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2010 Whitetail Deer Hunting Forecast

2010 Whitetail Deer Forecast by Darrin Bradley

How will whitetail deer hunting be in 2010?

Each year it seems the whitetail deer experts and biologists throughout the hunt industry attempt to forecast the oncoming whitetail deer season. As a service to our clients and whitetail deer hunters abroad, I will attempt to forecast what whitetail deer hunters can expect in 2010. With all credit to God I have been a whitetail deer outfitter in the Midwest for over ten years, on 34 pro staffs in the hunt industry, have harvested 15 pope and young whitetail bucks, and am an accomplished Outdoor Writer. The themes of my articles have always been to “tell it like it is”. While other writers may focus on selling product, or establishing a name for themselves, I like to tell the bare bones truth surrounding everything. Especially whitetail deer hunting.
Many elements must be considered when forecasting or predicting how the oncoming or the 2010 whitetail deer season in the Midwest will be. Such elements include predicted weather, crop rotations, witnessed deer activity, prior whitetail deer harvest of the year before 2010, recent properties acquired, etc. etc. Therefore my forecast of the 2010 whitetail season will be one which is mainly focused on what you can expect from IMB Outfitters in 2010 and what the deer on our properties seem to be doing that play a factor in the decrease or increase of activity.
How will predicted weather affect whitetail deer hunting in 2010?

The Farmer’s Almanac contends that Old Man Winter doesn’t want to give up his frigid hold just yet, but his hold will mostly be in the middle of the country.

According to the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, this winter will see more days of shivery conditions: a winter during which temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation.

A large area of numbingly cold temperatures will predominate from roughly east of the Continental Divide to west of the Appalachians (see map). The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. But acting almost like the bread of a sandwich, to this swath of unseasonable cold will be two regions with temperatures that will average closer to normal—theWest Coast and the East Coast.
What about snow/rain/ice?

Near-normal amounts of precipitation are expected over the eastern third of the country, as well as over the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, while drier-than-normal conditions are forecast to occur over the Southwest and the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes.
Only the Central and Southern Plains are expected to receive above-average amounts of precipitation.

While three-quarters of the country is predicted to see near- or below average precipitation this winter, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any winter storms! On the contrary, significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone. For the Middle Atlantic and Northeast States, for instance, we are predicting a major snowfall in mid-February; possibly even blizzard conditions for New England (indeed, even shovelry is not dead).

Based upon the predictions of forecasters across the nation whitetail deer hunters in the Midwest can expect lower temperatures, normal amounts of precipitation, and below average snowfall. This is a good report for all who plan on hunting with IMB Outfitters in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. Lower temperatures will cause increased deer movement and bring trophy bucks that are sometimes near nocturnal during early season in some states into the wide open shooting lanes that await you. Every seasoned deer hunter knows that high temperatures often times prevent enhanced deer activity.

Normal amounts of precipitation is something the Midwest hasn’t seen for 2 years. In 2008 and 2009 although we presented great success rates, I watched many a “long face” on my hunters looking at standing cornfields in November when they should have been harvested in September or October. We have also experienced so much rainfall during 2008 and 2009 that literally their were some hunt locations in some of our states that were flooded out or not accessible. This year you can bet if weather predictions are correct we will be able to hit every “nook and cranny” where big bucks hide out.

Below average snowfall can be both good and bad. I’ve watched many late season hunts be wonderful because of snowfall which forced whitetail deer to food sources. However too much snow can also force whitetail deer to lay up for days on end. I’ll take an average snowfall anytime. You can simply have too much snow or not enough snow for deer hunting.

Thus the overall weather forecast for hunting whitetail deer looks great. If the weather forecast holds up for the 2010 whitetail deer season it is very possible bucks will be harvested in the Midwest which we only can dream of. Therefore my whitetail deer prediction or whitetail deer weather forecast for 2010 looks great. Weather and winds are the most important thing when hunting trophy whitetails. As a whitetail deer outfitter in the Midwest I can tell you I have had years I had “egg on my face” simply because of weather conditions. While most whitetail deer hunters recognize bad weather means bad hunting most of the time, a minority of hunters believe no matter what the weather is doing that a whitetail deer outfitter in the Midwest ought to be able to present trophy animals in the worst of conditions. This just simply isn’t the truth. Allow me to present a parable. If you invited me to your house to harvest a trophy whitetail buck and it rained the whole time I was at your house how successful do you think I would be? However the 2010 whitetail deer season weather forecast looks nothing short of wonderful. THIS MAY BE THE BEST YEAR TO BOOK A WHITETAIL DEER HUNT IN THE MIDWEST.

Amazingly last May I did a study and researched whitetail deer outfitters in the Midwest. My research showed 88% of all whitetail deer outfitters in the Midwest have been in business less than 4 years. IMB Outfitters has been in business for over ten years. This certainly doesn’t make IMB nor I the authority on Midwestern Whitetail Deer Hunts, however it may insinuate that we have a well refined business that may be one of the highest ranking authorities to predict just how good the 2010 whitetail deer season will be in the Midwestern United States.

How good will Missouri deer hunts be in 2010?
Northern Missouri deer hunting continues to secretly birth some of the biggest whitetail bucks in the entire nation. It is beyond me how experts claim that Ohio, Kentucky, or any other State in the Midwest is “the sleeper.” Without a doubt Missouri deer hunting in its Northern Plains Region is the best “sleeper state” for whitetail deer hunting in the entire Midwest.
I have been a resident of the State of Missouri for 45 years. In that time I have watched whitetail deer hunting in Missouri evolve from average to excellent. In 2005 the State of Missouri enacted a law wherein whitetail deer hunters could not harvest a buck unless it had 4 points on one beam. Think of this. A State laying between Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas in its Northern regions having this type of mandate put on it. To be honest the first couple years of the new law we were still on great whitetail deer in Missouri, however other States were better. However in the last two years Missouri deer hunts have been nothing short of awesome, and has absolutely laid claim to being the “sleeping giant” of the Midwest.

Want proof that Missouri deer hunts have drastically improved? We collect detailed statistical data here at IMB Outfitters to come up with honest and forthright success rates. Look at the trend below to see just how much of an increase in success Missouri deer hunts have produced in getting hunters shots at record book whitetails.

The following success rates reflect the hunters average percentage at getting a shot at a record book whitetail buck in Missouri during different time phases with IMB Outfitters:

From 2006 to 2009 nonrut success rates on Missouri deer hunts with IMB Outfitters have increased from 62% to 105%.

From 2006 to 2009 rut hunt success rates on Missouri deer hunts with IMB Outfitters have increased from 128% to 154%.

From 2006 to 2009 late season muzzleloader hunt success rates on Missouri deer hunts with IMB Outfitters have increased from 42% to 107%.
Simply shocking! To top this off in 2009 due to massive rainfalls during the Missouri whitetail deer firearms season the State of Missouri recorded its lowest deer harvest with firearms in 16 year. THIS MEANS 2010 WILL YIELD TRIPLE THE DEER AND DOUBLE THE SIZE. It literally poured down rain for 9 days in a row.
Couple those antler restriction laws, stats, 2009 rained out deer season, with the wonderful 2010 weather forecast for hunting and I firmly believe you can expect that in 2010 Missouri deer hunting will produce the some of the largest whitetail deer ever recorded in the history of our business, and possibly the hunt industry itself.

We have also added thousands of new acres to our Missouri deer hunting division, much of which hasn’t been hunted before.

One hunt that is vastly under rated is the Missouri non rut hunt. The Missouri non rut deer hunt is a very affordable hunt wherein we have trophy whitetail bucks patterned on green agricultural fields because we have been watching them all summer long. Best thing is that corn and beans are rotated every other year. This year on the farms IMB possesses we should have a lot of green field instead of corn, which will produce some of the best non rut hunts of all time in Missouri during 2010. Thus my forecast for 2010 deer hunting in the State of Missouri is a “10” on a scale from one to ten.

With normal precipitation and below average temps the rut should be nothing short of staggering to “boot”. Again I forecast 2010 deer hunting for Missouri will be a “10”.

How good will Iowa deer hunts be in 2010?
Iowa deer hunting is simply nothing short of stunning. It continues to produce the highest success rates and the biggest whitetail deer in the nation. Iowa deer hunts present such great whitetail deer hunting that often times I refuse to tell stories about our hunting in Iowa because I know clients will not believe the stories surrounding Iowa deer hunting.

It’s not enough to hunt Iowa for deer, just because you saw it on the Outdoor Channel. You must hunt the right Zone. That Zone is Zone 5. You also must be with the right Iowa Deer Outfitter. Iowa deer hunting outfitters lay claim to the highest number of “redneck operations” in the entire Midwest in my opinion. The reason is because it takes 2 to 3 years to draw an Iowa archery tag. Therefore, Iowa deer outfitters simply cannot fund great farms, great lodges, great employees, quality equipment, etc. IMB Outfitters is able to fund its Iowa deer hunts because of monies earned in the other States we run hunts in. If you don’t hunt with the right Iowa outfitter in the right Zone of Iowa, you simply will not experience the greatest Iowa whitetail deer hunting. You will come away feeling short changed.

Our properties in Iowa simply defy all rules of logic. We have also added several new land tracts in Iowa for 2010 that are wonderful. Iowa deer hunts with IMB Outfitters seems to be like the US Postal Service. Rain, sleet, wind, or snow……………Iowa deer hunting with IMB Outfitters “delivers”! It doesn’t matter that the Iowa gun season is not during the rut. It doesn’t matter if a foot of snow is on the ground. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, as long as the Iowa deer hunt occurs anytime after October 25, if you hunt we are gonna show you monster bucks. The forecast for 2010 Iowa Deerhunting I rank as a “11” on a scale from 1 to 10. You simply must begin to acquire Iowa preference points to hunt archery. If you’re a gun hunter then simply know that it’s pretty easy to get a firearms or muzzleloader tag. This is a hunt that books quickly. Go ahead and book your 2011 Iowa deer hunt with IMB now!


How good will Kansas deer hunts be in 2010?

For the first time in the history of IMB Outfitters we proudly introduce the finest Kansas deer hunting available. Late in the Winter of 2009 I was contacted by a landowner in Kansas that wanted us to come take a look at his ground. Oddly enough he claimed nobody had been outfitting, leasing, or hunting his land tracts. After verifying this to be true through local governmental authorities we headed for Kansas. The ground lies in Unit 11, which is Southeastern Kansas deer hunting at its finest. The land is simply nothing short of virgin hunting ground with a ton of World Class Kansas whitetail deer on it.

Kansas deer hunting has a different “flavor” to it. In our other States where we outfit whitetail deer hunts our hunters average seeing 30 to 50 deer per day per hunter. Kansas deer hunting however does not produce such numbers. While deer hunting in Kansas a hunter will probably see around a dozen deer per day. The Kansas deer hunt is not for the deer hunter who needs to be entertained by large numbers of deer sightings. This Kansas deer hunt is one wherein you’ll probably be sitting in a stand or blind and wonder if you are on the right farm, if your are with the right Kansas deer outfitter, and be lulled into a bit of a haze, when out of nowhere a world class animal will appear. Oddly enough we visited with a couple young local hunters who showed us Kansas deer they had hung on their wall. All the deer they had killed exceeded 180 inches. So Kansas deer hunts will be for those that are patient and are seeking the deer of a lifetime without being concerned about the quantity of whitetail deer sighted per outing.
With that being said, the new Kansas deer hunting ground has around 50% timber with the rest being mostly row crops, with some CRP. With the fact we are hitting this ground for the first time in 2010 couple with this fall’s weather forecast I rank Kansas deer hunting a “8” on a scale from one to ten. The ranking is not higher because as a whitetail deer outfitter in the Midwest I have seen many clients that wanted to be entertained by seeing huge numbers of deer. The monster bucks are there and the buck to ratio is around 2 to 1, but this hunt is for the hunter that understands the “flavor” of a Kansas deer hunt.


How good will Nebraska deer hunts be in 2010?

As one reads this forecast for 2010 whitetail deer hunting, knowing that a whitetail deer outfitter is writing it, you might assume I would forecast every State we run deer hunts in will have an upbeat forecast, for marketing purposes, however I will not lie.

5 years ago it was illegal for non residents to firearm hunt for whitetail deer in Nebraska. The first two years we began in Nebraska our success rates were astronomical because of the restraints the State had placed upon it.

Nebraska law literally prevented mass amounts of deer harvests from occurring. We harvested monster bucks in the first 2 to 3 years of whitetail hunting in Nebraska.

Over the past 2 years Nebraska has produced smaller and smaller bucks. We even leased different properties thinking perhaps it was an internal problem. 2009 proved it was not. We have discovered a steady and rapid decline in high scoring whitetail deer in Nebraska over the past 2 years. Reports from hunters outside IMB Outfitters also reflect the same pattern.

As a result we have cancelled all hunts in Nebraska for 2010 and will be pulling out of Nebraska, as IMB refuses to run below average hunts for whitetail deer. The reason Nebraska is declining is because of a severe lack of “cover” of hiding places for whitetail deer in Nebraska. In 5 years of business in Nebraska we have never seen a game warden. Poaching is plentiful. Non residents have infiltrated the State by the thousands and shot a ton of huge deer. Nebraska simply doesn’t possess the “cover” to allow whitetails to elude whitetail hunters. Therefore IMB Outfitters will be announcing a new State for 2011 shortly to replace Nebraska. Unfortunately I must give the 2010 Nebraska Whitetail Deer Forecast a “3” on a scale from one to ten and that is being gracious. Nebraska must place some set of laws in check to build its true trophy whitetail buck population back to its prior state, but it will take years after such an occurrence for the State to recover.



How good will Pike County, Illinois deer hunts be in 2010?

Pike County Illinois deer hunts continue to consistently produce trophy whitetail deer. Pike County Illinois as well as the other Midwestern states we run whitetail deer hunts in has experienced 2 years of heavy rainfall. This forced farmers to leave corn standing in the field giving whitetail deer a place to hide which is virtually impossible to hunt. However, 2010 Pike County Illinois weather forecast for this Fall look to be taking us back to normal crop extraction. This should bring Illinois once again to the forefront of destinations for your whitetail deer hunt this Fall. Also as aforementioned corn and soybeans are rotated on an every other year basis. In 2010 most of our farms in Pike County Illinois will be in soybeans which will put deer in the timber rather than hiding in the middle of a cornfield. This will result in higher success rates without a doubt.

IMB Outfitters has signed up several new land tracts for 2010 in Pike County Illinois which will present hunters with possibly the highest opportunity for harvest ever.

Pike County Illinois is pretty predictable as it lays claim to being the #1 County in the Nation for the number of entries in all record books combined. We forecast Pike County Illinois to rank as a “9” on a scale from one to ten for the upcoming 2010 whitetail deer season.

Darrin Bradley

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