Iowa

Thread starter #1
I've reread previous posts and looking for some feedback. I have the opportunity to hunt NE Iowa in Chickasaw County on an 850-acre farm. My roommate from college his family owns the farm. They own several other smaller tracts but I have been given permission to hunt the continuous 850-acre tract. My friend does not hunt however, his brother is an Iowa Game Warden in a different county and I have known his brother for close to 20 years. Since his brother now lives in SE Iowa, he does not hunt the family farm very often. The family no longer farms the property themselves and instead leases the tillable to farmers. There are only three people that hunt the property. They all hunt Muzzleloader and Gun seasons only. Everything I read about Iowa says SE Iowa is the part of the state to hunt. However, is NE Iowa near the Minnesota border worth perusing? I am waiting on clarification on what zone the property falls in as Chickasaw County is split by zones 9 & 10. I do not have to pay to hunt the property and have somewhere to stay for free. I only have to draw the tag and show up.

Here is my dilemma my wife and I a couple years ago bought our little slice of heaven in South Ga. We bought close to 100 acres and have several small leases within a couple of miles. In the last couple years after meeting with contractors and looking at options we opted to put a doublewide on the our property until we save enough to build something similar to what Triple C built using National Barn Company. Also saving for a bigger tractor and bigger implements. All our spare time goes into the kids and with our little extra time our property and the outdoors. The Iowa land is not trophy managed. However, it is a sizable piece of property and the aerials look great. A river runs through the middle of the property and there is lots of timber along with big ag fields. Out of the 3 people that currently hunt the property two aren’t trophy hunters. However, they are not if it is brown it is down either. They each strive to shoot one buck and 2 does and on bucks if they feel like taking it they take the shot. My friends brother the one that is an Iowa Game Warden is the only one that practices QDM, but he and his wife have two little kids so he doesn’t get to spend the time on his families property that he did growing up. However, he said he will take days off to show me around the property and put me on some spots he has had success in years past. My dilemma is I do not have the time or money right now to scout the property and hang sets. I would be showing up blind after only looking at aerials and topo maps and hoping for success.

I have done a couple searches on the internet for Chickasaw County giants harvested and there was a 23 point non-typical net score of 197 4/8 shot back in 2010 and there was one other from 2005. However, not much recent data available. I am hoping Jim will respond and some of the others that regularly hunt Iowa. My deadline to purchase a preference point is June 2 at midnight. I am not even thinking of hunting it this year, but maybe next year. The biggest known deer shot on the property was a 163 gross and multiple 140’s.

This has been available to me since 2005. A couple years ago before we all had kids my friend and his brother came down to visit and we went offshore fishing in the keys on my boat and caught tons of dolphin, blackfin, a wahoo and a big blue marlin. Since then they both have been trying to get me to go hunting on their family land. Last year his uncle shot a 163 gross 10 pt that was a very good deer with chocolate horns and a lot of character. Last weekend they sent me a recent aerial of the property, I talked to my wife, and she said I should go try it. I do bow hunt but not opposed to gun hunting. Has anyone hunted NE Iowa before with success? What should I do? When is the time to be up there, during what season and I am still confused about the preference points.
Chickasaw County, IA 850 acre farm.JPG
 
Thread starter #2
The other thing that worries me is catching the bug like Jim Boyd and only wanting to hunt Midwest deer. After putting tons of hours of equity into our own property and still making many great memories each season in Georgia I'm afraid if I hunt Iowa I will only want to hunt Iowa.
 
MOST DEFINETLY GO AT LEAST ONCE !!!!!!
in Zone 9
It will take you atleast two years to get enough points to draw a bow tag the 3rd year. Last year they increased the NR tags in Zone 9 by like 90 so that helps. They also increased the NR gun either sex tags and had 22 left over after the draw!!!! So you can pretty much get drawn to gun hunt every year or worse every other year.
Zone 10 you have a good chance to get a NR bow tag with 1 points at worse every other year.
I have hunted both bow and gun in Zone 9 and had great success. Hunting along the Mississippi river is a lot like hunting anywhere but get further East and its a lot of creek bottoms and big fields. Wont take you long to figure the deer out.
We are going to Zone 9 bow hunting this year in Winneshiek Co nrd_draw18.jpg
 
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There's no place like home but a chance to hunt on a family farm in Iowa is like a dream!!! I say go for it at least once. Have a non-hunting neighbor friend from Iowa that has invited me to his family farm in Zone 9 for years but never can find the time. Looks like a prime spot so get it done!!! Maybe I can live it through you!!!

https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Nonresident-Hunting/Nonresident-Application-Process
 
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The other thing that worries me is catching the bug like Jim Boyd and only wanting to hunt Midwest deer. After putting tons of hours of equity into our own property and still making many great memories each season in Georgia I'm afraid if I hunt Iowa I will only want to hunt Iowa.
Wait till you try Western/Northern hunting (elk, caribou, moose, sheep, etc.)......
 
Go. I grew up in Iowa, moved down here a few years back and still go back every year for hunting, and trout fishing. Chickasaw County is on the edge of the Driftless region and where the north Iowa flatlands start. There will be some nice deer ! You will not regret it at all. Well maybe, if you dont dress warm enough.
 

shdw633

Senior Member
The other thing that worries me is catching the bug like Jim Boyd and only wanting to hunt Midwest deer. After putting tons of hours of equity into our own property and still making many great memories each season in Georgia I'm afraid if I hunt Iowa I will only want to hunt Iowa.
That will happen though you will never not want to hunt your own little piece of paradise. No one should ever have to go through what you are going through now alone and as such I would be more than willing to go with you to Iowa and be there to support you through this whole process!!!;)
 

Ruger15

Senior Member
I would definitely go you just never know and it could be a slam dunk. As far as hunting at home you just cant beat it. I lease land in Montana and Alabama where I kill a lot bigger deer but taking one off of my own property trumps any of the biggest deer ive taken anywhere else. Guess its just the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
 
Lol..... so exactly what is the hold up? Drop everything and buy your points and go hunt. You will not regret it, you'll see more big deer in a week than you'll see in the south in years. Go 4 or 5 days either side of Nov 7 and pray for cold weather.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
That farm screams FUNNEL!

I would def get points started and go hunt it.

Personally, I would do archery and work very hard to be there for 10 days. That way, a bad three days of weather won’t ruin a short 5-6 day hunt.

I would love to see you hunt 5-15 November. I can just about assure you that it will change you.

Best of luck!!
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
The other thing that worries me is catching the bug like Jim Boyd and only wanting to hunt Midwest deer.
I still hunt SC pretty hard but I am def less fanatical about it.

I enjoy SC very much and basically, I view it as a tune up for and then a wind down from the Midwest.

It has in no way ruined my local hunting, just put it into a different perspective.

Here is a way to look at it. I fished south Florida and the Keys pretty hard for about 5 years or so. Then I made the “mistake” of going to the Berry Islands and my world got rocked. Giant fish and lots of them.

In that era of my life, fishing on the coast of FL was never the same. Less fish, smaller fish, more crowds of boats.

It was still salt water and I still liked it, but the water was not as blue and the screaming of a 50 wide was not as sweet.

Same deal, different pastime.
 
Thread starter #19
Thanks everyone I'm convinced. I confirmed the property is in zone 9. Just bought my preference point for next year. I work for the State of Florida so one benefit is I get a ton of time off. I will be able to take off like Jim suggested probably November 3rd-17th. How long for the confirmation e-mail for the preference point? In Georgia I mostly hunt out of climbers, unless I'm with my kids (but that's mostly watching wildlife and trying to not scare stuff away). Should I plan on driving from Florida or fly? If I drive I don't have to worry about a TSA agent throwing my bow down a ramp or someone in security messing with my sights. Also, with my truck I can bring multiple climbers and maybe a ladder stand as a gift to the family? What would be an appropriate gift for the family?

preference point.JPG
 
I hunt in Decorah in winneshiek Co. See 150s and 160s every time I go. I killed a 150 10 pt in 2013 and I could tell my local buddies kinda chuckled. My buddy killed a 205 up there last season. The Iowa bow record came from that corner of the state. It's by far the best hunting for deer I've ever done, and I've been to brown and pike Co Illinois several times.
 
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