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January 8, 2022, Hunt #42, P.M. (The End)

Doe mission again. Mission accomplished. Used the same 185 arrow. Shot for the shoulder. Complete pass-through with the slow 630+ grain arrow. Stuck in the frozen tundra. Second deer using a tension release. It's surprising how repetition in the basement translates to push and pull-through in the field. The release was a total surprise and the pin was buried in the shoulder. Perfect! Lots of blood on this recovery but none was actually needed as I watched her fall.

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That puts a wrap on the 21/22 Iowa deer season. Great antler growth this year. Exceptional in fact. There are some beasts (BEASTS) still standing. Good luck in 2022 to my friends that have the opportunity to hunt these 200"+ monsters. Cherish that opportunity. It rarely happens, even in Iowa. I hope they survive the winter.

Let's hope for an early planting season again. I think that had a huge impact on the extreme antler growth in 2021. Deer need those minerals in March. Lots of protein.

Overall deer populations were down. I was fortunate to have a great season. Others did not. I had the opportunity to witness things I had never seen before. Some targets are dead but others survived. Time to bring the equipment home.

Queue Dandy Don "Turn out the lights, the party's over".


January 2, 2022, Hunt #41, P.M.

First late season hunt. Cold. Too cold. I bailed early. Had deer go by right where I wanted them to. I was on a doe mission but deer were too close and it was too quiet. I wasn't prepared. Deer wanted a drink. spent quite a bit of time at the creek before heading for feed.


November 27/28, 2021, Hunt #40, P.M. 9 (Conclusion)

...the Easton 6.5 hit about mid height in the lung/liver area at 31 yards. The damn lighted nock never turned on. I did see the arrow fly. It totally disappeared into the body. I could not believe what had just happened. After my equipment issues a couple of weeks ago, everything came together, not perfect, but good enough. I had gotten an arrow in the #1 buck that I knew of (on this property), though I never expected it to happen. No doubt this was a dead deer but would I find him? He was only on my side of the fence a small percentage of his day....but he had become a little bit repetitious recently. That repetition allowed me to adjust, and move in tight. Calling was not going to work.

After the shot, he took off like a rocket over the hill. I stood in disbelief, had I possibly killed the largest buck of my bowhunting career? I waited until dark and then quietly eased up to check on the arrow. Holy smokes. It looks good. The heavy arrow achieved a complete pass-through and had stuck in the ground. No intestine material (Great!). Bright red blood. Hallelujah! I slowly eased along his exit route; blood, a little more blood. Not spraying but definitely enough to keep my interest. The hit was high enough I knew the body cavity would take on a lot of the blood. One step at a time. Regular blood. We all know how hard it is to follow blood in switch or brome grass. Blood was regular, high and low on the grass. The trail took me into pure brome grass. After 80 yards it was getting a little too difficult to see. My night vision sucks anyway. Price of getting old. I backed out for the night. Overnight temperatures would be in the mid twenties.

I was on the ground at sunrise. Started over. Holy smokes. More blood in the daylight than in pitch black with an handheld LED and hat light. The blood was much easier to follow and more than I thought. I got to the end of last night's search limit. Blood was good in the brome. After about thirty yards I could see a white belly but no rack. Could it be? Unbelievable and no coyote damage. No way this just happened to me. I stood in disbelief for minutes, and thought about all the time and commitment it took to get to this point. What an Iowa whitetail specimen? Wow! Totally humbled. How can a deer grow so much bone in just a few short months? 

I notched my tag, placed it on his left beam and immediately registered the buck on-line. Registration approved! He was officially mine. I shared the pictures with my wife and family first. Once I knew family had received the photos I started notifying friends. We all have a close group that are aware of each-other's pursuits. I got a few "Hell Yeahs!", "Sweets" and "Awesomes" and lots of "Congratulations". They know what this accomplishment means to me. It is a big deal in my life. Thanks to everybody that helped, especially those that had this deer on their radar screen. He is a special animal.

GP out.

Just a few of the many pictures and no I haven't scored him yet. My close hunting friends know that score isn't my priority. The whole experience IS my priority. And sorry for the day delay. Lots of deer duty on Sunday.

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November 27, 2021, Hunt #40, P.M.

Headed for my new spot with a freshly timed Ventum 30 and other adjustments. What the hell am I thinking making all these changes at the last minute? Changed out my arrows midday too and went with the Easton 6.5s with the 200 grain single bevel VPAs. Needed a mental change I guess. I also took my Silverback tension release too. Wasn't sure I would use it but I've had major issues the last two weeks punching the trigger.

Only set foot in this area once the entire fall and that was to hang a camera in August or September, don't remember. Looked like a northwest wind in the morning so wanted to setup this spot in daylight in lieu of the dark. Little longer shot than I like but for ground blind hunting, 30 yards plus or minus with good cover is my preference. It was windy so I assumed I could maneuver enough to get the arrow sent. Shot would be an upward angle. Had some branches about ten yards in front of me that needed trimmed. It was a gamble to make that much noise but no shot in that lane if I didn't cut them.

First deer out were a doe and fawn. No clue I was there. Good. More deer up the hill but not sure what they were. Next deer out were a couple of fawns. No clue I was there. Next deer out was Big Boy. No clue I was there. Decision time. I hooked the Silverback up. Drew back. Waited for the pin to settle. Released the safety. It didn't fire. Relaxed, settled the pin and pulled through the shot. 632 grains sent. be continued.....ending is pending.

GP out.


November 27, 2021, Hunt #39, A.M.

Hunted an evening stand in the morning. Followed my philosophy of sometimes you need to do the opposite. Saw lots of deer this morning including quite a few bucks but a good 150 yards away. Saw the shooter again. Still no interest in rattling, wheezing, grunting or can calling. I'm done educating him. Need to close the distance. I think I have my next ground location identified as long the shot distance is close enough.

I actually planned to go to this spot this morning and do a clear and hunt. Changed my mind when I parked. Stupid! Typical for me this time of year. Tired and indecisive.

Short hunt. Deer had moved past and didn't anticipate more showing up. Good hunt.

GP out.


November 26, 2021, Hunt #38, A.M.

Deer were moving in slow motion. Had a posse of four bucks that included three dinks and one busted up three year old. Half heartedly harassing some fawns. The three year old and one yearling got close. They moseyed over the bluff.

Got eyes on a target at about one hundred yards. Not interested in any of my calling. He kept moving away.

Deer kept trickling in from feeding. The morning hunt ended sooner than normal. Turkey time with the in-laws.

GP out.


November 25, 2021, Hunt #37, P.M.

Later than usual getting to the tree. Family time was the priority. I got permission to leave. As soon as I got settled, a small buck came chasing some fawns down the hill. Great start! Down wind though. He went back where he came from but came out later in the same spot and gave me a scent pass. There was a party he wanted to attend.

Lots of does and fawns were coming out. Only a matter of time before a shooter appeared. A 145-150 class appeared north of me. Where did he come from? Then something cleared the field behind me. No idea what was going on. Dang it! One spooky deer this time of year can take the whole herd with them. It was early enough so I hoped something might appear.

After twenty minutes they started to filter back out but in different locations. Some near me. Others not. No shooter would make an appearance. Chaps my hide when one deer impacts the whole herd. Much more comfortable than this morning. A short hunt but enjoyable.

GP out.


November 25, 2021, Hunt #36, A.M.

Short hunt this morning. It was damn windy and cold. Thanks to the inventor of Mega Warmers. Got in too early. Had a buck and doe go by less than 10 yards. I was on the ground. I couldn't even tell what buck it was. That's nonsense on a cold day. Had a couple of dinks and quite a few bald deer come in off the feed during the three hours. No chasing.

I got to my spot and realized my backpack wasn't on my back. WTH! Never done that before. I must be tired. A few minutes later I discovered my rubber arrow pad had fallen off the shelf. Then my lighted nock turned on when I snapped it on the string. ALWAYS happens in cold weather. What a pain in the ass! Industry needs to invent a better product. AND when I got back to the truck, my zipper got stuck during the unzip of my jacket and it broke. Could anything more go wrong? Cold weather brings out the worst in our equipment. I needed to get back for a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Great dinner. Family helps forget about those times when things don't go so well.

GP out.


November 21, 2021, Hunt #35, P.M.

The plan seemed to work this morning. Deer poured to the feed tonight. One shooter. He came out early. I picked the wrong stand as usual. If I would have been in the other stand, he was well within my range of the OTHER stand for a shot. Also had another dandy buck rub a tree right under the stand. Salt in the wounds. Big ones are still tending but beginning to think about feed too. Will need to adjust accordingly.

GP out.


November 21, 2021, Hunt #34, A.M.

Had some method to my madness for this morning's hunt. Really wanted to go to the place I've had the shot encounters. It was with a strong northwest wind each time. But I also wanted to leave that as a sanctuary to see if the night movement would be better. Saw a few bucks and a few does. No harassment or chasing. Spent an hour after the hunt adjusting cameras. Trying to get a better handle on night movement. It has changed the last month or so.

GP out.


November 20, 2021, Hunt #33, P.M.

Anticipating nonhunting activity on this beautiful day I went to a different farm. Still experienced some nonhunting activity. Have yet to get a picture of a no doubter shooter on this farm. Saw two of the mature bucks with lesser racks. I thought the big bodied 4x4 was tending a doe back in the timber but when he hit the field he was on his own heading for the cluster of does and fawns to check them out. He was followed by the busted G2 5x4. No tending that I could see. There was a two year old running around like crazy in the two fields checking for love scent. He was full of energy. He ran around for the entire time I watched him. This farm has always produced. I was even hoping for a bonus buck but it didn't happen on this night.

I left early. It had been a long day. One fawn went by in shooting range. The rest of the deer exited the timber in numerous locations. I dressed a little lighter. That was mistake. I know better too. Coolish.

GP out.


November 20, 2021, Hunt #32, A.M.

Not one horn. Poor hunt. Enough said. Very quiet morning.

GP out.


November 19, 2021, Hunt #31, P.M.

Great anticipation with all of the bucks around. Needed to tweak my new setup from yesterday. Much better now. Comfy. Settled in and waited and waited and waited. Dud hunt. Saw a 150 class at 150 yards tending a doe. Have seen him quite a few times. Not sure he's going to grow much bigger. Definitely mature. Had a busted up two year old go by at 35 yards. He looked tuckered. Watched him feed for about fifteen minutes, he saw a doe and the chase was on. I guess not so tired.

My fawn friend found my new stand. She fed under the stand for a half hour, checked the scent of the one fawn that walked by and came right back to feed under my stand. That's the third stand and they are spaced out quite a ways. What's up with this youngster? She watched me climb down, unhook my bow and extend my saw. I wanted to trim a few more shooting lanes before I headed back to the truck. She's ten yards away. Sorry little rascal but you will not survive the winter.

Also listened to a rooster pheasant and squirrel have a conversation. The squirrel was perched about forty feet above the rooster. The rooster would cackle or whatever you call it. The squirrel would bark once. Rooster once. Squirrel once. This went on for about five minutes. The squirrel got bored and the rooster won. Not seen or heard that before. Funny.

Poor afternoon hunt compared to others.

GP out.


November 19, 2021, Hunt #30, A.M.

What a great hunt. Started off slow. Hunted an 'off' wind. Not directly in my favor means I have to give something up. I've hunted a lot of these hunts this year. I've had a lot of good hunts too. Gene Wensel and Roger Rothaar know what they are talking about (Roger has passed by the way). Small buck and some fawns started the day. The fawns unfortunately didn't miss my scent stream. They were nervous (knew something was there) but let me off the hook.

Saw another buck back in the trees. Glassed. Big shooter. It's on. Go for the bow. He was single and checking a lot of scent in the area. He closed the gap to 45 yards. No shot and too far for me anyway. He turned and went the other way. Hung the bow back up and and tried to rattle him back. He turned but didn't step closer. I wheezed. Same. Broke out the grunt tube. Still didn't turn him. Damn! He walked off into the timber. Dandy!

Continued to watch as numerous small bucks milled around or filed by. Heard something behind me and to my left. Another potential shooter. Glassed. Do not recognize this buck. Bonus buck. He got out of range too quick before my decision could be made. He was definitely the bull of the woods when he walked through the few small bucks milling around. Do not know the final answer if he's a shooter or not. He looked the part. Need a better look or a picture.

Things quieted down. Good mornings lead to high anticipation for afternoon hunts.

GP out.


November 18, 2021, Hunt #29, P.M.

Sat the new stand. Too many clothes to stay warm. Freedom of movement was lacking.


GP out.


November 18, 2021, Hunt #28, A.M.

Another good hunt. Saw two decent bucks and numerous small bucks. Windy right off the get-go. Sat a new spot. I wanted to observe an area in the morning. Great hidey-hole to. had a doe come running towards me. Immediately went for my bow assuming one of the targets were following. Nothing. Finally at least 15 minutes later a big bodied, very mature 4x4 came panting up the hill. Five yards and he spotted me. He turned inside out. 140 class. He stopped at 20 then continued limping down the hill. Junior buck was following him all the way.

Also saw the dandy ten from the night before. Those two crossed paths and the three year old ten cleared the way. The body is huge on the 4x4 he would have killed that other buck.

Good hunt. Hung a stand midmorning.

GP out.


November 17, 2021, Hunt #27, P.M.

Windy and coolish. High expectations. Set a new camera going in. Saw a 150 in the distance. I've had a few encounters with him. Moving early. More young bucks were on the move. Then I had an experience I can't quite put into words yet. Unbelievable. Need a few months to sort it.

Decided to rattle after sunset. Heard something behind me and an awesome looking young 5x5 came looking for action. I don't recollect seeing this buck before or having pictures of him. Mid forties maybe. Maybe 150. He is a thoroughbred. If he survives the December onslaught the next two seasons he might be beautiful. Three year old is my guess. He was ready for action too.

Great hunt. Rising moon maybe? You be the judge. Heading to the basement to shoot some more arrows. These close encounters have me jacked. Need to be as ready as possible. I wasn't ready a few days ago.

GP out.


November 17, 2021, Hunt #26, A.M.

Holy smokes the morning was on fire for about an hour-and-a-half. Deer were snorting at me when I arrived at my spot. They didn't know what was going on in the dark but it wasn't right for their deer woods. I actually don't mind all the snorting in November. It always draws in the bucks. It did too. Right off the bat I had a tough decision on a dandy buck right in the sweet spot. He got a walk. Does and small bucks still had me eyeballed. They would feed and then give me a look. This went on for awhile. Muscles got tight for sure. Some circulation was lacking.

I had two mature does coming from the northwest right at me. I saw a follower. Target buck. Some damn deer activist was still snorting at me. The trio looked and listened until one doe finally found what all the ruckus was all about. She stared a laser beam right through me for a while. Small bucks were wondering in to check out the does. Target buck would have none of that. He was at 35 yards but no way to go for my bow. Totally pinned down. Then a chase came blasting through and sucked the target buck into the fray. Dang it! Wanted another chance at him. Same spot too.

The deer eventually wondered off and the action was over by about 8:30. Headed out to pull some cameras, replace batteries and check photos. Had some non-cell cameras that were way overdue. I was hoping a shooter had moved in during my absence. No go. A few borderline mature deer posed for the camera but they just don't quite equal what I'm chasing on the other farm.

Great hunt. Got some great photos.

GP out.


November 16, 2021, Hunt #25, P.M.

Short hunt compared to the last ten days. Went deeper into the woods. Saw a few fawns and and a couple of bucks. The movement was late. The later buck pushed a doe right towards my ground location which was new by the way. She definitely got the deer in the headlights look when she saw me at five yards. He had no clue I was there. That was the end of the night. Very slow day compared to the last week.

GP out.


November 16, 2021, Hunt #24, A.M.

Went to the top of a ridge. Transition from feed to bedding. Did not see a shooter. All the buck movement was relatively lethargic. Had my friend the doe fawn camp under my tree again. This youngster will not survive the winter. It has major digestive problems of some sort. It's whole back end is runny fecal mater. Never have seen this fawn with a doe. Something happened I'm sure.

Today the fawn fed directly below the tree for a half hour. Left and came back. I wanted to get back to town and mow the yard for the last time so planned to leave early. I lowered my bow, the dang fawn came over and literally touched her nose to the Hoyt Ventum 30. She finally left when I climbed down. She is my shitty ass little friend for sure. Literally.

Saw a handful of bucks including a nice two year old ten. He was my limper from the other day. He looks fine now. A very slow day.

GP out.


November 15, 2021, Hunt #23, P.M.

Tried a totally different location with this east wind. Had watched bucks push does by this spot in the evenings the last week. No go tonight. Saw quite a few small bucks headed for the party in the field with the does and fawns. I watched one buck make a swing around a patch of cover on the downwind side. Fun to watch them go to work. He passed by at twenty yards. He had no clue I was there. No shooters tonight.

It was awfully quiet when the night ended. Surprising.

GP out.


November 15, 2021, Hunt #22, A.M.

Who the heck throttled back my rut action. If November 15th is the rut peak in Iowa it makes sense all the mature bucks were with does. I didn't hear any grunting. I saw only one small buck chasing a doe with triplets. The urgency seemed lacking. They might have ran all night too. Cell cams ready didn't show it.

I had a two or three year old walk by. He looked like he was on a mission to get somewhere. He came back by a half hour later limping and appeared to have a roughed up spot on his side. Wish I would have seen the little tussle. 

Pulled two cameras on the way out. Good pictures.

GP out.


November 14, 2021, Hunt #21, P.M.

Moved closer to feed in the afternoon. Immediately had buck movement. Little bucks on the move. Was hoping I would have one of the shooter bucks do the same. The buck I missed this morning was single and he was looking for love. Why not give me a second chance? Wind was going to die down. I was concerned about the quietness and the ability to get off a shot. About 4:30 heard a ruckus. Lots of grunting, I think it was #1 target buck headed my way chasing a doe. He was also fending off a kamikaze buck as he chased his mate. Went for my bow. Should have went for my glass to confirm. Have yet to lay eyes on him. They veered away and out of sight. Never saw them again. Closest they got was 70-80 yards.


GP out.


November 14, 2021, Hunt #20, A.M.

Bucks seemed in slow motion this morning. Didn't see as many as recent hunts so I relocated further north. Got my stool adjusted and settled in to enjoy the beautiful day that was unfolding. It felt like a deer movement kind of day.

Saw movement off to my left. Target buck! He had come in from behind me at 11:30. He was wrapping around the little knoll I was perched on. Perfect. He had no clue I was there. I was able to grab my bow. When he got to my shot location I drew, the pin hit the body, my thumb went for the trigger. Then, for some reason, the pin fell low, off the target. Mentally I was engaged. The arrow missed low. Clean miss. Damn it. The one I wanted a shot at. Lots of work to get to that point. No equipment malfunction this time other than my brain. He didn't know what had happened. I was fumbling for a second arrow but he walked away too fast. I tried to grunt him back but no go. He snorted a few times and continued walking away. Great hunt. Lousy execution.

GP out.


November 13, 2021, Hunt #19, P.M.

I got in the stand early in the afternoon. Had a buck tending a doe close by before I even got settled. I watched the massive 120 breed the doe a couple of times. Lots of other small bucks around at the time. They wanted some of that action but he walked them off. Had a very small fawn feed literally right below the tree for a good half hour. I don't think this fawn will survive the winter. Youngster. With that quick start, my expectations for the afternoon were high but those expectations were not met. Saw a 150 ten in the distance tending a doe. Again it was a good hunt but no shooters.

Sunset was beautiful tonight after the light rain. Who forecast that rain anyway? I don't think anybody did.

GP out.


November 13, 2021, Hunt #18, A.M.

Went back to the place I was yesterday, confident that the sensitivity of my thumb triggers was correct now. I had spent so much time on my new Hoyt Ventum 30 and heavy arrow setup I neglected my thumb triggers. I mainly shoot with a tension release anyway. My bad that the release failed me yesterday.

Saw a lot of bucks and a lot of bucks within the shoot radius. Good hunt. Saw one shooter way off in the distance and that was just a quick glimpse. Hunted until late morning, trimmed up some shooting lanes and headed for a stand closer to feed for the afternoon hunt.

GP out.


November 12, 2021, Hunt #17, P.M.

After a truck lunch and messing with both my releases I headed back to the same spot. It was out of the wind and there were two shooters I did not see in the morning. Practice drew this time with backup release. Arrow goes flying. What in the hell is going on? I figured out the problem on the backup release, it's the trigger location I have setup, not the locking mechanism. It's tight. Forgot my allen wrenches. Practice drew a few more times. We're good. Just need to be careful with the release hand.

Deer all around me again. Feeding on locust pods. A button buck had taken up residence by my spot while I was gone. Shooed him away. Had a 150 5-year old with a doe early. 25 yards. Let him pass.

As the day wore on more does appeared and more young bucks appeared. Too many were downwind. They were looking for the stench but couldn't see me blended into the tree trunk. Funny. Had a doe bed about 40 yards upwind. No clue I was there. Deer started to spend way to much time downwind. That's when I saw him. One of the other shooters. He was with a doe. Dang he's wide and big bodied. He paused about 30 yards out tending to his doe but the shot would have been tough. I passed hoping she would lead him closer. No go. They went the opposite direction. I had tried to range his location but too many branches were giving me a bad read. By this time I was shaking almost uncontrollably from being cold and the adrenalin rush. I was taking deep breaths to try and calm down. She ran him in a circle. Here we go again. This time he never stopped in a shooting lane. He just walked through it. I hooked the bow up and tried to calm down hoping they would come by again. It didn't happen. Outstanding hunts today but oh so disappointing. Mentally spent battling the wind all day and having close encounters with two shooters.

GP out.


November 12, 2021, Hunt #16, A.M.

Hunt full of extreme emotions. Wasn't sure I wanted to sit in these strong winds in the morning but drug myself out of bed and headed out. There is only one rut per year. It's go time. Figured I could survive on the ground and out of the heavy wind. Went to a spot I hunt maybe once or twice a year. Limited cover, great vision and typically pass-through activity a good portion of the day. Edge of bedding. It didn't disappoint. Had deer near me as I was getting settled so I did not practice draw. It was lightly snowing so stuck my thumb release in my pocket to keep it warm and dry. Deer all around me most of the morning. Upwind. Downwind. Sidewind. You name it. A little bit of chasing but many were feeding out of the heavy wind. 

At 10:10 one of my targets was coming from my right. He was single. I grabbed my bow. Clipped my release on. At 15 yards he looked right at me for a split second but continued on, I must have blended well enough into the monster tree trunk that he didn't recognize the human. As he continued, I began my draw for the shot. The trigger tripped and sent the arrow on a trajectory that was only stopped by a deadfall on the forest floor some 80 yards from my ground postion. Of course he split the scene. Horrible feeling. No idea what happened. I assumed I tripped the button with the bundle of clothes I had on but after spending some time at the truck during a break it appears the locking mechanism....isn't fully locking. sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. A practice draw early might have indicated I have a problem. This release immediately goes to injured reserve until I can determine the problem. I spend a lot of time on equipment preparation and still have failures.

He's a dandy buck. Been around quite a few years according to my cameras. Frustrating.

GP out.


November 11, 2021, Hunt #15, P.M.

Moved closer to feed in the afternoon. I figured it was warm so I could handle the wind. STUPID stand choice. That cedar was like a bucking bronco for a couple of hours. Worst windy stand set ever. I should have climbed down but I had some camera activity in the morning that convinced me to stay put. The wind finally laid down enough the last hour that I could enjoy the hunt. Had a dandy 5-year old 150 follow a doe right by the tree at 10 yards. He's a tank. Lots of pictures. Tough pass.

The wind was relentless today but tomorrow is going to be a special kind of windy. Sounds like a ground hunt to me.

GP out.


November 11, 2021, Hunt #14, A.M.

Decided to go on a walk-about this morning. Deeper in the woods to try and lay eyes on a particular buck. Took my trusty stool and setup shop by some large pin oaks I know well from the past. Day started off fast as I had a 150 class trail a doe right through the shooting lane. Activity was good the next hour or so as bucks were chasing does and fawns everywhere. The location felt like an orphanage as there were fawns everywhere. I even had two of the little rascals try and bed down about 10 yards away. I shooed them away. I didn't want them to ruin my morning. I could hear the wind roaring above. My location was out of the heavy wind but swirling badly. I think I went through half a bottle of Wind Detector. Had a handful of deer go through my scent cone but they let me off the hook. Headed for the truck around noon.

GP out.


November 10, 2021, Hunt #13, A.M.

Tried to get in some hunting before the forecasted rain event. Assumed it would be raining this morning so got up late. It wasn't. Got dressed and headed out. My arrival was late or at least in my mind it was late. I honestly believe anytime you want to head for the tree, the first couple of weeks November, you can do that.

Another good hunt. Three different does with tending bucks. One had two suitors. One duo made a pass right by my perch. The buck was a dandy. Dang hard pass. The flurry of action lasted about an hour then it got quiet. checked a couple of non-cell cameras. Had a new buck or two. One is quite special but needs a couple of years. I like droptines.

GP out.


November 9, 2021, Hunt #12, ALL DAY

I think this hunt equaled or topped yesterday's. My stand is a long ways from feed so I expect the action to start late. It did. The morning was mostly small bucks and a few does. Back and forth. Some chasing.


I had one of the subordinate bucks ten yards from the stand grunting and eyeballing another buck. This subordinate is a 2-year-old with a busted up rack. He looks like a future bully with definite antler potential. I had bucks and does 360 around my perch. They could smell me but gave me a pass. Crazy action. Little bucks were going back and forth a good part of the day. I only got a quick glimpse of the shooter at 70 yards.

Iowa deer hunting at it's finest today. I hope it stays this good the next few days. Makes the all-day sits go fast.

GP out.


November 8, 2021, Hunt #11, ALL DAY

Where do I begin? The day started off crappy as I tripped on a hidden branch under the leaves, crashed and slammed the new Hoyt Ventum into the ground. A quick review (in the dark) indicated the bow survived and I did too. The rest of the day was outstanding. Top 3 hunt in recent hunting memory. The day started off slow. The buck parade began about 8:30. There were some lulls but for the most part, bucks were coming and going all day long. The last hour exploded with bucks and chasing everywhere. What a way to end an all-day perch on a 20-inch Muddy platform. I saw way more bucks than does. Albeit many were dinks but two were shooters. The first shooter was mid morning. I could just make out his distinguishable rack over the crest of the knoll at about 80 yards....with binoculars of course. I never saw him again.

At 2:30 I experienced something I had never seen in all my years of hunting. I spied a buck (shooter buck) tailing a doe at about 70 yards. His chin was on her back as she walked. She walked and he walked. Chin glued to her back. She stopped, he tried to mount her, but she was so small compared to his big body that she gave-way. She couldn't support him. They continued on their way and I lost sight of them over the hill. Fifteen minutes later they reappeared, about 80 yards out. Same routine. His chin was on her back as she walked, zigging and zagging. She would stop, he would try and mount, she would give way. All-in-all I watched about 200 yards of this foreplay. He must have tried to mount her six times while in my vision. Never did she run, just a slow, methodical walk. She stopped, he tried to mount, no-go, so he stuck his nose and tongue where he wanted other parts of his body to be. Never have I seen such an intimate part of the whitetail rut. What an encounter. There was plenty of time left in the day but the two of them looked exhausted. I assumed they went over the hill and continued this ritual or collapsed from exhaustion.

At one point they were headed downwind and I figured the gig would be up. They were at 45 yards. Just before she got downwind, she turned a 180 and headed back where she came from. One of her zigs turned the couple my way but it wasn't to be on this day. I had my bow in my hand as soon as she turned. Instant adrenalin! As soon as my hopes rose they were dashed by her final turn to the east. Watching this pair at 45 yards with 10 power HD binoculars provided a lot of detail mainly as it relates to the bone on the buck's head.


Great day! GP out.


November 7, 2021, Hunt #10, P.M.

As eventful as this morning's hunt was, tonight's hunt was just the opposite. Way too much nonhunting activity. I assume the deer were in some remote hidey-hole to avoid all the activity. Saw some small bucks and a few bald deer but no urgent movement.

Had a small buck eyeball me from a 100 yards. Have no idea how he saw me, must have been when I turned to check on the noise behind me. Yes it was a squirrel. Frustrating. It was at primetime too and yes he snorted and ran off after a 5 minute stare down.

GP out.


November 7, 2021, Hunt #9, A.M.

Great morning hunt. Hunted a stand specifically setup to be out of a strong south wind. Wanted to test drive to make sure I didn't get any kick-backs. Wind seemed constant all morning.

Had a buck tending a doe right by the tree. Dandy 4x4. He wasn't quite what I'm looking for. Definitely mature with a big blocky head.  Lots of grunting and snort-wheezing. All sorts of bucks came to play too. He walked off a few of them. The small bucks avoided any confrontation.

After 30 minutes of bucks everywhere, things quieted down. Great hunt. Wish I could have sat all day but family things required me to crawl down from my low perch. It appears the sweat and strain to hang this stand was worth it. Deer had no idea I was there and the stand is low. Trimmed some darn multi-flora rose that impeded my entrance. Dang those things lock on tight. Even yanked a limb dampener right out of the new Ventum 30. My face has a few scars too. Rough morning.

GP out.


November 6, 2021, Hunt #8, P.M.

Good hunt. Runnin' and gunnin' for a half hour. Buck chasing a doe back and forth, left and right. Not a shooter but definitely part of the reason we hunt the rut. I know it's warm but the deer are going to rut. It's that time.

Saw five bucks and as many bald deer. The spot I'm in is finicky with the the southwest wind and it shouldn't be. I get a few bounce backs that chap my hide when it happens.

Lots of human activity on these nice days. Has a major impact where deer hole-up and then move towards quitting time. Frustrating.


November 6, 2021, Hunt #7, A.M.

Observation sit. Camera deployment. Cameras on one farm have not produced any shooters. Hunted stand on top of hill to see what is going on. Saw a few does and one cruising three year old. left early to deploy a new camera. That's two new cameras in the last couple of days. Felt I need to densify my camera coverage on this farm. Time will tell the next few days. Weather is warm but rut is going to happen no matter what.


November 5, 2021, Hunt #6, P.M.

Headed out. Put new batteries in a cell cam and deployed a new camera on one farm. Headed for the other farm and fixed the seat and added a climbing stick on the tree I chose to hunt. Got a fair amount accomplished. Darn seat broke last weekend when I was there. Easy fix. It's in a good spot...I I need this stand ready to go.

The hunt was good. One of the shooters was coming after sunset. Movement was generally later. He's bigger than I thought. Big body. Got to 60 yards. I lost sight of him behind limbs of the cedar I was in and never saw him again. No clue where he went. I heard some snorting, chasing, running and hooves hitting forest floor timbers earlier. Lots of noise. I assume there was a doe being tended.

Time to make final decisions on targets. Go time.

GP out.


October 31, 2021, Hunt #5, P.M.

Good hunt. Saw quite a few bucks and does. Gave up a trail behind me and as you might expect, some deer insisted on heading to feed on that trail. Busted!

Had a dandy walk right under the tree (on the good side) and captured some video. Hard to shoot those when the trail cameras show you what's lurking. Had #2 buck at 60 yards at quitting time. He's a wall of tines. I did snort wheeze at him a couple of times, he looked, but something else in the grass tripped his trigger more.

Did not see any seeking or chasing yet. Everything was headed for feed. I assume to hang out with future girl friends. Daily escalation is in the forecast.

GP out.

P.S. Cell camera just sent some pic's. #1 was about a 150 yards away just after quitting time. He surely watched me walk out.


October 30, 2021, Hunt #4, P.M.

Decided to do a long afternoon hunt this day. Had some bow tinkering I wanted to do in the morning. The hunt was pretty slow until late. Saw a half dozen bald deer near quitting time. That was it. Pulled SD cards going in and when I left. Shooters are still present in the area. I guess that means stay patient.

My bow tinkering included identifying the noise coming from my top limb area when I drew my new bow. New bows are not supposed to make noise though my last three Hoyts have. It always involves a dismantle and some gun grease. Hey Hoyt, if you're listening, that's your job not my job. In this case I found the noise culprit. It was a limb pocket rocker bolt. It's greased now. No more noise.

Well, time to roll. The Iowa deer rut for 2021 is about to commence. Are you ready!

GP out.


October 23, 2021, Hunt #3, P.M.

Wind out of the east. Coolish. Windchill in the 40s. Needed to layer up. Saw a dozen bald deer. Lots of non-hunting activity on the farm and in this hunt area the last couple of days according to this witness and my witness cameras. Par for the course when it's fall and nice outside. Deer moved late. Camera cards pulled indicated that all the bucks, including the big ones, were on the move on the 21st. If you hunted that day, you would have had a good hunt and maybe even killed. I did not hunt. Moved a camera to a scrape on my exit this hunt.

I have got a picture of a fawn that is no doubt less than one month old or a dwarf. Have yet to see it in photo with a doe. Probably an orphan. Doubt it survives. Surprise it's survived this long.

My cell cameras are not showing any shooters on one farm...yet. Very unusual for that farm. Could simply mean they aren't going by my cameras or it could mean no shooters on that farm. Final inventory has a week to go then the release trigger is engaged and ready to fire.

T I think the #Axiusultra is going to lose its Montana Black Gold sight and gain an older 3-pin sight. That bow is too heavy anyway. 



October 17, 2021, Hunt #2, P.M.

Good hunt. Saw a handful of does and fawns. One doe by the tree. Had set a camera by this stand. Pulled the card. Viewed the card once I was settled. Good results. Two real nice bucks including one buck that is added to the shoot-at list but not on top of the list. He walked by at high noon today. Checked another camera that was close by on my egress. #1 was on that camera though it was a week ago. Think I'm in the zone but will need to be very selective with wind direction.

Beautiful night. Lots of people out enjoying the Iowa weather.

GP out.


October 16, 2021, Hunt #1, P.M.

Killed a 24-inch oak with a $25 broadhead. Buried to the threads. No recovery. First trip hunting. I had drawn the bow to stretch the muscles. I tripped the darn trigger on the Nock2It. Dang it. Hunt was a dud too. A doe and a fawn was it. I should have assumed it was going to be a poor first hunt, my windshield smoked a pheasant on the way out. No damage that I can tell but it definitely woke me up.

GP out.


October 16, 2021

Where have I been? Working. New job. Booming economy in our little rural area. Civil engineering projects coming out of my ears. When you're a licensed civil engineer and licensed land surveyor there is an extreme amount of work to do right now. Bridges. Bridges. Bridges. New GPS survey equipment. New design software. Steep learning curve that is starting to flatten out. It's a blast! Love it!

Oh, and don't let me forget, my only child, my daughter, was married October 2nd. Congratulations to me. I'm way behind when it comes to anything related to deer hunting. Playing catch up.

Been focusing on my archery equipment with any free time most of the summer....and mowing. Yes, I do have some shooters on cameras. Big! And know of a couple that I don't have on camera. Big! Did some phone skoping this summer. It's fun. You need to buy a phone adapter if you don't have one and a spotting scope if you don't have one.

I'm the proud owner of a new Hoyt Ventum 30. That bow is sweet. New binary cams. Went with a shorter axle-to-axle this year to reduce overall bow weight. I'm also trying a limb driven rest...the Hamskea Trinity Hunter Pro. Supposed to be the best rest on the market. So far I believe the hype. Very tunable. Consistent.

Also been working on my heavy arrow setup. 650 grains. Yeah I'm drinking the Ranch Fairy koolaid but I know heavy arrows work based on past experience. One setup will be tipped with 125 grain Cutthroat broadheads and the other will be tipped with 200 grain VPA broadheads. Both setups weigh about the same. I adjusted the Ethics Archery components on the front end. About 300 grains on the front. If you want components with very tight tolerances then try the Ethics Archery stuff. Arrows are 300 spine Matrix with the Cutthroats and 300 spine Easton Hunters with the VPAs.

Have enough stands up to get started including three new setups. Hoping at least one pans out. I tightened the straps on all the ladders and outfitted them with hooks, bow ropes and safety lines. They are good to go. Lost of work for a one-man-band. Waiting on the cameras to tell me it's go time and so far they have not.

No, I have not officially hunted. Too many things happening. But ready to go now or close enough to ready to get some hunt time in. Cameras haven't proven any consistent movement yet.

GP out.


March 7, 2021

New year. Mega changes. Great new job. Great people. My archery dojo is reorganized. Bow tuning is going great. Weather is getting warmer. Found my first shed. Can't believe one of my YouTube videos has somewhere around 21,000 views. Holy smokes! People like their Iowa whitetails I guess. That buck is dead by the way.

Today's lesson is about courtesy and ethics. Some people think it is OK to search for sheds on property others lease to hunt. It is perfectly legal to do that in some cases unless the lease is written in a way that prohibits it, but is it ethical? I say no. What about courtesy? I say inconsiderate. Shame on your parents for not teaching you about courtesy, respect and doing what is ethical. My life is about doing what I believe is right and treating everybody with dignity and respect. I hope everybody learns to do that.

Whitetail antlers drive people crazy. When it comes to doing what is right, others seem to let Iowa's white gold influence their decision. Mind the fences and research ethics if this is the first time you've heard of the word.

Have a good one. GP out.



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