I just got back from a great trip to Iowa, where we had a really fun visit with friends, got to see the Iowa countryside, hiked all over some great deer habitat and tried really hard to get some good velvet footage! But as the title suggests, there is no such thing as a sure thing and we certainly learned that this past weekend.
My two days in Iowa were packed with plans for shooting, checking trailcams, hanging stands and seeing big deer, but nothing quite went as planned. After hiking out to my buddy’s new trailcam set up, we were quite disappointed to find not a single buck captured on film. After this we decided we would do a little scouting and find a tree for us to hang up a stand, but this proved more of an adventure than we planned on. We hiked for what seemed liked miles through the hill country of NE Iowa carrying a 40lb bag of BB^2, an extendable saw, tree stand, camera gear, screw-in steps and just enough water to keep us from collapsing. Needless to say the 90 degree temps took a toll on us and after doing our due diligence, we just couldn’t find a set that we were 100% happy with. With plans to return next week and find a tree for this stand, we decided to turn our attention to the next project, bring Corey’s trailcam to a new location and put out some BB^2.
After debating the merits of several locations and checking out what they had to offer, we finally decided on placing his cam on a field edge where several trails emerge. With a triumphant tear, I was finally able to open one of the bags of BB^2 I’ve had sitting in my house for several months and poured a generous pile of it right in front of the camera. I’ve heard from a lot of folks about the attractive power of “the big brown bag”, so I’m really excited to see what kind of deer come in to the chow. Hopefully we’ll have some great pics to share soon and a new shooter or two on Corey’s hit list.
After our adventures in the the deep Iowa timber, we decided it was time for a drive around the area. With my camera ready and visions of Booners running through my head, we excitedly took off to explore the local bean and alfalfa fields. Well as it goes so often when you set high expectations, things didn’t end up quite as we planned. After an hour or so of driving through prime Iowa deer habitat, we saw only one young buck and several doe. Definitely not what either of us was hoping for.
On day two we shot our bows, shopped and went out to eat with our ladies. After dinner I was faced with a decision. Do we stay til dark and try to find some bucks again or do we leave now so that we get home at a reasonable time? As you might have guessed, I chose to chase those bucks! And that we did.
After driving around for a good while and still not seeing any good bucks, we decided to go for broke. Corey knew of a great secluded bean field in an area he’d been seeing some nice bucks. We drove to the nearest parking lot, jumped out of the truck and started hightailing it to the edge of a corn field. I should preface this by explaining that we had just come from dinner, so we were both in nice shirts and jeans and good leather shoes. After this little adventure, things werent looking so good. We tromped through corn fields and thickets as we sneaked for 15 minutes towards the bean field. Along the way we did end up bumping a nice 140 class buck, but never had a chance to get it on film. And in the end that’s all we saw, as the bean field ended up being empty.
So as great as Iowa is for deer and deer hunting, there never is a sure thing. Big buck sightings weren’t in the cards for our trip, but we still had a great time. Iowa may have won this time, but I’ll certainly be back to chase those bucks again some day in the future. Whether it’s with a camera or a bow is yet to be seen.