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November 29, 2023, Hunt #44, P.M.

About ten degrees too warm but still saw plenty of deer. Also too quiet. Not enough wind. That might be why none of the deer picked me up. Had deer go by on both sides. Couldn't bring myself to offer a shot at the old wide eight. He's definitely old. He walked by at twenty-five to thirty yards but never stopped. Saw the largest wad of does and fawns I've seen in a long time. I'm hoping that bodes well for late season. Saw half-a-dozen bucks.

Good hunt.

 

November 26, 2023, Hunt #43, P.M.

Windy and I was in it. Cold. My heated insoles seem to work well. Sat in transition to feed. Hoping deer would move early. They did. First group was a doe and fawn with a small buck behind. Two-year-old six. Gave him a loud MAAA! He heard it and stopped at thirty-five yards. They are definitely susceptible to calling now. Just wish the right one would come cruising my direction.

Main movement was last 40 minutes. Had an old wide buck at thirty-five yards. Might have taken a point blank shot. He's definitely got some age and he is wide. Too windy and thirty-five yards is on the edge of my comfort range. I like them fifteen yards.

Saw five bucks. All the rest were dinks. Everything was wired due to the wind. Some came blasting by to get to the feed. As soon as they get out of the wind they relax. Almost like they are taking a deep breath before they continue on to the field.

 

November 26, 2023, Hunt #42, A.M.

Coldish! Had Two does and fawn go by less than ten yards from my cedar hidey-hole. No clue I was there. Saw other bald deer back in the trees. No bucks. Relatively slow.

 

November 25, 2023, Hunt #41, P.M.

Quiet. Too quiet, so I thought. Deer already on feed when I drove in. Light snow. Had a doe and fawn go by with a dink in tow. Watched them as they headed to feed. Saw another buck in their direction. My target buck (so I thought). He went over to greet the first three that had just went by. Grabbed my grunt tube, gave him a single grunt. Wheezed at him. He's looking. After about thirty seconds, here he comes, ears laid back, stiff legged. Ready for action. Burly sucker. Fifteen yards. I'm at full draw, his ears are laid back, he had no idea I was there. If he's my target buck I woefully misjudged him (he's not). Let him pass. He did a semicircle around the stand looking for the challenger.

Didn't find him but found my entry trail. It didn't bother him at all. He was so worked up he started rubbing on a bare steel T-Post. Funny! He continued up the hill and hit a licking branch. Perfect setup. The buck just didn't have the 'IT' factor.

Fun night.

 

November 25, 2023, Hunt #40, A.M.

Good hunt. Had a parade of small bucks and does go by. Nearby camera showed two shooters overnight but nothing in my vision in the morning. Cold but tolerable for three hours.

 

November 23, 2023, Hunt #39, A.M.

Planned on a short hunt. Turkey dinner commitment. The short hunt worked out pretty well. Saw two bucks behind a doe. Biggest being 140. Had a dink go by in the shooting lane. Had a coyote at five yards. No shot before he found my entry trail. He was in range when I first saw him. No bow in hand.

Had a camera reasonably close. It sent me a picture of a buck go by that looked very interesting. Need a close-up look.

Fun hunt. Good turkey and side dishes today.

Happy Thanksgiving to All.

 

November 19, 2023, Hunt #38, P.M.

Went to the other farm. Planned for a long afternoon sit. Got situated early. Farm activity early afternoon so I left and went back to the other farm. Had enough time. Been my luck this hunting season.

Figured I would sit the field edge and take inventory. Saw plenty of deer, lots of bucks but not one buck would have been worth the drag. Crazy year. Age structure is horrible.

 

November 19, 2023, Hunt #37, A.M.

Had the thermal I wanted. Went to the rub patch. Things didn't look so good after daylight and I was NOT well hidden. Very little movement. A few bald deer. Left early and went to address a camera that needed a slight relocation.

 

November 18, 2023, Hunt #36, P.M.

Zero deer.

 

November 18, 2023, Hunt #35, A.M.

Slow morning until 9:30. Then a doe came running under the tree followed by a spike. I grabbed my doe, knowing full well, big boy might be a ways behind. He was, but not a shooter. A three or four year old ten I knew well. He posed at thirty yards looking for his lost love. He needs at a least a year if not two. He proceeded to confiscate his property. For his reward to rescue her from the timber tyrant the doe let him breed her. That's a record for me. I've witnessed three different bucks breed does this November.

Quiet after that.

 

November 17, 2023, Hunt #34, P.M.

Got a picture of a probable shooter. Setup in the area. Saw one two-year-old buck. It was so quiet you could really differentiate his noise from the squirrels before I saw him. My view was limited. Had bow in hand ready to go. False alarm.

 

November 17, 2023, Hunt #33, A.M.

Weather was cool and calm. Deer movement where I was at was poor. One dink buck that bedded after daylight. One two-year-old and one three-year-old 130 class. Four orphans.

Pulled a branch from in front of one camera and deployed another camera.

 

November 16, 2023, Hunt #32, P.M.

Action started early. Two bucks chasing a doe up the hill. A dink and a 130. Guess who won the girl? After the chase stopped, the small buck collapsed to the ground. So did the doe. Must have been going on for a while.

The doe eventually got back up and the bigger buck bred her. After a short time, she laid down again. The 130 stood over her like a guard on duty. Watching for any intruders. After she got up again, he worked her like a cuttin' horse, directing her the direction he wanted her to go. Eventually a challenger showed up, a burly bodied 120 inch buck. Ears were laid back but no fight ensued. The 130 inch walked a way. The new buck chased the doe out of sight.

At sunset, the woods came alive with bucks. Once at a time they passed by the tree. Upwind and downwind. They let me off the hook. Thank you. The 130 must have made a big semi-circle I wasn't aware of because he passed right by the tree at about ten yards. Do that again in two years. Symmetrical 10, Mr. Perfect.

Good hunt. Hoping the lockdown ends soon and a shooter does the same thing as the 130.

 

November 16, 2023, Hunt #31, A.M.

It was 'do the opposite' morning. Didn't work. Once or twice a year I hunt a stand with a wind that is opposite of when I would normally hunt it. It didn't pan out. Saw two little bucks and a fawn.

Moved a camera and did a short walkabout to check on a place I noticed last year. I call it a 'rub patch'. It's tore up again. Need a camera there for sure. Not sure how I hunt it though. A south wind at this location would swirl like crazy. I'm thinking a calm morning and hunt the thermals.

 

November 15, 2023, Hunt #30, P.M.

Went to a different farm in the afternoon. Made a major move to get closer to the shooter from the night before. I hoped to get closer anyway. I had seen two mature bucks do basically the same thing within the last week. So I made the move.

Three little bucks was all. Only one was chasing a fawn. Pretty quiet evening. The peak of the rut is definitely the lockdown of the rut.

 

November 15, 2023, Hunt #29, A.M.

Went to a spot with a lot of visibility and a stand I had not hunted yet. Knew the wind was going progressively change this morning. This stand would work. Saw four small bucks and an equal amount of does. Rattled a few times. No response. Moved a camera. Fairly uneventful morning.

 

November 14, 2023, Hunt #28, P.M.

Not much confidence in this hunt due to weather. My pessimism quickly turned to optimism. Wasn't in the stand five minutes and a doe appeared with a buck in tow about fifty yards behind. Running about half throttle.

Saw my first no-doubter of the season shortly thereafter. Two small bucks were chasing a doe and he either stole her or they were chasing his doe and he flexed. Not sure. Either way he dwarfed the two bucks and doe. He bred the doe after some trial and error as she could barely hold his weight. He got it done though. They lingered in the same general area for the next hour-and-a-half then moseyed over the hill. Finally!

Had another small buck galloping behind a doe who too was galloping right by the stand. All-out sprint. The orphan fawn was bleating and running trying to stay with the pair.

Tomorrow is the supposed peak. Hopefully the action is intense.

 

November 14, 2023, Hunt #27, A.M.

Hunt started out on fire and then fizzled out. Saw a dink cruising. Then saw a dandy eight on the same path cruising. Seventy-five yards. Then saw a 140 ten on the same path cruising. Bucks following bucks. We've all seen it before. It's the rut. Saw one doe after that. Grunted at the eight and ten. They looked but trusted their nose more than their ears. They couldn't see the action either.

Gave this stand a couple of years to produce. It did not. Pulled it. A tree has fallen across the trail about 50 yards away. Their movement has changed enough that my confidence no longer exists with this setup.

 

November 13, 2023, Hunt #25 & #26, All Day

10-1/2 hours in the stand. I have tree stand butt. Counting it as two hunts. Long ways back. Saw more than six bucks in the morning, might have been eight, not sure. All small except for one. He might have been 140. Two dinks sparred right in front of the stand for a good ten minutes. Fun to watch.

Afternoon was a total bust. Had a small buck bed about 150 yards away. He watched all my antics in the tree stand but never left. He bedded before noon and didn't get up and leave until 4:30 with a doe. That lack of movement makes it tough. I had had enough by sunset. Climbed down to check the field on my egress. A good number of deer were in the field. Looked like ants.

A couple of cameras had good activity mid-morning. Decent bucks. The one might have been a new buck but hard to tell. Good tine length but short beams.

Had a squirrel visit my perch numerous times during the day. He would climb down the limb (inverted). Stop about my eye level on the back of the limb and bob his head back and forth from one side of the limb to the other. It was like whack a mole. Curious little rascal.

 

November 12, 2023, Hunt #24, P.M.

Went to the tree without much optimism due to the temps. As soon as the sun dropped below the tree horizon the action started. Temp felt like it dropped ten degrees. A couple of does came blasting by to my west with spike not too far behind. Shortly thereafter two two-year-olds came by on the same path one at a time. I gave the first one a PSSST! He stopped and posed for a virtual shot at 30. The second one came through, I gave him a PSSST! He was wired! A squirrel made some rustling in the leaves near him and he turned inside out :). They all ended up in the field. I was in a transition area.

It wasn't long and here came one of the does with the spike right behind. Right under the tree. A short time later one of the two-year-olds came trotting in looking for the action. Five yards from the tree. Chaos! I love the insanity of the Iowa rut. It's unpredictability is frustrating yet enjoyable when you are in the middle of the action.

The two-year-old could not find the action he was too far behind. He ended up 70 yards southwest of me. He heard all the leaf crunching from the spike hot on the trail of the doe as they were runnin' and gunnin' north of me. He came blasting back and eventually chased the doe into some CRP. AS does almost always do, she stopped and peed. OF COURSE he found that spot and lip curled. It's guaranteed to happen! I swear it's a defense mechanism of the does to slow down the constant harassment.

Another two-year-old chased another doe out into the field further west of me.

Good hunt. Fun to watch. That's why I love the Iowa rut even if half the herd is dead from the crud.

To top of this weird day, I backed into my garage stall when I got home and there are two piglets in my front yard. WTF! They tried to come in the garage with me! Not going to happen! NO no no no. I chased them over to the neighbors. Let them deal with them :). They are farmers anyway.

Weird day and it's not full moon but loaded with memory making experiences.

 

November 12, 2023, Hunt #23, A.M.

Well I didn't see any bucks but had a laughable sit. Had a coyote come from my behind me to my left. Before I could get my bow and get my release hooked up he had passed my window. I squeaked at him. Oh yea! here he came. I'm at full draw. At the same time two raccoons were 3 yards from my cedar trees. Then it got western. The coons were running for cover, I think the coyote got my scent or got spooked by the raccoons. The coyote took off. No idea where the coons went until about 15 minutes later. I heard a bunch of purring like a content cat. Here they came scooting down a tree about 15 yards away. Purring all the way. I think they wondered what the ruckus was all about :).

 

November 11, 2023, Hunt #22, P.M.

Rushed out after the family event. Saw two bucks and a few bald deer. Both bucks were definitely hard after the does. I think the does stop and pee to distract the bucks and then take off. The bucks will do everything they can to find that spot and get a snoot full of that urine. Happens every time. Those does are cagey.

 

November 11, 2023, No Hunt, A.M.

Decided to glass. Had family obligation middle of the day. Saw 6 deer including one buck chasing a doe. It was buck I wanted to lay eyes on. Nothing special. Wide 8. Deployed three cameras.

 

November 10, 2023, Hunt #21, P.M.

Beautiful night to be in a stand for the Iowa rut. Saw all the bucks and does on the farm I think. Deer everywhere. Only problems? Way too quiet to execute a shot and never saw a shooter. Saw the same two ten pointers I've seen prior. One is maybe 125. He walked under the stand. Looked sick or wore out. Could have been either with the crud running around like it is. Second was tending a doe at quitting time. Three year old maybe 135-140. Provided some tending grunts for my enjoyment and herded her like a border collie. She was going one way and way only if he had anything to say about it. Doe looked wore out. She complied.

Very enjoyable hunt but disappointing no mature bucks. It will require a move-in I believe on this farm. Still time for that to happen. Plenty of does around.

 

November 10, 2023, Hunt #20, A.M.

High anticipation. Farm activity early. Baled. Went home and shot the bow.

 

November 9, 2023, Hunt #19, P.M.

Windy! It even sprinkled a little. Mini cold front came through. Deer were edgy. Squirrely. Started off good with a couple of fawns and a small buck. Midway through the hunt two bucks came blasting by but no idea why. Did not see a doe. Good movement started at five. Pretty sure I saw my target back in the woods but do not know for sure. Looked like he was scent checking and also may have been following a doe. Long G2s. Finally.

Also got pictures from another hunter friend of more EHD deer near the other farm. Five. Mother Nature shows no mercy.

 

November 9, 2023, Hunt #18, A.M.

Four

 

November 8, 2023, Hunt #17, P.M.

High anticipation. Decent wind although I was getting a lot of kick-backs early on. Watched a puff of leaves come out of a tree next to me (I assume from a nest) and a squirrel landed from thirty-feet up with a thud on the ground. He must have been dazed because he didn't move for a few minutes.

Had a nice looking two year old trailing a doe around sunset time. I gave him a PSSST! He stopped for a virtual shot then moseyed on. That was it for the day. About eight hours in the deer woods. My feet hurt from the walk in and walk out from the deep incursion.

 

November 8, 2023, Hunt #16, A.M.

Went deep. Half mile deep. Dud for five hours. A couple fawns and a couple small bucks in the distance. Nothing close. This location has been perennially good since I started hunting this farm. Difficult to get to and a long walk. Horrible hunt. I've killed a buck here, seen some knock-down drag out fights, watched a Booner class wounded buck for half day at this location. Not wounded by me by the way. Nothing worth talking about today. One day about 15 years ago I counted over 25 bucks go by. Not any more. This location jumped the shark a couple of years ago.

Had a camera a quarter mile south of me on fire with bucks chasing a doe if my interpretation was correct. Late morning action. And by the way, I sat that stand yesterday morning and it was a dud.

 

November 7, 2023, Hunt #15, P.M.

Second worst hunt of the year behind the morning hunt. Horrible. One small buck. Nothing was moving.

 

November 7, 2023, Hunt #14, A.M.

Worst hunt of the year. Two small bucks in over four hours this morning. Nothing was moving. Horrible.

 

November 6, 2023, Hunt #13, P.M.

First deer out were two fawns headed for feed. A little later I saw two dink bucks raising all sorts of ruckus with a doe. Crazy chase. Saw a small buck after sunset and then what may or may not have been a shooter on the horizon at quitting time. Too far away and too quick of a glimpse with the 10x42s but definitely wide.

Need to regroup for tomorrow.

 

November 6, 2023, Hunt #12, A.M.

Morning started off with a bang. Had a tree stand I wanted to climb into but needed more north in the due west wind. Planned to sit all day so did not race the sunrise. First mistake. Got to my ground spot. Killed a buck there a few years ago. As I'm getting setup I hear noise. I watch as a small buck jumps the old fence downwind of me. Dang it. I hear another noise and holy smokes there's a shooter at 20 yards. Wide! He comes to 15 as I'm frantically trying to load an arrow. He's wondering what the commotion is as I'm trying to get setup. Fruitless. He snorts. Bounds off a little bit, then walks over the hill. Stupid!

The rest of the morning was slow. A couple of small bucks and farm activity so I relocated.

 

November 5, 2023, Hunt #11, P.M.

Another slow hunt. Does only came out to feed and they came out early. My anticipation was high. Had one camera with some buck activity this afternoon. It's one of my favorite spots. Close quarters. Have not hunted it yet waiting on something decent to walk by the camera. One buck may have potential. Too far from the camera in the trash to

 

November 5, 2023, Hunt #10, A.M.

Slow hunt. Two small bucks and they were not in a hurry to get anywhere. Cameras were slow too. Not much to add.

 

November 4, 2023, Hunt #9, P.M.

A couple of fawns went by early on their way to feed. Good buck action the last hour. Two three year olds appeared to be after the same doe. It makes sense with all the dead EHD does that competition by the surviving bucks for the surviving does will be intense. Hopefully the survivors pass their genetics to others so we don't go through this again. The numbers of dead deer I'm hearing are staggering. Population taking a major hit.

Deer had no idea I was in my perch. I like those types of hunts.

 

November 4, 2023, Hunt #8, A.M.

Different farm. Needed new scenery. Saw a dandy 8 tending a doe on drive in with the headlights. Open country. No world beater but worthy of my chase. Mature.

Tried my new half a blind. Three panels with hubs and rods that fold around me on my stool. I like it. Deer see it but pay it no attention. I needed this five years ago. It's inexpensive and light. I can shoot over the top. Perfect.

Heard a ruckus in the dark about 70 yards away. Definitely heard a snort wheeze. Never did see the deer at daylight. One buck back in the trees while in my hideaway. 

 

November 3, 2023, Hunt #7, P.M.

First pulled two cameras. Did not produce for two months and they were remote. They need new view sheds. Checked a regular camera pointed at a legacy scrape. No shooters last week.

Saw four bucks tonight. Biggest maybe 125. He chased one doe for a bit. The rest of the deer fed all night. Wind was iffy for me. First hunt from a tree stand. Been numerous deer killed from the stand. Doesn't look like it's going to happen this year. No shooters in the area that I'm aware of. Just hope.

I've got a different plan but need some different wind. Tomorrow looks decent.

 

October 29, 2023, Hunt #6, P.M.

New spot based on camera pictures. Dud. Timing is everything and my timing was bad tonight. Did have a dink go by at 10 yards while I was sitting in my cedar hidey hole. Saw two other deer.

Had a raccoon climb in the cedar I was sitting beside. Young one. No matter what I did to try and scare him away he was determined to climb that tree. After he got to his perch it sound like he was about ready to barf up a load. Sounded like a dog getting ready to puke up a pile. He eventually climbed back down and moseyed off.

Nicer tonight than last night.

 

October 28, 2023, Hunt #5, P.M.

Cameras much better this week. New bucks. Decent bucks but no whoppers. Where have they been? Still hoping 'Rumor' poses for the camera. Heard about him again tonight. Would like to lay eyes on him or get a pic of him.

I did not wear enough clothes. Should have head my heavy duty long underwear on. Would have been much better. The hand warmers worked good. Glad I put them in the truck.

Saw five small bucks and a bunch of does and fawns. One buck did some chasing. Would stop and eat some. Lay down for a while. Then chase a little more. All the other bucks were feeding. Saw a fawn that can't be a month old or a dwarf. Twenty pounds at the most.

Deployed a camera on my way out. This next week should be good. Would like it a smidge warmer.

 

October 22, 2023, Hunt #4, P.M.

Still looking for a shooter. Chasing a rumor on a different farm. Deployed 4 cameras yesterday afternoon. One of the four was a relocation. One rub had been touched but not whittled. None of the legacy scrapes had been touched. Hopefully capture a photo this week or I'm questioning the rumor. Still hearing HD reports. Not good. The numbers are substantial too.

Hunted my same old spot tonight. More observation than anything. The field is pure green. I don't understand the lack of big horns. My doe friend spotted me from over 200 yards when I was glassing some deer way in the distance. Do you think she would leave me be. Nope. She slowly walked my direction with her fawns in tow. Yes, she settled in about 30 yards downwind of my hidey hole. What a nag. I messed with her. Started making all sorts of stupid noises. She was totally confused. I said screw it, drew my bow and settled the pin on her shoulder at 35 yards. Didn't shoot but let her watch as I let her pass. She eventually had enough of my antics and wondered back out to the field with her fawns.

One small buck and numerous does and fawns was the tally tonight. No shooters. Hopefully by next weekend when the weather changes the final inventory will include a shooter.

The weather is gonna be a changin'. Crops are well on their way to being out. Hoping for an old familiar buck or two to move back to my ruttin' range.

 

October 15, 2023, Hunt #3, P.M.

Very hard to get the gumption to go when no shooters have posed for the cameras and EHD sounds like it is running rampant in this area of the world. Frustrating. Lots of dead deer reports the last few days. Still on observation hunts trying to take inventory. Saw quite a few deer feeding including a bunch of little bucks. Dinks for the most part. Must have good genetics.

One old nag has my number. She's checking for me now. Wind was good for me until she decided to walk a 100 yards to get downwind of my hidey hole. She ran back to the group of feeding deer. She snorted. The rest of the deer looked when she snorted but went right back to feeding. She must be a "Karen" of the deer herd on this farm.

Lots of crops coming out. Hopefully some beast of a buck decides to move in. One can only stay optimistic at this point.

 

October 8, 2023, Hunt #2, P.M.

Went back to same place. Similar results. Bucks and does came out to feed. Biggest was a three-year-old 125. He came out early. Still hoping to see a shooter that is skirting my cameras. No-go so far. Had a flock of long beards come out too. I can never catch a break with those darn things. Their eyes always catch my slightest movement. One put and the whole deer herd goes on alert.

 

October 7, 2023, Hunt #1, P.M.

Fun hunt. Saw lots of deer but zero close to a shooter. My prediction is for a lousy year of bowhunting. No shooters on camera yet. Biggest might be mid 130s. The bucks haven't moved in, there's too much farm activity or they don't exist. Do not know. With EHD around again they could be dead.

Hoping for a BOAL but would be happy with a mature 150. 

 

 

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Site Updated: 11/29/2023