Is the cabin I stay at located on my farm? Are the stands within walking distance of the cabin? Yes and Yes. Your cabin is located on the farm you are hunting. All or most of the stands are within walking distance of the cabin although I recommend entry and exit routes that may require you to drive to the back side of the property and walk in from there.
What is the success rate? First, I want to define success. My service is based on providing a hunt like no other outfitted hunt. I offer all clients to experience as much or as little of the planning (stand placement, food plot planting, habitat improvements) as they want. They are welcome on their farm as much as they want as long as I am there with them. Then, they have an entire farm to themselves. The cabin is also theirs and they don’t share it with anyone else. The hunting takes place in the heart of some of the best whitetail hunting in southern Iowa. I expect all clients will have an opportunity at a mature buck during their hunt…though I make no guarantees. Whether they close the deal or not is up to them. So far, my clients have 100% opportunity at mature bucks since starting my service.
What does it take to hold a hunt? To book a hunt I require $1000 down, I don’t hold hunts unless a down payment is received. I then require the remainder of the cost of your hunt within 10 days after the Iowa draw. Iowa residents can book with $1000 down and the remainder due by July 1st of the year of your hunt.
As a non-resident hunter, how many points do I need to draw a tag? The history in zone 5 shows about 40% of hunters with 2 points and all hunters with 3 points will draw a tag for archery hunting. About half of hunters with no points and all hunters with 1 point draw tags for the gun seasons. Note: I only book hunters that can draw a tag for the year they book. If you only have 2 points for example and want to book a hunt…I will only book you for the following year when you have 3 points. I do this because I take so few hunters each year and each hunter or group has their own farm…therefore I need to know you will draw to prepare your farm for you. I am not like most outfitters that book as many hunters as they can and then run them through on short hunts. (Update 1/17/2017…all future hunts for archery will need 4 points. In 2016, no hunters with 2 points drew and many hunters with 3 points did not. Unless this trend gets better, you will now need 4 points to guarantee a draw.)
I will have enough points to draw 2 years from now; can I book a hunt now for when I will draw? Yes, most hunters book my service out years in advance.
I have 2 points now; can I book for next year…and if I don’t draw then just hunt the following year? No, I can only book hunters for a given year that we know will draw. We only take a limited number of hunters each year and have to plan their farm for them. We need to know you will draw to book a hunt. I can’t make the decision for you, but I think our hunts are worth the wait and planning.
What is your policy if I want to back out of a hunt? I understand things happen and will work with you as best I can. If I can fill your hunt at the same price as you paid I will refund 100% of the money. If I have to reduce my price last minute to fill your spot I will refund the difference. If I cannot fill your spot, I cannot refund any money paid to me up to that point.
Is there a fine for shooting a small buck? What is the minimum buck size a hunter can shoot? I do not have a minimum antler size nor do I fine hunters for shooting a buck that doesn’t meet certain criteria. Using antler size as a means of managing deer is a poor choice. I know first-hand that it doesn’t work that well. Instead, I restrict total buck harvest and hunting pressure by limiting the amount of hunters I take. This means daytime movement of mature bucks is at its greatest and hunters can focus on the hunt and the shot without worrying about an antler score. I would rather a hunter shoot a 5 year old 130 inch buck than a 3 year old 150 inch buck. Hunters are given longer hunts so the pressure to put a young deer on the ground on a short 5 day hunt is much less. My ground has low hunter pressure so it is common for me to follow individual deer from adolescence to maturity. For more information on the dangers of managing by antler score click here.
How many deer will I see? Will I be hunting big mature deer? How big are some of the deer I will be hunting? Southern Iowa is known for big deer and good deer numbers. You will see deer on morning and evening hunts and all day during the rut. There are some things I can’t control but I can control how my farms are managed, the food plots that are in place, stand locations, hunting pressure, etc. You will be hunting a top of the line farm. You will have big mature deer to hunt ranging from adolescent bucks to giant mature 5, 6, and older class trophies (check out our photos pages). With some good hunting practices you should see and have an opportunity at a mature buck during your hunt. During the late season, food plots will draw deer to your farm. This is fair chase hunting so you will have to hunt and put in your time. PRACTICE YOUR SHOT!!!
Do you run trail cameras? Can I put out trail cameras myself? Yes and Yes. I run cameras pretty much year round and will share and give updates for booked hunters year round. You are also welcome to run your own cameras but you will probably find that I have it covered.