoyed today. Management consists of carefully regulating the harvest since hunting provides the only major source of mortality for deer today. Unchecked, Iowa's whitetail deer herd could grow at a rate of 20% to 40% each year. At this rate, deer numbers would double in as few as 3 years. With Iowa's abundant agricultual crops providing food, densities could potentially reach 100 or more deer per square mile before natural regulatory mechanisms would begin to affect deer health and slow the rate of growth. Iowa whitetail deer numbers this high would cause economic hardship to Iowa's landowners as well as alter the natural vegetative community. Maintaining a Iowa whitetail deer population in balance with the wants and needs of the people in the state is a difficult task, but hunting is the only viable management option to achieve this goal.
In 1856, the first law was passed to help protect deer by providing a closed season from February I to July 15. In 1872, the closed deer season was extended to January I to September 15. In 1898, the 27th General Assembly provided complete protection for deer by closing the season year round. By this time, deer were nearly extinct in most areas of the state.
Deer were re-established in Iowa through the escape of animals from captive herds, trapping and transplanting programs of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the immigration of animals from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri. In 1894, 35 whitetails escaped from the captive herd of William Cuppy of Avoca, which provided the nucleus for future deer herds in western Iowa. In the early 1920s, about 60 deer escaped from the Singmaster farm in Washington County and became established along the Skunk River. Another herd was established in Boone County at the Ledges State Park in 1928 when two deer, purchased from Minnesota, were released. Deer were captured from this herd and transplanted to other parts of the state during the 1940s.
In 1936, DNR officials estimated the deer herd at around 500 to 700 animals, but this was considered conservative because deer were widely scattered. In 1947, the first statewide population estimate was made with deer herds reported in 58 counties containing an estimated 1,650 animals. Deer herds were reported in 89 counties in 1950, and the population was expanded to 13,000 because of protection from hunting and favorable habitat conditions.
The re-establishment of whitetail deer in Iowa was complete, but problems with Iowa deer damage to agricultural crops were developing. In areas where deer were heavily concentrated, landowners were experiencing damage to corn, soybeans and alfalfa crops and expressing their concern to the DNR. In 1953, the Iowa Legislature provided the laws necessary to open hunting season to harvest surplus animals and scatter the large deer concentrations. The 1952 hunting season was restricted to 45 counties for five days and about 4,000 deer were harvested. Since 1953, hunting seasons have been held annually with various restrictions on number or type of licenses issued. Today, more than 200,000 shotgun, muzzleloader, and bow hunters harvest between 90,000-120,000 deer annually.
The most characteristic feature of the white-tailed deer is the white underside of its tail or "flag" that is flashed when disturbed. Deer are graceful, sleek and have long legs, which makes them look taller than their actual height of 35 to 38 inches. Deer grow a lightweight, reddish-brown coat in the summer and a heavy grayish-rown coat in the winter. Fawns have a reddish-brown coat with white spots that helps camouflage them from their enemies. Fawns lose their spots at three to four months of age when they are more mobile and no longer rely on camouflage for protection. Fawns weigh from four to seven pounds at birth and will gain 80 to 100 pounds in their first six months of life. Adult males reach an average weight of around 240 to 265 pounds at about four and one- half years of age while adult females average 140 to 160 pounds. The largest deer ever reported in Iowa was a 440-pound buck taken in Monona County during the 1962-hunting season.
Antlers are normally found only on males and a new set is grown each year. Antler growth begins in March or April and continues until August or September when the soft covering of skin called "velvet" dries up and is rubbed off on small trees and shrubs. Antlers are utilized in sparring matches with other bucks to establish dominance for breeding. Bucks shed their antlers in January and February following the breeding season. Rodents that utilize the rich minerals in their diet eventually consume these fallen antlers.
The animal's age, genetic background, and quality and quantity of food determine antler size. At about six months of age, males will have small-unbranched antlers called "buttons" that are barely visible above the skin. When a buck reaches one and one-half years of age, it will normally have branched antlers with two to five points on each side. As the buck grows older, the size of the rack increases. Peak growth is usually reached at about five and one-half to six and one-half years of age after which antlers may become smaller. The age of a buck cannot be accurately determined by counting the number of points on the rack since this is highly variable, but overall mass of the rack does give an indication of age. Sometimes abnormal points occur which are usually caused by injury to the rack during the growing season, improper hormone balances or heredity. A trophy buck in Iowa is determined by measuring the length of the main beams and the spread between the main beams. The largest typical rack measured in Iowa scored 200-5/8 Boone and Crockett Club points, and the largest nontypical rack was scored at 307 5/8 points (1st in the world).
Distribution and Abundance
Deer occur in every county, but the highest deer densities are found in the southwestern and northeastern parts of Iowa. Deer are basically associated with timber, and therefore, areas with large amounts of timber usually have the highest deer density. Because timber habitat is limited in Iowa, deer densities are low compared to surrounding states. Good deer habitat in Iowa supports around three deer per square mile of land while poorer habitat supports less than one deer per square mile. With excellent habitat, a good food source and protection from hunting, deer densities can reach as high as 100 deer per square mile. These high densities are usually only found in a small area such as a state park or refuge.
Habitat and Home Range
Cover requirements appear to be related to the animal's need for seclusion and escape. In the spring, does seek seclusion for fawning in brushy fields, heavily vegetated stream bottoms, forest edges, pastures and hayfields. During the summer, deer are usually found wherever sufficient food, water and solitude exist. Standing corn is used for food, travel and escape cover in the fall. Winter cover is more important, however, since the need for seclusion concentrates deer in protected areas such as heavy timber, cattails, tall weeds and brush. Because winter cover is critical, any reduction in this habitat type will correspondingly produce a decline in the herd.
The annual home range of deer varies from one-half to one square mile and is determined mainly by availability of suitable habitat, food and water. Home range in the spring and summer is small because of fawn rearing and plentiful food supplies. However, home range increases in the fall and winter because of breeding activity and scarcity of food.
Spring dispersal is extensive, with some deer establishing new home ranges as far as 50 miles from where they were born. One benefit of this dispersal is that small isolated habitats can be replenished if heavy hunting pressure or some other major mortality reduces deer numbers.
At fawning time, does prefer solitude and stay close to their young to provide food and protection. Sometimes the doe and her new fawns are joined by previous offspring to form a family group of four to six deer that stay together most of the year. Bucks do not take part in the care of young and usually remain solitary during the spring and summer. During the breeding season, bucks may be found together but one will be dominant and will mate with most does in his territory. Short jousting matches that rarely cause injury to the participants establish this dominance. In the winter, bucks join family groups to form small herds.
Whitetails can run at speeds up to 35 mph but prefer to slip away from danger or remain motionless while danger passes. They are excellent jumpers and can easily clear an eight-foot fence if being pursued. They are also good swimmers and can safely cross-large rivers.
Food and Water
Deer habitat must provide a good food supply throughout the year. Quality and abundance of fall and winter food items are critical because they determine physical and reproductive conditions. Deer selectively sample most plant species in their home range but relatively few species make up the bulk of their diet. Cultivated crops, mainly corn and soybeans, provide 78 percent of the annual diet of deer in Iowa. They are utilized early during the growing season and again from October to April. A large portion of this fall and winter use is limited to agricultural residue remaining in fields after harvest. Woody browse such as buckbrush, oak and sumac provides 13 percent of the diet and is utilized in the summer and fall and during periods of heavy snowfall.
in the winter. Various forbs make up five percent of the diet and are utilized heavily in the spring and summer along with grass. Deer will use free water daily, if available, but can subsist a long time on water provided by succulent food items.
The breeding season extends from October through January. Breeding by adult does starts in October and continues through December with 70 percent of the breeding occurring from November 2-23. Breeding activity by fawn does (six to eight months old) extends from November through January with 75 percent of the breeding occurring between November 17 and December 22. Fawn does reach a peak in breeding activity about three weeks later than adult does.
Fawns are born from early May through August after a six-and one-half month gestation period. The peak fawning period is from the last week of May through the first two weeks of June. Fawns are weaned at three to four months of age but stay with the doe until they are about one year old.
Adult does normally produce two fawns, but three or four are possible. About 70 percent of the fawn does breed during their first fall and usually produce only one young. Iowa deer have a very high reproductive rate compared to other states because of the nutritious food, relatively mild winters and lack of diseases and parasites.
Bucks are capable of breeding at one and one-half years of age but the majority of the breeding is performed by the older dominant bucks. Does are receptive to bucks for about 24 to 48 hours and are vigorously pursued during this period. If for some reason, does are not bred, they will again come into heat about 28 to 29 days later. This cycle may be repeated two to three times if the doe is not bred. A doe bred late in the fall will have her fawn late in the summer, which accounts for occasional reports of small deer seen during the hunting season.
Bagging a "wily whitetail" is a memorable experience since hunters are pitting their skill against an animal that has an acute knowledge of his surroundings and a keen instinct for survival. Hunters can do more things to prepare for their ultimate challenge. First, they should become acquainted with the terrain they are going to hunt. This can be accomplished with several preseason trips to the hunting area. A good knowledge of the habitat, deer trails, topography, location of feeding and bedding areas, and daily activity patterns of deer will pay big dividends when the season opens.
Many hunters prefer to use a bow and arrow to hunt deer. Bow hunting is basically a solitary sport with hunters trying to harvest a deer by utilizing camouflage clothing, ground or tree stands and masking the human odor with covering scents. This is a high quality experience since bow hunters must be able to get within 20 to 30 yards of a deer to make a good shot. In Iowa, about 25 percent of the bow hunters are successful in harvesting a deer each year. Bow hunting seasons are several months long and include the major portion of the "rut" when deer are more mobile and less wary.
During the shotgun season, both a shotgun with slugs and a muzzleloading rifle are allowed. Shotgun hunters utilize several techniques when hunting deer. When one to two individuals are hunting, the best technique is, to "still" hunt. "Still" hunting involves slowly and quietly walking through good deer habitat in an attempt to intercept a moving deer or jump one that is bedded down. This is a high quality experience since it requires both skill and experience to harvest a deer on a one-to-one basis. Another technique is hunting from a ground or tree blind, which involves taking a stand near a good trail to intercept an animal moving between bedding and feeding areas. Most hunters utilize the "drive" hunt because they prefer to hunt in larger groups. This technique employs the use of three or four drivers that push deer past two or three other hunters that have taken stands on the opposite side of the timber. Regardless of the method used about one out of every three-shotgun hunter's bags a deer during the early December season.
The management plan for the Iowa deer herd is designed to maintain a stable population while providing the maximum amount of quality recreation for hunters. This goal is accomplished by monitoring deer population trends and regulating hunting to provide proper harvest. Beneficial habitat manipulation, a progressive research program and active law enforcement are additional methods utilized to reach this goal.
The size of the deer herd must be regulated to prevent excessive crop damage and loss of revenue by landowners. This can best be accomplished by allowing hunting seasons that provide both quality recreation and control of animal numbers. Harvest manipulation is the primary tool for managing deer in Iowa. The most important requirement for a sound harvest strategy is a good knowledge of annual deer population trends on a regional basis. Population trends are determined from changes in the number of deer reported killed in traffic accidents, winter aerial counts, spring spotlight surveys, and computer simulation models.
To help determine if hunting seasons are meeting management goals, harvest results are tabulated from information provided by hunters on post-season report cards. Hunter report cards provide estimates of the number of deer harvested, hunter success rates, hunter effort, sex ratio and crippling rate.
The return of the white-tailed deer as a major game species in Iowa is a tribute to good landowner attitude and progressive management, research and enforcement programs. Likewise, responsibility for the future of deer in Iowa depends upon the cooperation of hunters and landowners, preservation of critical timber habitat, legislative support and continued professional management of the resource.
As a whitetail outfitter located in the States of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas I will be the first one to tell you that whitetail deer evolve differently in different States. Evolutionary differences occur because of hunt regulations surrounding different
States as well as terrain located in and about the area. I immediately learned that Iowa deer hunting is much different than any other State I have hunted in. With little archery pressure you will find an archery Iowa deer hunt is nothing short of phenomenal. Why? Its so hard to get tags that the whitetail deer in Iowa receive so little pressure they move about the terrain like they have no predator to contend with. It truly makes an Iowa archery deer hunt easier than other States I have hunted. The most important factor in the evolution of the Iowa whitetail deer is the fact firearms hunters are restricted to hunting with a shotgun or muzzleloader only. The result is that the State of Iowa with its firearms regulations has produced whitetail deer that simply are less educated to its hunters than per say a rifle State.
For example, if we were to be driving down the road in a rifle state like Missouri or Nebraska and saw deer in a field and stopped the vehicle to view them the deer would most likely run away quickly. Why? In States which allow hunters to hunt with a rifle deer have associated danger with the middle of fields, vehicles, etc. Simply put in rifle states deer arenít safe anywhere and associate danger with almost any human activity. However deer hunting in Iowa or most States that only allow hunters to use shotguns and muzzleloaders during the firearms season have produced a deer that has not associated danger with every sound and activity a human makes. In fact in Iowa or Illinois in particular we watch monster world class animals waltz right out into wide open fields in broad daylight, as Iowa whitetail deer have associated no danger with the middle of the field or simply traveling at random wherever they desire. To be quite blunt. Iowa deer are simply dumber than rifle state deer.
I recall the first year I ever deer hunted in Iowa. I was amazed with the nonchalant manner in which the whitetail deer in Iowa moved about the woods. They almost seemed as if they were moving like domesticated animals. Crazy but true. Iowa whitetail deer, due to little pressure and no rifle hunting have evolved as an animal without caution in comparison to other States I have hunted.
Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitters and Guides
Iowa whitetail deer outfitters and guides sometimes remind me of the Iowa deer themselves. Due to the fact its so hard for Iowa whitetail deer hunters to draw an archery tag any Iowa whitetail outfitter or Iowa guide knows little revenue can be generated from Iowa whitetail deer archery hunting. Because of this most Iowa whitetail deer outfitters and Iowa whitetail deer guides simply cannot afford to finance a first class operation on the most expensive leases in the State. Letís face the facts. If you canít finance it then you cannot build a quality operation. As a result we have literally watched hundreds of ďredneck Iowa whitetail outfittersĒ open up ďshopĒ in the State of Iowa running Iowa whitetail deer hunts on cheap leases from bunkhouses, complete with empty promises the majority of the time. Never skimp on an Iowa whitetail deer hunt. IMB Outfitters has been the exception to this rule. IMB Outfitters is located in 5 States thus when our Iowa deer hunters donít draw a tag they have two options:
1. They can simply go hunt one of our other States if not drawn for the Iowa deer tag.
2. They can move their Iowa deer hunt to the following season knowing they have been awarded a preference point and probably will draw a tag the following year.
By implementing such a workable program for our whitetail deer hunters nobody runs the risk of losing their $500 deposit placed upon booking the Iowa whitetail deer hunt, unless they simply donít put in for the tag or donít call and let us know they are not coming.
Obtaining an Iowa Whitetail Archery Tag
In Late May hunters simply call Iowa DNR or apply online to obtain the archery tag. By mid June the tag results are posted online. If your hunting with IMB Outfitters we walk you through the entire process and alert you to the fact of whether you have drawn an Iowa Archery Tag or not. Then you are given the option to hunt another state and or wait till the following year or do both. As indicated if you do not draw a Iowa Archery Deer Tag you are awarded a preference point which increases your odds at drawing a tag year 2 to above 80%. If your not drawn year 2 then year 3 I have never seen a hunter not draw a tag. The tag is $600 for nonresidents.
The Iowa whitetail deer archery season begins October 1 and runs through January 15 with the interruption of firearms season the first 12 days of December. I would personally urge anyone that draws an Iowa whitetail deer archery tag to use the tag for a rut hunt only. This is the archery tag of a lifetime. Use it during the best time of the year and donít try and cut corners by choosing some cheap hunt.
When applying in Iowa if you have more than one hunter in your group you should put in as a group so either all of your hunters are drawn or all of you receive a preference point for the following year. This prevents breaking the group up, as if some of you are drawn and some are not drawn then it can be an odd situation for those that did not draw. For example if a father and son put in for an Iowa whitetail deer archery tag and donít put in as a group, then the son could get drawn and the father denied. This can be heartbreaking for either party.
Obtaining an Iowa Firearms Tag
Again to obtain an Iowa Firearms Tag one may choose the 1st Firearms Season, 2nd Firearms Season, or Muzzleloader Only Season. The process begins in late May by phone to Iowa DNR or via internet application. Hunters booked with IMB Outfitters are literally walked through the process one step at a time as a courtesy to our hunters. By June hunters are notified of their denial or award of an Iowa whitetail deer tag.
The Iowa 1st Gun Season normally runs from December 4 and end on December 9. The Iowa 2nd Gun Season normally runs from December 11 and ends on December 15. The Iowa Muzzleloader Only whitetail deer season normally runs from December 26 to January 10. Believe it or not all these hunts are strong.
When applying in Iowa if you have more than one hunter in your group you should put in as a group so either all of your hunters are drawn or all of you receive a preference point for the following year. This prevents breaking the group up, as if some of you are drawn and some are not drawn then it can be an odd situation for those that did not draw. For example if a father and son put in for an Iowa whitetail deer gun tag and donít put in as a group, then the son could get drawn and the father denied. This can be heartbreaking for either party.
Iowa Whitetail Real Estate
I personally would discourage anyone from purchasing real estate in Iowa for deer huting only as any Iowa landowner living outside the State of Iowa is subject to the same rules as if you did NOT own real estate in the State of Iowa. It is actually much more affordable to book a hunt with a quality Iowa Whitetail Outfitter or Guide like IMB Outfitters. Think of this. If you buy a farm in Iowa and only draw a tag every other year, if your lucky, then your going to pay for the farm and not be able to hunt it but every other year. So take this scenario. Let us presume you purchase a small 250 acre farm for $2000 per acre in Iowa. This would be $500,000.00 dollars. The monthly payment after a 20% down payment would be around $4500 per month throughout the life of the loan. You could book a trip with a quality Iowa Whitetail Deer Outfitter like IMB Outfitters for around $3000 and save yourself around $54,000 a year. Until Iowa allows non resident landowners to possess special deer tag obtainment priviledges one of the worst hunt ground investments one could make would be an Iowa deer hunting farm. Crazy huh?
Hunt Booking Mistakes
The proper way to book an Iowa whitetail deer hunt is to find the Outfitter in January or February and book your outing. In May apply for the tag. Make sure the Outfitter you book with has a policy wherein you donít lose your deposit if you donít draw.
The incorrect way to book a Iowa whitetail deer hunt is to try and obtain the Iowa deer tag first and then scramble around in early July looking to book a trip with a Iowa whitetail deer outfitter or guide. I canít count the number of hunters that have obtained Iowa deer tags, then called me only to discover we did not have an opening for them. Book you hunt before pursuing the obtainment of a tag or risk having a tag and nowhere decent to hunt.
Thus if you wanna put down the deer of a lifetime head for Zone 5 of Iowa with IMB Outfitters located at www.imbmonsterbucks.com