By Mark Kenyon

In a few hours I’ll be packing up, leaving my hotel in Nebraska and heading to eastern Iowa – and once there, I’ll be getting started on one of the most important projects of my 2015 deer season. Trying to get hunting permission.

As many of you know, I drew an Iowa archery tag this spring, but with that tag comes the inherent responsibility of now trying to find somewhere to hunt with it. At this point, I have no such place. Which brings me to my job today.

Since I was in the mountains all summer, this will be my first chance to get to Iowa and likely my only chance before the hunting season begins. So, of course, theres a lot of pressure on the next day and a half. So how’d I get to this point?

Over the past month or so I’ve been collecting information from some friends in the area, and digging for my own intel, that’s lead me to a list of properties that I’m interested in getting permission on.

Here’s what that process has looked like …

– I used Google Earth to identify high quality looking areas in the region I’m planning on hunting. I’m looking for good cover, food sources, topography, and quality access.

– Next I took the areas I found on Earth, and the names I got from my friends, and started searching for these properties on the county GIS maps. These GIS maps will actually show you the parcel borders and the property owner information. With this tool I could get the home addresses for the properties I was given the tips on, and then I could also look at the actual property borders in the areas that I personally was curious about. Once I decided on a few of the best properties, I used the GIS map again to get those owner addresses as well.

– Now I’ve got a list of about 10 properties and the addresses for each land owner

So that’s where things stand now. I’ve got my list, I’ve got a campsite for two nights, and I’ve got a day and a half to cruise the backroads of eastern Iowa – in my 2011 Ford Fusion packed with two dogs, myself and my wife, and two months worth of crap – knocking on doors, and hoping and praying that someone will be kind enough to let me hunt their land. Needless to say, it’s going to be interesting.

I’ll be arriving to my area this evening around dinner and will be knocking on my high priority doors right away. Any that I don’t get to tonight will then be hit tomorrow, and hopefully between all of that – I’ll have had some success.

By the time I record our next Wired To Hunt Podcast, I’m either going to be a very happy hunter with an Iowa property or two to hunt, or very, very dejected. Tune in on Thursday to hear how it went.

And if you’re in a similar boat, trying to get hunting permission, here are some of our best resources on the topic:

5 Resources to Help You Gain Hunting Permission

The Wired To Hunt Podcast – Episode 14: Gaining Hunting Permission On Private Land

5 Tips for Gaining Hunting Permission On Private Land (video)