Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

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Aaron1987
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Aaron1987 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:10 am

seazofcheeze wrote:am planning to draw for the 2018 Iowa bow season. I would like to hear anyone's input who has hunted Iowa regularly. I'm asking now because I plan to make a trip in March this year and March next year for scouting and shed hunting purposes.

My goal for the trip is to shoot a 135"+ buck. I'm pretty comfortable hunting marsh/swamp, farm, or hill country.

Looking for input on zones that have a good balance of public land and opportunities for 135"+ if I put in the work. I'd prefer NOT to have any specific information on wma's, or specific areas, just looking for general info on the different zones and the type of terrain and public. My tentative plan is for a 2-week hunt around the October 31st - November 14th time frame, but I am open to suggestions and advice on the dates.

Feel free to pm if you don't want to post information on the public forum.

Thanks in advance.

Your goal is definitely doable. Many come to Iowa public with the mindset of 150" 5 year old or bust and they eat tags. No to say it isn't possible-it is. Just not probable with limited scouting and hunting time.

Iowa bow hunters all take vacation at the same time(residents and non-residents). Pressure is highest during the first 10 days of November. We hunted nearly every day(as a group-not me personally) from Oct. 5 through Nov 28. The least amount of mature buck sightings were Nov 2-10. I think we saw one mature buck during that period and we were in my best stand. I'm half tempted to start sitting out the first week of November and strictly scouting for hunting pressure. We do this to a degree already but could be more efficient if we weren't hunting.

P.M. me if you need help deciding on a unit but I think you'll find most of them can be good (excluding the NW). Stanley has a good point about drive time.


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Stanley
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Stanley » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:24 am

purebowhunting wrote:
Stanley wrote:
JoeRE wrote:Something to keep in mind, just found out a bunch more deer tested positive for CWD in NE Iowa this past season and across a much wider area. Final numbers have not been published yet but the DNR has been holding public meetings about it. Another special hunt is happening right now in that area...in a few years it will be in Haus's backyard too....then down to Bill Winke's, the Lachowski's, the Drury's :think:

I am getting the sick feeling the great hunting we have enjoyed the last couple decades is going to become not so great in the near future. Kinda like you southern Wisconsin guys felt 10-15 years ago.


Winke's area was hit with CWD big time a few years ago. They are recovering again though.


Assume Stanley ment EHD hit the Winke area, the CWD issue worries me if they follow suite of many states handling of it. May have to rethink my trip depending on how they handle the next year or so.

My bad it was EHD in 2012. Recovering nicely from that now.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:59 am

Out of respect to Iowa residents I don't want to point anybody to any particular unit. There is so much info available on the Iowa DNR website including a very good mapping program to help with finding all the public land in the entire state. Choose a unit that has plenty of public properties so you will have multiple options. Don't get commited to one property because hunting pressure and deer numbers can obviously make a huge difference. Doing research on recent harvest numbers along with record book entries can help you narrow down your search.

Really putting in the hard work scouting and running cams will make your hunt so much more successful. I kinda laugh when guys think hunting Iowa is so easy and believe there are 150" bucks running all over. Many just show up and hunt thinking it will take very little effort. Fact is there are not huge bucks behind every tree and you will have to work for it just like anywhere else. Good to hear you have scouting trips planned to get familiar with the properties you want to hunt. That will no doubt help your success.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby JoeRE » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:00 am

Stanley wrote:
purebowhunting wrote:
Stanley wrote:
JoeRE wrote:Something to keep in mind, just found out a bunch more deer tested positive for CWD in NE Iowa this past season and across a much wider area. Final numbers have not been published yet but the DNR has been holding public meetings about it. Another special hunt is happening right now in that area...in a few years it will be in Haus's backyard too....then down to Bill Winke's, the Lachowski's, the Drury's :think:

I am getting the sick feeling the great hunting we have enjoyed the last couple decades is going to become not so great in the near future. Kinda like you southern Wisconsin guys felt 10-15 years ago.


Winke's area was hit with CWD big time a few years ago. They are recovering again though.


Assume Stanley ment EHD hit the Winke area, the CWD issue worries me if they follow suite of many states handling of it. May have to rethink my trip depending on how they handle the next year or so.

My bad it was EHD in 2012. Recovering nicely from that now.


Yea this is CWD. Multiple deer tested positive this past season we have been told, up from the past couple seasons. The DNR has not indicated what the response will be yet but sounded like all options were being evaluated.

Deer hunting is roughly a $300 million industry in Iowa (per the DNR)...and a lot more if you factor in secondary effects like land price increases. That kind of money means some people will go crazy to keep the gravy trail flowing.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:23 am

Dewey wrote:Out of respect to Iowa residents I don't want to point anybody to any particular unit. There is so much info available on the Iowa DNR website including a very good mapping program to help with finding all the public land in the entire state. Choose a unit that has plenty of public properties so you will have multiple options. Don't get commited to one property because hunting pressure and deer numbers can obviously make a huge difference. Doing research on recent harvest numbers along with record book entries can help you narrow down your search.

Really putting in the hard work scouting and running cams will make your hunt so much more successful. I kinda laugh when guys think hunting Iowa is so easy and believe there are 150" bucks running all over. Many just show up and hunt thinking it will take very little effort. Fact is there are not huge bucks behind every tree and you will have to work for it just like anywhere else. Good to hear you have scouting trips planned to get familiar with the properties you want to hunt. That will no doubt help your success.


That is the general thought by most who have never hunted midwest. Heck, many northeast guys think midwest is all high fence.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Mibowfreak » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:56 am

Some great information guys. I should be headed to Iowa in 2018 or 2019.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Whitetailaddict » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:06 am

I have personally hunted east-central, south-eastern, western and South-central public areas in Iowa and have seen the caliber of deer you are looking for in all of those areas. Furthermore, I have friends/acquaintances who hunt NE, SW and even central Iowa who get on deer like that on public. Based on my experience I think you can encounter those deer anywhere in the state but just because you can doesn't mean you will. Like others have said you still have to do the work. I personally would shy away for North-central and north-west but then again so do many hunters and you would probably have the public all to yourself. You have CWD in the NE and EHD in the southern portion which affect deer populations differently on a year to year basis. The herd seems to be recovering in the southern portion but all it will take is another bad year of EHD this summer and you will see the negative impacts this fall. Maybe try narrowing it down to two or three areas and then base your decision on which one you pick based on what you find during your scouting and gives you the most confidence. Ultimately from what I hear about Michigan you will enjoy your hunt and see lots of bucks and hopefully the one your after. Good luck with your decision.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Hey guys, I appreciate all the input so far. I have a follow-up question. What if a county overlaps 2 zones? If you draw one zone, are you limited to ONLY that zone, or is it like Kansas where you have a main zone and you get one second zone? The reason I am asking, is that I just got a SERIOUS hook-up through a co-worker who used to live in Iowa. His brother still does, and is a semi-serious bowhunter. He said he has access to 23 different farms and he would show me around. Problem is, the county he mentioned looks to overlap the intersection of at least 2 and possibly 3 different zones.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby Stanley » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:45 pm

seazofcheeze wrote:Hey guys, I appreciate all the input so far. I have a follow-up question. What if a county overlaps 2 zones? If you draw one zone, are you limited to ONLY that zone, or is it like Kansas where you have a main zone and you get one second zone? The reason I am asking, is that I just got a SERIOUS hook-up through a co-worker who used to live in Iowa. His brother still does, and is a semi-serious bowhunter. He said he has access to 23 different farms and he would show me around. Problem is, the county he mentioned looks to overlap the intersection of at least 2 and possibly 3 different zones.

You can only hunt in the zone you applied for. It's strictly by zone. Not county.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Iowa - What Zone(s)? Help

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:41 pm

Stanley, I appreciate the clarification. I will have to find out which zone the majority of the farms are in. Looks like I will be in the SE or S central zone if this works out. More to come later this spring. Thanks again for all the feedback everyone.


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