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Iowa DIY hunt 2016

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Iowa DIY hunt 2016

Old 05-25-2015, 09:34 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Iowa DIY hunt 2016

I have 4 points and I am thinking of doing a DIY hunt in 2016 instead of going with a Outfitter. I talked with a WCO and he said to checkout Ratburn Res. in Lucas county and LaHart and Tyrone in Monroe county. Have anybody on here ever hunt any of these's WMA's? I checked them out on the Iowa web page and the look nice. Any info I can get on here would be helpfull if possible.

Thanks
HJ
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:25 PM
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I hunted pheasants quite a few times around Rathbun a number of years ago and there was good deer sign and some nice deer every year around there. I'd bet it has only gotten better since then.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:19 AM
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Zim
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hatchet jack,
I'm a nonresident who has drawn and bowhunted that area since ~1990. The public land is not what it once was. With technology and info it has gotten more crowded each year. I even scouted the prior Februarys each of my last two hunts. But once season arrived the remote places I picked got raped from opening day. Both by residents & nonresidents. Nonresidents are fixed in number thank god, but the biggest change I'd say is the increase in popularity with resident bowhunters. The nonresidents who do show up are nearly all tech savy with Google Earth knowledge and hand held GPS's with private ownership chips which results in the deepest public corners now getting pressure. With all this in mind, the deer are pressured well before rut. Best tip we learned was when you get there, patrol the parking areas and note which ones don't have vehicles. Hunt there, even if the land doesn't look as promising on aerials. This strategy is hard to accept, but paid off for us the last two times we drew.

If there are other hunters anywhere you go, leave immediately to seek unpressured parcels. The parcels with good crops get hit very hard over and over, and you can do quite well if you seek out the nearby parcels with less sign, but no hunters.

On a positive note, as Topgun mentioned pheasants were once VERY abundant in that area. However, since then a series of harsh winters has basically extirpated all of them. Don't bother bringing your shotgun for side action! The good part of this is there were ZERO bird hunters blasting around the public ruining it. Those bird hunters won't spoil their private land, but run like hell to the public to ruin it for deer hunters. This is just a fact, but no longer an issue due to no pheasants. Keep this in mind when evaluating parcels. Big grass fields will harbor stud bucks when no bird hunters scour them.

I'll probably cash my points and draw next year. Good luck.

Last edited by Zim; 06-06-2015 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:45 PM
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Thank you Zim and Topgun. Maybe it would be wise to come out in early October before the Rut. Is the Hunting pressure any less that time of the Month? If you had 2 weeks to hunt what two would you hunt. I was also thinking of finding some land with water/Lake and bring a boat. Try to get to some hard to get to spots with the boat. Thanks for the info!!!

HJ

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Old 05-28-2015, 08:04 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by hatchet jack View Post
Thank you Zim and Topgun. Maybe it would be wise to come out in early October before the Rut. Is the Hunting pressure any less that time of the Month? If you had 2 weeks to hunt what two would you hunt. I was also thinking of finding some land with water/Lake and bring a boat. Try to get to some hard to get to spots with the boat. Thanks for the info!!!

HJ
Rathbun might be a place to do exactly what you mentioned with a boat to access out of the way spots. We used to pheasant hunt the property along and around the sw finger going down towards Corydon. If you could get a small boat safely launched from a legal area and find spots to ease into shore where it would be a long walk for people that parked in another area it might be something that would be productive. Thinking out of the box and doing something like that might get you one of those Iowa Booners!
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:58 AM
  #6  
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Thanks Topgun. I been checking out some of them spots on Ratburn. Will checkout that SW Corydon area. Thank you .

HJ
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:03 PM
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hatchet, Yes you should try to scout any of that area if possible. The vast majority of it is quite accessible, but ya using a boat to access some of those remote western areas might be worthwhile. I'd try to have that figured out before season though. As to which weeks are best I would not rule out early season if a cool/cold front moves through.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Zim View Post
hatchet, Yes you should try to scout any of that area if possible. The vast majority of it is quite accessible, but ya using a boat to access some of those remote western areas might be worthwhile. I'd try to have that figured out before season though. As to which weeks are best I would not rule out early season if a cool/cold front moves through.
Thanks Zim. I hunted Illinois,Kansas,Ohio and KY. Some great hunting in the Midwest. Can't wait to hunt Iowa. I always checkout the Midwest region on here. I appreciate the info from you and others. I always read your post's on here. Your always willing to help out anyone with info about Illinois and the Midwest. Thanks.

HJ
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:29 PM
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hj, Do you use climbers? I hunt almost exclusively with 2 Lone Wolf hand climbers and move around constantly. Don't fall in love with one spot. I think you'll enjoy it more as well. Iowa public is fun. If you put some time in you will find places that don't get the pressure. Just don't get frustrated if you find yourself looking into someone's trailcam. Seen plenty of those, as well as locals who leave up their fixed stands year round. I marked several ladder stands. Also seen stands pop up overnight but nobody hunt them in archery. Just set by shotgun hunters.

I really enjoy hiking the hills and hollers in February, when I do all my scouting. It's a really good idea to install the private land chip in your GPS because there are tons of unmarked property lines.

Last edited by Zim; 06-07-2015 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:10 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Zim View Post
hj, Do you use climbers? I hunt almost exclusively with 2 Lone Wolf hand climbers and move around constantly. Don't fall in love with one spot. I think you'll enjoy it more as well. Iowa public is fun. If you put some time in you will find places that don't get the pressure. Just don't get frustrated if you find yourself looking into someone's trailcam. Seen plenty of those, as well as locals who leave up their fixed stands year round. I marked several ladder stands. Also seen stands pop up overnight but nobody hunt them in archery. Just set by shotgun hunters.

I really enjoy hiking the hills and hollers in February, when I do all my scouting. It's a really good idea to install the private land chip in your GPS because there are tons of unmarked property lines.
Yes I hunt with my climber a lot. I was told by some that there are not to many straight tree's in Iowa for climbers. I too have a Lone Wolf climber and a Equlizer Climber. Having other Bowhunters around can be a plus sometimes if its a big chunk of land. I hunt Public in PA and seen my share of traffic in the woods. I plan on going out scouting for a few days next spring. I plan to hunt 10 days. I think if I find some good looking spots on 2 state lands, hunt hard and have some luck with the weather and Deer God's I think I should get a poke at a nice one. Still a way's off and I have lots of homework to do, but thats part of the fun. I am going to buy a new GPS this season. The one I have now don't take the PLC. I will checkout that PLC, thanks. Be Safe!

HJ
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