December 4, 2020, Hunt #30,
Out for a doe hunt.
Last day of the early split. Beautiful
weather for a walk. Way too quiet to
draw a bow back and expect to get a shot
at a deer. Had a doe and fawn come right
towards the sweet spot. Doe was
definitely on edge. No idea why. At 25
yards I drew my bow back and she turned
inside-out. Just too quiet. Any move
made a noise. After taking a few leaps
she stopped to take a look at what made
the commotion. She offered me a Texas
heart shot at 30. My heavy arrow setup
could easily have made the shot work but
decided to let her bound off into the
More deer fed east and
west of me in the field. Not a lot but
some. Decent movement. No shooters. Four
small bucks to the east of me.
Two weeks before the
final inventory is known. Hopefully one
or two will be left for my pursuit. A
person always hopes for a bonus buck.
Cameras will tell us what's left on the
November 29, 2020, Hunt #29,
Another doe mission.
Close again but she passed on the back
side of the tree with her fawn. No shot.
Replaced batteries in one cell cam,
pulled a scrape camera, moved another
cell cam and added a new setup. Hoping
for a couple of shooters to still be
standing in three weeks. If weather
cooperates will deploy a couple of
cameras next weekend.
Had an interesting
time with archery equipment the last few
days. Been fighting a high tear at 15'
with my Axius Ultra. Decided to go back
to the Fuse strings and cables. Got rid
of my high tear. Over six months of
frustration finally gone. New strings
and cables required new sight settings.
Made a vertical adjustment. My sight
broke when I tightened the set screw.
Lastly (at least I hope lastly), my
thumb trigger release is giving me
problems. Sent it in for repair.
On the bright side,
after my brutal drag out of the river
bluff canyon, I am the proud new owner
of a Jet Sled. Hopefully that will help
the next time a 200 pound buck decides
to dive into a canyon. Ordered my late
season muzzleloader license too. Hope
the weather holds. I can handle
cold...within reason...just don't want
November 28, 2020, Hunt #28,
Doe mission. Nice
weather resulted in a lot of land
activity. Deer moved late. Had a doe and
fawns go by in range. She was going to
my left which would have resulted in a
chip shot but then turned to my right.
No way to turn without alerting her. Too
quiet. A buck was following her. Hung
the bow back on the hook after she was
well past my location. Videotaped the
buck instead. He was quite jumpy. I
turned a little bit to follow him with
my cell phone and he took off.
November 20, 2020, Hunt #27,
The day started
poorly. As I walked to the stand in the
early morning hours, I booted a bunch of
deer off the field. Only way in for me.
No choice if I want to hunt this stand
in the morning. I had not hunted this
stand in the morning this year. How
often do we have a northeast wind? I
trudged on. Shortly after climbing up
and settling in, a few deer reappeared
in the field. OK. I can live with that.
Early into the hunt I heard a noise in
the canyon to my west. Got a glimpse of
a good one around 8 a.m. either chasing
another buck or chasing a doe. A ten
second glimpse, then he vanished.
More deer started to
head back to feed an hour after they
spooked off the field. There were two
bucks with does in the field way west of
me. Surprising. They fed for a long time
in the morning. About 9:10 my target
stepped into the field. All by himself.
He headed southwest away from me. He
really didn't seem to pay attention to
the other bucks in the field to the
west. He vanished over the hill. I
assumed gone for the day. About ten
minutes later he came back north. He's a
good 250 yards away. I rattled with some
medium tone and grunted a couple of
times in the calm morning air. He heard
it and immediately turned and started
deliberate walk in my direction. When he
started getting close I began to believe
this might just happen. However, I
feared he would see me draw, bolt and
end the hunt. At 35 yards he stopped and
looked back to the west. How lucky can a
guy get? I immediately drew my bow. He
kept coming. At 25 yards he stopped
again, quartering to me. I'm not afraid
to take that shot, especially with a
Ranch Fairy adult arrow (I'm not fully
adult but close). The Cutthroat tipped
565 grain Axis arrow, hit right in the
Vital V and exited on the opposite side.
I saw the arrow as he turned and plunged
down into the canyon. Immediately
thought dead deer. Perfect shot. Thirty
minutes later I climbed down and
searched for blood. Not a drop. Not
good. I snuck over to the edge of the
canyon, he got up and walked off to the
northwest. What the hell? I was
convinced that shot was perfect.
I backed out. Not
believing I needed to wait overnight
(and fearing coyotes finding my prize),
I carried on about 11:30 (deer was shot
around 9:30). I finally found some blood
down the hill. I trudged on. I finally
found him. My OnX tracker said 0.3
miles. Unbelievable. I didn't find 10
drops of blood in that distance. He had
died next to a fallen tree and leaned
against the root ball. Took some photos
and headed back to the truck to regroup
and decide how to get him out of the
hell hole. Worst location ever for me.
At least 100 feet of vertical elevation
if not double that and 150 yards just to
get him to the top of the ridge where I
left my cart.
I starting field
dressing around 1:30. Once finished I
started the arduous task of a vertical
river bluff drag, followed by another
400 yard deer cart pull. I did almost
all of this backwards. I encountered
some logs with the cart. Couldn't pull
the cart over the log with the buck on
it. Had to unload the deer and pull him
over about six fallen trees in a rough
spot. An absolutely brutal, individual
deer drag for an old, out-of-shape guy.
But it got done 10 feet at a time. I
arrived back at the truck around 5:30.
Waited for help to get him loaded in the
pickup and headed for home.
Weather was beautiful
all day. The deer drag was brutal but
the weather was great. I had lots of
time to sit while I recovered from each
ten foot pull up the bluff. It seemed
like five minutes of recovery for every
thirty seconds of drag.
I have yet to find the
arrow. I even looked a few minutes at
dark to see if I could see the lighted
nock. No go. We all know 2020 has been a
miserable year. Even though the recovery
totally sucked, the deer had some some
ground-growth for me. Pleasant surprise.
He was the target buck on this farm.
It's a good year when the target is
November 19, 2020, Hunt #27,
Went to a totally new
spot looking for a target buck that is
AWOL. Saw two squirrels. Left early
enough to hit the field edge for the
last 30 minutes. Plenty of deer feeding
in the field but only a couple of very
small bucks harassing does. The leaves
were so crunchy my ears hurt. Man it was
loud walking. Surprised I didn't hear
anything back in the woods walking
around. Just not a good spot I guess.
Check that spot off the list. Thank
goodness the wind finally calmed down.
November 19, 2020, Hunt
Not a good hunt. Just
did not feel like deer were moving. Saw
two bucks. One was a 150 yards down the
hill looking at me when it got light
enough to see. He must have watched me
crawl in the stand. 130 inch 8 pointer.
Saw a bigger 4x4 later that was a four
year old. He was bird dogging like he
lost his doe but I never saw her and I
was looking that direction most of the
morning. Left early. Needed to mow the
lawn for the last time.
November 18, 2020, Hunt #25,
First official tree
lunch of the year. It was darn windy
again. I hunted out of most of the wind.
It was worth it. Saw a dozen bucks with
the largest being in the 145 range. Two
bucks tending does.
Got a close up look of
a buck I have lots of pictures of. Wide!
Actually full draw at 26 yards and
settled the pin but he needs another
year. Not sure if he will ever amount to
much. Time will tell. Saw lots of
turkey, they too were feeding out of the
wind. Saw a group of three eagles doing
some sort of acrobatics with each other.
Bucks were moving off
and on a good part of the day. Was
hoping for a Nooner Booner but nothing
showed except a 100 inch 4x4. Bald deer
were doing lots of browsing when around
Fun hunt. The all day
part was taxing but I only get to do
this a short time every year. I do what
I can to enjoy it.
November 17, 2020, Hunt #24,
High anticipation for
the afternoon. Weather turned out great.
Red moon afternoon. Hunt was fantastic.
Saw all sorts of bucks. Had a nice 5x4
go by at 4 yards. Yes I was on the
ground. I was hugging my cedar tree the
best I could. He needs a year or two and
yes I thought about shooting but knew of
a handful of much bigger deer around and
I saw one tonight tending a doe.
Captured decent video instead.
Lots of single bucks.
Last buck through was a tall 4x4 that
was either four or five. This week could
be good before they shut down and start
packing on the weight again. Crossing my
November 17, 2020, Hunt
Got a little cold this
morning. Saw a few bucks but no
shooters. I have a cell cam that told me
I left about 30 minutes too early. Dang
it! Note to self. Add another layer
Had quite a few deer
go by in the shooting lane. Just wish it
was a shooter.
November 16, 2020, Hunt #22,
Hunted same area as
last night due to the mature buck sightings.
Saw lots of deer but not the mature
bucks I saw last night. Darn wind was
annoying again for the first part of the
sit. Wind is frustrating. There were a
few small bucks chasing and frustrating
the doe herd and a medium 4x4 but he
didn't appear too active.
There is a piebald
deer on this farm. First time I've seen
her on the hoof. She has a bright white
cap on her head and four white socks
with shades of white mixed in her coat.
Unique. I don't think piebald deer are a
positive indication of herd health.
Long day but I love
hunting the peak of the rut. Just need
to find the right location and the hunt
can be very memorable.
November 16, 2020, Hunt
Made a move to a
location that had a bunch of mature buck
activity two days ago. Today was
different. Saw a handful of bucks. Had
one sneak up behind me. Not a shooter.
He was single and took off like a
rocket. He calmed down after he got out
of the scent stream. Disappointing hunt.
I practice draw my bow
every hour or so to stay loose. For some
unknown reason, during one of these
practice draws my thumb trigger fired.
Stuck a brand new Cutthroat broadhead
right in a tree and popped the lighted
nock out. The tree got to keep the
Cutthroat. Dang it. I have no idea what happened.
I didn't have the trigger fully locked,
it was partially clipped to the D-Loop
material or the trigger hit the collar
of my jacket. I think the trigger hit my
collar with all the clothes I had on. Expensive
lesson. Arrow will go to my arrow pile
too. I don't trust them after a hard
impact. the broadhead was buried all the
way to the threads.
I left late morning,
pulled SD cards, relocated cameras and
then headed to a different farm.
November 15, 2020, Hunt #20,
The wind was absolutely
relentless for two of my three hour sit.
Almost called it quits and I was out of
the wind a smidge. Glad I didn't. Deer
were out feeding which was surprising.
First decent buck was tending a doe west
of me some distance. He had quite the
crown on his head. A challenger appeared
in his field. He was wide and equal
bodied. They got after it for about two
minutes. The challenger eventually won
the doe. Awesome experience even though
a long ways away. There were deer in the
field near me too. My target eventually
appeared with that group of deer. He
appeared to be with a doe also. About
that time a couple of small bucks chased
a doe into the timber behind me. The
wind was starting to calm down enough
that I could grunt at my target and he
could hear me. Here he comes.
Unfortunately he was coming in downwind.
He smelled me and headed back out to the
field with his doe. The other two yahoos
chased their doe back to the field...or
she led them there.
About the same time I
can see another huge bodied deer to the
west where the battle had occurred. Rack
didn't match the body but the challenger
who had won before didn't want any part
of this stag. Huge body. Deficient rack
for the body.
Great night. Surprised
the deer were feeding in the wind. The
hunt was awesome. It's what we want to
see in a rut hunt.
November 14, 2020, Hunt #19,
Long day and very
enjoyable. Had multiple mature bucks
south of me for a good part of the
morning and then shortly after noon.
Something was definitely going on. The
balance of the afternoon was really
slow. All-in-all saw quite a few bucks,
not sure if I saw my two targets or not.
I don't believe so. Too many trees. I
kept expecting something to head my way
but the balance of the movement was
east-west, not north-south. I needed
them to head north.
Fifty degrees is a
little bit too warm. Forty to forty-five
for high is probably about right.
No real highlights on
the day other than a a couple of three
year-olds that were close. One was a
dandy 6x5 that will hopefully turn into
something in two years.
What do most of you do
when you have an all day sit? Besides my
phone a lot of time is spent trying to
decipher why my bow doesn't shoot as
well as I want it to. My guess is the
November 13, 2020, Hunt #18,
Had high hopes for
this hunt. Didn't pan out. Saw deer but
no keepers. Wind was totally wonky at my
location. It was rotating a good 45
degrees back and forth. Not good. I need
a solid southwest wind. I paid for it.
Had deer smell me between wind changes.
They would stand and wait for another
sniff when the wind blew their
direction. I hate it when they do that.
Get a whiff. Wind changes in my favor.
Deer waits. Wind changes to their favor
and they get squirrely. Had a fawn bed
downwind for an hour. About eight yards.
My presence didn't seem to bother her.
She is a dink too. Will be surprised if
she survives the winter.
Saw a couple of
midrange bucks in the distance. They
were on a mission. I always wonder if
they remember where they left off in the
morning and then head back to that spot
in the afternoon.
Had a doe go by that
looked totally hammered. Walking very
slowly. The hair on her back was roughed
up and her hocks were almost black. I
assume she had just been released by her
captor. She was headed for feed early.
Going to give this
spot a rest for a few days. No choice. A
few does have pegged me. They'll be
looking for me now. I'm fairly well
hidden in a cedar too.
I have a place in mind
that will hopefully put me closer to a
sweet spot. I'm constantly adjusting and
moving. If the big ones don't show up I
don't wait for them I go find them.
November 12, 2020, Hunt #17,
I found my new new
afternoon location with the northwest
wind. Again. A location I've always
wanted to hang a stand but no desirable
trees. I have a new windfall now. The
downed tree is loaded with leaves. I sat
in front of it to have a good backdrop
to blend into. It clearly worked. I had
a spike at 3 yards. Yes 3 yards. Never
recognized me. I had another couple of
deer go by the same spot. Did not
recognize me. I could just about touch
them with an arrow.
A beefy three year old
came chasing a doe right by me under 20.
I think I'm going to like this spot at
least for this season. I know I can get
drawn and release an arrow. Only problem
is my new target hasn't gone by my
camera near this location. He's big!
Saw quite a few deer
headed for feed.
Fun for sure just
hoping for a target to go by
soon....when I am prepared and ready.
Darn cell phones.
November 12, 2020, Hunt
Same stand different
day. Different results. Not near the
runnin' and gunnin' this morning as
yesterday. Still saw lots of little
bucks but no shooters. Deer found their
way to bedding quickly. I decided to
move sooner and head for deeper cover. I
grabbed my stool and headed in.
You all know I like to
hunt from the ground. The derecho from
this summer was this ground hunter's
friend. I have an area that I like
hunting but do not have any good trees
for tree stands. I have a good tree now
but it's laying on the ground. I nestled
myself into the windfall and started
scrolling through a freshly pulled SD
card. Damn it! Caught off guard. Shooter
at one o'clock. Under thirty yards. No
way to grab my bow or he would have seen
me. He passed harmlessly by, under 20,
wide-ass open. Never saw me. I think he
got downwind when he got by however. I
could hear him stomping behind me. Dang
it! Missed opportunity. I had a picnic
about 11 and then headed back towards
November 11, 2020, Hunt #15,
Crawled back into the
same tree as the morning hunt. Activity
started early. Again, saw lots of bucks,
no shooters. A three or four year old
4x4 was tending a doe. Saw a bunch more
bucks including a few mid-range bucks. A
couple of them passed right by the tree
where I hoped but still needed some
time. Weather was gorgeous. There was
lots of grunting and snort-wheezing
As I climbed down, I
thought the area was clear, it wasn't. I
turned to see another buck coming my
way. Not a shooter but headed right for
Runnin' and gunnin'
all day long. Gotta love it. It makes
the day go fast.
November 11, 2020, Hunt
Great morning. Perfect
weather. Lots of bucks. No shooters.
Hunted a stand that I usually only hunt
in the evenings. It was a constant
parade of one year olds and two year
olds. There was a doe being tended by a
two year old. She appeared to be
exhausted from all the chasing. As soon
as the chasing would stop she would fall
to the ground and lay there. The
whitetail rut is relentless and we don't
see most of it.
Activity stopped after
9:30. I crawled down after 11, ate my
sandwich and crawled back in at 1. This
is why I like hunting the rut so much.
Only thing better today would have
included a shooter.
November 10, 2020, Hunt #13,
Punted on the morning
hunt due to rain. Hit the tree in the
afternoon after the front went through.
I was one thermal layer short. Wind-chill
was cold. Bucks were chasing does
everywhere. Half-a-buck made another
appearance. What a shame. He's a dandy
even with one antler.
Had a doe come flying
under the tree about 10 minutes before
quitting time. A few minutes later her
wannabe boy friend was bird-dogging out
in front of me looking for her. She was
a good 200 yards in front of him but he
methodically searched for her ground
scent staying on her path. Back and
forth he went. I gave him a couple of
voice grunts as he strolled on by. He
stopped both times. Dang I wish he was a
shooter. A few minutes later half-a-buck
made another appearance on the same
trail. This is what hunting the rut in
Iowa is all about.
Saw some decent horns
back in the timber. Got me all shook up
and I started shaking. With the cold and
the anticipation my body shook
uncontrollably for a few moments. Dang I
love this sport. I read an article a
year or two ago that constant adrenalin
rushes are not good for the body. After
40 years of this I believe the article.
My nerves are definitely shot. Staying
calm can be a challenge in work and
play. In my younger days my body would
shake for minutes. Knees would knock, I
would hyperventilate, etc. Not so much
any more but still get wound up at the
site of a shooter. Sight of the prize is
one step closer to the goal. Getting
them to twenty is difficult.
Tomorrow we continue.
Things are getting good.
November 9, 2020, Hunt #12,
Grabbed a quick bite
for lunch and headed for the tree. Wore
my rain gear assuming it was going to
rain. It did. The short walk in was
still a sweaty one. The temperature
dropped a bunch. Definite cold front.
Deer moved a short time later. Saw more
deer than the last few days but not what
I expected for the cold front. Two bucks
(3-year olds) definitely tending does.
Everything I had was
wet. I climbed down 15 minutes early. It
had been a long day with less than
desirable deer sightings for November 9.
November 9, 2020, Hunt
Went deep again. It
was a total dud. Bumped some deer on the
way in. There was a little ruckus but it
was short-lived. Warm!
November 8, 2020, Hunt #10,
Way too windy to be a
in a tree but I rode it out. One small
buck and one fawn. Camera showed me
there was good activity under that tree
Weather should be
better the rest of the week.
November 7, 2020, Hunt #9,
Slow early. Good last
30 minutes. Lots of farm activity today.
Saw a decent frame headed my way at
quitting time. He was behind a doe. The
bow immediately was off the hook. Nice
frame, good brows, no G4s. Most likely a
four year old. He got a pass. Even
though he was focused on the doe he
immediately saw me and stared a laser
beam right through me. They finally
Saw a handful of bucks
the last 30 minutes. I carry an extra
trail camera with me this time of year.
A new fresh scrape with a big rub was
right behind my tree. Set the camera on
Warm but a good hunt.
November 6, 2020, Hunt #8,
different. Went in at 10:30 plus or
minus, hunted a spot I had not been to
since March. Deep. Saw three bucks and
two does and a couple of people. One
buck was a big bastard but he has
sheared his right beam off. Much bigger
in person than his pictures and I
thought he looked big in his pictures.
Hopefully he will offer an opportunity
in 2021. Weather
was hot as we all know but the bucks
made an appearance at 3 pm.
Checked a camera.
I had forgotten the quality of pictures
this Browning camera takes. Top notch.
It's a dual lens camera. One for day and
one for night.
I will return to this
spot. I like it. I can hide with my
stool. No need to set a stand plus I
don't want to carry one back this far.
So here we go. Ready
for the events to escalate. Need to
reprioritize, my targets are dropping
November 1, 2020, Hunt
Hunted away from feed.
Not a good hunt. One doe.
October 31, 2020, Hunt #6,
Not near as good a
hunt as the night before. Plenty of does
and fawns feeding, a few small bucks
chasing but no older bucks. I am
assuming they are with the first does to
come into estrous.
Wind was out of the
northwest but for some reason I think it
was grabbing the terrain of the
canyon I was perched on the rim of
and floating down the hill. Had a deer
snort literally half the night. Either
smelled me or saw me. Whatever it was,
it was annoying. At least I assume it
was me. Wind should not have been
floating its way. Feeding deer didn't
pay any attention to her. This time of
year the snorting usually results in
buck activity but I never saw the
snorter or any bucks in the draw. Too
much foliage yet.
It was the first time
in this tree for the year. Comfortable
stand. Just hope it produces an
opportunity at a shooter.
Checked one camera. It
had a potential target but need a
"eyes-on" viewing before a
decision is made.
October 30, 2020, Hunt #5,
Good hunt. Great
encounters. Numerous three or four year
old bucks. Mature bodies. No top end
racks but nice. Snort-wheezing, limited
chasing, just roaming and checking. All
the bucks were single but looking for
I went to a place I
had not set foot on this year. Intended
to hang a stand for an east wind but
didn't get it done. Hunted from my
stool. I knew there were scrapes around
from past years. Watched a nice three or
four year old work a scrape at 30 yards.
Set a camera there on my exit. Never had
a camera there before.
Good night to be in
the woods even though I arrived late.
October 25, 2020, Hunt #4,
Left for the deer
woods early to tighten up a ladder stand
I had not been to yet and to check all
of my cameras. Ladder complete. Pulled a
cell camera that has been intermittent,
checked some long overdue cameras and
then hunted the last couple of hours of
the day. Shooter at 136 yards. Walking
around in the field like the herd bull.
He's old, big bodied and a bully. I have
four seasons of pictures of this buck.
He's been a fighter the entire time but
never amounted to much in the horn
category until this year. Always ends up
with a busted up rack at the end of
November. My guess is he's at least six
years old. He has put on a decent set of
antlers this year. He's blind in his
right eye. A bully that needs retired.
Saw quite a few deer and bucks. Watched
a couple of three year olds pawing at
each other in the field but never
commenced to fighting. The dirt pawing
went on for five minutes. Was waiting
for the clash but it never happened.
One of my top targets
has broken his right beam clean off
above the G1. Frustrating. No idea what
would even try and take him on. With my
luck it's probably a 130 inch six year
Checked a camera that
hasn't been checked for three weeks.
2755 pictures. Put new batteries in it
last time. Forgot to set the date. Darn
it! It will be another bit of time
before I get back to it. Batteries may
be getting low too. My flash was
intermittent the last week. Will
probably just swap it out with another
I have a Spypoint Link
Dark cell camera that has performed very
intermittently the last three weeks.
Lots of Support Chats with Spypoint.
It's frustrating because I have it in a
spot that I wanted to minimize foot
traffic. Pulled it yesterday. Replaced
with conventional camera. This is the
process I went through with the cell
camera to get it up and running again:
1)replaced the batteries, 2)inserted a
Class 10 SD card and formatted it in the
camera, 3)pulled the SIM card and
re-inserted it, 4)reset to factory
defaults, 5)updated settings, 6)turned
on and tried to connect to the Verizon
network, it seems to be working now.
Hope to get it redeployed shortly. I
really like this camera but its
connectivity is frustrating at times.
Lot's of big bucks
shot recently. Should be fun the next
three-four weeks. Still hoping for a
true top-ender to show up but so far
that hasn't happened. Still waiting.
October 10, 2020, Hunt #3,
Weather was warm and
deer movement was good. My tree was
exhibiting peak yellow colors and was
shedding some sort of nut the deer were
interested in. I had multiple deer walk
straight to the tree and search the
ground for the nuts. You could hear
"sniffing" in the knee deep
grass below me. The ground scent from my
entry to the ladder stand didn't seem to
bother any of them. The first deer was a
one year old buck and one of the last
deer was a three year old 130 inch buck.
The rest were does and fawns. It was a
very unique hunt.
Checked a couple of
cameras on the way out. Decent pictures
on one. Nothing special on the other.
Lesson from this hunt
is definitely find your favorite nut
tree right now.
October 4, 2020, Hunt #2,
Went back in the
woods. Two small bucks, a doe, a fawn
and a couple of turkeys. One buck was
edgy. Might have heard me climb in the
tree. Stand is in a new location. Camera
pointed at nearby scrape. Never had a
camera at this spot either. Results were
positive. Lots of different bucks on the
scrape the last couple of weeks. Looks
to be a good morning spot with a south
wind. Shots will be close. I'm in a
little cedar and it moves whenever I
move. Will need a windy morning hunt to
cover my movements.
Beautiful night again
to be in the Iowa deer woods. Can't get
enough of these nights. I cherish every
opportunity in the stand.
October 3, 2020, Hunt #1,
Felt really good to be
in the Iowa deer woods with bow in hand.
Fresh air! Wind was slight and out of
the northeast. Almost calm. Yes, I have
a northeast wind stand or two. Too quiet
for me but the deer movement was good.
Deer were in the field early and paused
from feeding to bed down about 45
minutes before dark. Lots of them.
Unusual to see all of the bedded deer in
the field before sunset. Not sure I've
ever seen that. They were definitely
Saw a 140 class buck
after sunset. Feeding. No rutting
behavior. Saw another set of white horns
back in the woods about a 100 yards near
quitting time. Had a doe and fawn go by
the wrong side of my perch. First doe
snort of the year. Old nag! I'm sure I
will trigger many more.
Beautiful walk out.
I'm just happy to get the opportunity to
be out. The older I get the more I
cherish opening day and my first day in
the Iowa deer woods. Always take the
opportunity to embrace the outdoors and
enjoy the experience.
September 20, 2020
Youth season started
yesterday. October 1 is closing in for
us Iowa bowhunters. Purchased my
licenses on-line a couple of days ago.
Waiting for the hard copies.
I've been spending
most of my free time on archery
equipment when not at work. The Hoyt
Axius Ultra is a silky smooth bow but
it's a heavy sucker, at least for me.
Have a few stands
ready to go. Put one up yesterday in a
new spot. Hard work by myself. Takes a
while. Have been deploying cameras one
or two at a time. Still have plenty to
go. Trying to avoid human scent this
year especially with the dry conditions.
Have captured a couple
of shooters on camera. Nothing huge but
definitely mature (5+) and decent. With
the weather this year and the current
rotation of crops, things are
significantly different. My cameras have
been slow except for the cold-front week
when it rained. Lots of pictures that
week. Still waiting on some of the
bigger ones from last year to show up on
camera. Many have not. I assume they are
dead or relocated for this year. Time
Have you checked if
your preferred meat locker is taking
deer this year? I sure hope they are.
I'm not setup to process at home. Used
to be but not anymore.
We all want 2020 to be
over but also want our deer season to
last. Be safe, stay healthy and enjoy
the deer woods.
August 8, 2020
So where the heck have
I been? Work and in the bow cave. Have
been doing lots of tinkering with my new
Hoyt Axius Ultra. The bow's draw cycle
is smooth as glass. Best ever I can
remember. The darn bow likes a low
D-Loop/high rest for some reason. I
assume shooting style but honestly do
not know. I set the rest level/arrow 90
and am moving forward...high tear or
not. I get a bullet hole at 5 feet but a
one inch plus high tear at 15 feet.
Been sharpening my new
125 grain Cutthroat single bevel
broadheads with my new KME broadhead
sharpening kit. It works OK but I can't
match the blade angle so needed to
sharpen the bevel to a new angle. Also
been shooting the new Cutthroats on my
300 spine Nockon Easton Axis Match Grade
Just about ready to
deploy my cameras. I've had a couple of
cell cameras running all summer but I
don't have any soybeans close. No
regular, antlered visitors to my
cameras. The buck on the front page has
posed for me 5 seasons now. I guessed
him at 3 when I captured his picture the
first time. He hasn't amounted to much
in the rack category.
I've picked up a few
deer heads from my taxidermists the last
few months. The 2019 buck grossed around
152 when I scored him. Dyaln at DK
Custom Taxidermy sent the
teeth/tooth/jaw in for aging. Buck was
aged at 6.5 years. A 6.5 year old 150?
I'll take it. Definitely deer management
goals. One deer head left. Maybe soon.
Timing on everything
is behind this year. Way behind. I need
to deploy some stands soon or just hunt
from the ground. I'm OK with that.
May 2, 2020
Added a cell
camera to the inventory last week.
Will be interesting to see if trail
camera manufacturers stay in China.
Cheap labor, I get it, but I think a
change is warranted. Heard one
manufacturer has already vacated China
to a different country.
Would like to see more
cameras built in the USA. If all of
Reconyx parts are built and cameras
assembled in the USA I would think their
future would be bright. It's still
amazing to me that some people don't
care where a product is made even after
the last 8 weeks of mess and stress.
I've been online shopping for a couple
of archery things recently. I go
straight to the product description to
confirm it was Made in the USA. Made and
assembled in the USA are similar but not
the same. It's up to you if Made in the
USA is important. Don't rain on my
parade if I feel that it is. Keep your
opinion to yourself.
With all of this
uncertainty I shortened my heavy arrow
project. Arrows fly well. Bare shaft
tuning seems to have worked as well as I
can get it. I currently have Easton 5 mm
Axis Pro Grade arrows weighing about 565
grains (1 grain = 0.0648 grams). I have
200 grains on the front end (75 grain
brass insert, 125 grain point). I am
14-15% FOC range when I test balance.
Was hoping for 15%+ but couldn't get
there with the arrow length. Last thing
I plan to do before fall is purchase
some 125 grain single bevel broadheads.
Setup should work well on a
bull-shouldered Iowa whitetail.
Stay healthy out
there. Make sure you are ready to hunt
February 9, 2020
Took down four
treestand sets yesterday. That was work.
Looked for a few sheds. Found one. Still
plenty of crunchy snow in the timber.
Crunchy snow makes it hard walking and
the snow cover makes it tough to easily
see a shed antler. Checked some south
facing slopes but 50% snow covered in my
area yet. The cell
cameras haven't been sending many
buck pictures as of late. They've moved
to better winter food areas.
Watched a lot of ATA
videos the last month. Lots of new
products especially cell
camera stuff. If you are in the
market, I sure would checkout some of
the new products before buying old, new
Have been in the
basement a lot the last month getting a
bunch of shooting reps. Using the
Silverback, back tension release for
most of the reps. I installed the sight
plate 'recall' on my RX3 Ultra. Just
about had a disaster when the torx screw
stripped. Had to break out the drill.
Got it out.
Looking to go heavier
with my arrow setup this year. Ordered
some new 300 spine arrows yesterday. Not
sure what the final weight will be, just
know it will be quite a bit heavier.
Also looking at some heavy duty fixed
blade broadheads. Single bevel
possibly. Lots of options out there.
Shot the new Hoyt
Axius Ultra last weekend....for the
second time. Draw was smooth as glass.
Not sure I should have shot that bow?
Credit card might get some major damage
in the next month or so.
Have been looking at
replacing my Pure 75 MBG sight on the
RX3 due to weight. It's heavier than I
want due to the having all the cool
micro adjust tools. Will most likely
stay with the MBG as they are built very
well and the pins are quite bright.
Would still like to maintain the 3rd
axis adjustability but probably going to
punt on micro adjust to try and drop one
to two ounces of weight. It doesn't
sound like much but seems to make a
Lots of equipment
related stuff going on right now. One
new toy is the Ridgetec
cell camera. This camera is a
picture taking machine and the batteries
seem to be in great shape which can be a
problem for cell cameras. So far, so
good. Pixilated day photos seems to be
an issue but not a deal breaker.
Some nice bucks
survived the January 10 date but nothing
that was exceptional in 2019. Will need
to see what 2020 brings. Always dreaming
of a buck of a lifetime but reality is
there just are not many exceptional