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12/16/2017 @ 10:01 PM

Persistence pays Big Time!

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As you might have guessed from the title, this story focuses on being persistent when bow hunting. This is not a tale of my own personal hunting adventure. It is a snapshot of my daughter Madison's pursuit of a specific buck. Madison has bow hunted off and on the past 4 years, with her dedication to her studies and playing golf for her college, she had to put hunting on the back burner from time to time. This year though was a different story. This year she was able to focus more on bow hunting, and practicing her archery skills. Don't get me wrong, she still has a very full school schedule and works, but now with her living back home, she has more time to spend in the woods. And that is exactly what she did this year. Logging countless hours in her groundblinds pursuing not just a whitetail deer, but a true Iowa Giant. After several nights with no success she never gave up. Her positive attitude and excitement to get back out as soon as possible was very infectious. Even after her encounter with her target buck and succumbing to the dreaded "buck fever" she still persisted. Finally on November 16th she had her third encounter with "her" buck........this time she stayed composed and focused. With one well placed 30 yard shot ( that she practiced over and over on the block target) she fulfilled what many bow hunters only dream about. She got "her" buck. Her excitement, persistence , and most importantly the respect she showed her buck, added another layer of pride I have to be her Dad.

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Three Months in a Tree

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Three months in a tree. On January 8th I felt that I had spent three months in a tree watching squirrels. Slowly waiting for the sun to go down had become monotonous. There had been exciting moments when several bucks walked passed or a group of deer emerged out of nowhere, and the season had been a success on several levels. I had shot my first coyote with a bow and filmed my first kill, a doe, but the grind of hunting in January had begun to get to me. I hadn’t had a deer in range in three hunts and hadn’t seen a shooter in over a month. I always have a feeling of excited optimism for deer hunting, yet at that point it was beginning to feel a little hopeless.

I had been in the stand for thirty minutes when a coyote came up the trail towards me, then skirted to the other side of the creek and out of sight. An hour passed, nothing showed. The transition from being alone in the woods to watching a deer is always somewhat abrupt. My thoughts are wondering as I stare at the trees, then suddenly a deer is in sight. I can never remember what I was thinking about prior to the deer’s arrival. All I know is a buck stood sixty yards away. Slowly he began moving up the trail in my direction. The wind was crossing slightly towards him. He stopped abruptly, turned and walked in the opposite direction. “That was it,” I thought to myself. “I have waited all this time to have a marginal wind ruin my opportunity.” He walked ten yards then broke from the trail and began to slowly circle back towards my stand. Using no particular trail he picked his way into thick cover and out of sight. I snapped into my d-loop and prepared for the buck to arrive. He appeared at thirty yards, still in thick cover. The buck plodded along through the brush focused on crossing the creek. I realized he would pass through a small shooting lane at around thirty yards before entering into thick cover again and there would be no remaining opportunity for a shot. He walked quickly forward. As his body filled the clearing I grunted twice. For a brief moment nothing moved, then the arrow connected halfway up and slightly back. He turned and ran up the hill. His gait seemed normal until I saw him wobble near the top of the hill, I realized later that he collapsed several steps later. The shot had missed his lungs but severed the liver, leaving only a small blood trail but killing the deer within 200 yards. As I stared into the camera all I could think to say was “We did it, we did it, we did it.”

My brother Harrison and my buddy Jared run a website with blogs and videos on hunting every species in Iowa. Bowhunting in January is unusual for our group. Most seasons we are able to tag out by late November, then focus on muzzleloader season. Yet, this season had been more challenging than most. The rut had been warm, and we constantly felt we were one step behind the bucks. Harrison and Jared had each shot deer that we were unable to recover. It is frustrating to miss deer, but to hit them non-lethally is something that we feel is unacceptable. Thus, to complete a hunt as a member of a team was truly special. Those guys were as excited as I was and I was happy to end our season on a high note. If you would like to read any more blogs or watch videos then check out iowaslam.wordpress.com . We are happy to share any of our material with Iowa Sportsman.

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ScentBlocker® spikes “Deer Under the Influence” lineup with two new flavors for Hogs and Bears!

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Cannon Falls, MN — January 2016 — ScentBlocker, a constant innovator of scent control and attractant products for hunters, announces the introduction of two additions to the Under the Influence product line: HUI and BUI – Hogs and Bear Under the Influence. The exciting DUI product that was introduced at the 2015 ATA Show has met with success both in the field and at retail, and has led to the extension of this product line.

Using new Under the Influence, with its naturally intoxicating effect, helps make big game more relaxed and complacent – and animals act like they don’t even care! The calming aspect of these products is unique, powerful and totally new to hunting!

These unprecedented and proprietary formulas have been researched and refined in the lab, and then tested in the field on wild game. They contain a unique and powerful natural root extract, which has a well-documented effect of physiologically calming and relaxing high-strung and hyper animals. ScentBlocker applies this science to the first-ever hunting product that reduces the fear and flight response of game, while calming and relaxing them. They have an almost intoxicating effect and are unlike anything previously available.

When establishing feed stations or hunting over bait, spray Under the Influence when you first set up your bait station. You may spray it on the bait itself, the surrounding foliage, or on a scent rag. Keep applying each time you bait and mist it through the air periodically during your hunt. Or spray on foliage near your stand site and in shooting lanes. Under the Influence will help to encourage prolonged visits and more frequent visits during daylight hours.

For more information call 1-507-263-2885 or visit www.ScentBlocker.com.

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Iowa Deer Classic

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Each year the Iowa Deer Classic brings to the hunters of Iowa and the Midwest a weekend worth of huge trophy whitetails, world class hunting seminars, hunting and outdoor exhibitors and so much more. Mark your calendar and join us at the Iowa Events Center February 24th-26th in HyVee Hall to check out this amazing opportunity. Admission is $12, Youth (10 to 15) $5, Kids under 10 are free! A family pack is availabe for $30 which includes 2 adult tickets, 2 youth tickets, 2 soft drinks. Also, Friday night is Ladies night-all ladies are admitted free!

More information you can check out iowaeventscenter.com or http://www.iowashows.com/Shows/index.cfm?Show_ID=43

There is a big buck contest which costs extra. What is the largest buck you shot?

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Facing Whitetail Facts

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As some of you may remember there was a time when I posted here, regularly years ago. There is no excuse for my absence. I'll be frank and blame my software inabilities exacerbated by computer glitches.

So, with that said, what brings me back and what poses itself to my mental quandaries and forces me to type away at the keys in hopes that YOU will give me your undivided attention? Let's face it; the numbers don't lie. The deer harvest is, shall we say, down.

I made a determination this past season to do the late muzzle loader and due to the high prices associated with the 'privelege' of hunting (thanks to insurance lobbies and our wonderful representatives at the State level) I grabbed two weeks vacation and thanks to gas prices, decided to stay close to home. No big deal, right?

Without boring you with the details, let me say in passing that I went on consecutive days to my most productive areas from past years and saw no sign that would indicate to me that there had been any activity at all for at least two, if not three weeks. I was six days in and had not scared a single tail. I chanced upon the DNR WMA maps page on Friday morning and saw a sliver of public land that I felt fit the bill. I set my coffee down and said, "Hot Dog"...or something to that effect. It was a Yogi Berra godsend in that there was no way that anyone would go there because it was just too crowded!

A simple determination made all the difference; with the roar of traffic close by, I drew a bead on a fat doe amongst a dozen and filled the tag. I was the only one who had been there for quite some time. I was the only one there, that day. The evidence was apparent and I won't dwell on it. What I will elaborate on is the conversations that occurred after the fact with DNR types.

After filling in a State agent about the results I'd achieved, we had a long conversation concerning the situations for coming seasons and it is not pretty. His concern was with the amount of tags, the fact that the prices are being driven by those who do not want us to hunt at all-thanks to liability issues-and the greed of our State to get as much dollar from you as possible by putting out as many tags as they can to keep the revenue flowing. This is not healthy, folks! I verified this through talks with a local county conservation officer whom I trust without hesitation. The folks in charge of the tag prices DO NOT TRUST YOU WITH A GUN. Their hope is to drive you away and compel you to find other things to do with your time. How? Tag prices out of reach and NO DEER to hunt...that's how.

I asked him a question that I considered quite simple, "Why not have intervening years where a hunter gets one tag. Buck or doe is no consequence because there will be no seperate seasons. You will be given three month to fill it...PERIOD. This approach would allow some breathing room for all, not to mention the benefits for the health of the population. Once you filled the tag; Game over.

Whether by hook, or crook, bow or muzzle loader, shotgun or handgun, you have ONE tag...period.

Would you be willing to settle for this?

Most importantly, would the State? Or, are they just too greedy for that flow of cash? Do we truly care about the long-term ramifications of the situation as it is unfolding at the present rate?

One tag. Could you live with this approach every other year until the deer population stabilizes?

It is time to consider this proposition before it is too late and the ones who don't want us out there at all win by default, people.

Please consider this a warning. The golden years we saw just five years ago are dwindling away quickly. If we don't cut back on the tags we'll never see those glorious numbers again in our lifetime.

We need to talk to our State representatives and we need to do it now. For the sake of our deer and our hunting fraternity; for the sake of our children who've never experienced the thrill and gratification of a harvest-we need to act now. No more bow here and shotgun there: everyone with one tag for one season for one year. Are you willing? I think the deer are.

The best to your efforts in the coming year.

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The Art of Shed Traps

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Featured in The Iowa Sportsman magazine February issue
The Art of Shed Traps
By: Nick Jedlicka

Deer season is over and even though you might not have harvested that monster on the trail camera, you still have another chance to walk away with a token from him. The only problem is that any hunter who has went out looking for sheds knows that it really is looking for a needle in a haystack.

Hunters can easily walk hours in a day to find only a few sheds, if any. I’ve known some hunters who have gone the whole shed hunting months without being able to walk out of the woods with a single one. To the people who just don’t have the shed hunting luck and even for the people who do, but would like to better their odds… there are shed traps.

The best time for sheds is often debated, but truthfully it depends on the year, area and individual buck. Bucks drop their antlers when the level of testosterone in their body drops. So depending if it has been a really hard-weather year, if the area has lots of does that have yet to be bred or if the buck itself is older or younger, dominant or non-dominant, wounded or healthy- all these things affects when the antlers will drop. I’ve seen bucks drop their antlers as early as December and as late as March. However, January and February, the coldest months of Iowa winters, are typically known as the best months for sheds.

If you own your own land, that is a great place to start shed hunting and setting up shed traps. It is even a great idea to ask permission from neighboring landowners as the same deer that walked your land, likely walked theirs. If you do not own your own land, a great place to start walking is a nearby state park. Also ask permission from local landowners and since you don’t have your own land to put a shed trap, explain your shed trap(s) to them and see if it would be okay with you putting any on their property. Be specific and let them know when putting any man made materials or feed on another person’s property for trapping antlers.

It is okay to use food to attract deer for the purpose of collecting antlers, but you cannot use it during any deer hunting season because it is illegal to hunt over or near food. The most common food used for shed traps is corn since it is readily available and inexpensive. Corn is low in protein but high in carbohydrates, making it an energy source for deer during cold winter months.

Deer pellets are another popular food usually made with a mixture of milled grains, alfalfa and a mineral supplement. Even though pellets are a well-balanced feed for deer, they easily get wet during the winter, causing deer to lose interest.

Mixed grain is an all-around good deer feed. Mixed grain usually consists of whole grains like oats and corn to provide energy, as well as ground oil seeds like soybeans to provide protein. This mixture also fares better than pellet feed in inclement weather while giving deer the best balance for optimal health during harsh winter months.

If you like deer and deer hunting, shed hunting and trapping is a lot of fun too. You might find sheds from bucks you hunted or a nocturnal monster that you never knew lived in the areas you hunt. Many hunters are also proud of their shed collection built over the years. Also if you have a dog, small sheds make the perfect chewing toy.

Shed Traps to Buy
There are many types of shed traps, some available for purchase. A main commercial trap is The Rack Trap Antler Trap. This tree-mounted, hanging bucket design with bungee cords, applies pressure to antlers to promote the natural shedding process as a buck feeds. This built in the USA product retails at $279.

Build It
For most people, shed trapping is all about do-it-yourself and being creative. While some people can afford to buy their own traps, there are many shed trap designs that can easily and inexpensively be made, but work just as well. The main thing when making a shed trap is not to use any material that could tangle and cause a buck’s antler to get caught before it is ready to drop.

One homemade shed trap I recently witnessed the success of was made out of a small section of corrugated metal culvert pipe with corn placed inside and two crossed bungee cords on the top. It has a large area the buck puts its head into while bungee cords allow the buck to push down and reach the feed while applying pressure so antlers will fall off only when ready.

A popular material for homemade shed traps is chicken wire. There are different ways and patterns to use. A simple way of constructing a shed trap with this material is by wrapping the wire around two close trees and connecting them. If there are not two trees close by, you can also stake two steel fence posts or rebar stakes to hold the wire. Then you’ll want to put the feed on the ground directly below the wire. The wire doesn’t have to be touching the ground. When the bucks come to feed, they will have to contact the wire with their antlers to eat. Chicken wire has small holes, so just the tips of the antlers are able to catch the wire, so bucks do not get caught in the trap while feeding and the antlers drop when ready. Construct these types of traps near heavily used trails for the best results.

Natural Shed Traps
There are also ways to make natural shed traps with as little as the feed you use to attract the deer. Find a large fallen tree near a heavily used trail. Then place your feed on the ground along the fallen tree and push it closer or somewhat under the tree. When bucks reach for the feed, their antlers will bump the tree or ground and fall off when ready.

If you don’t have the time, resources or permission to put in man made antler traps, Mother Nature can help you out. Since deer love to bed in and around stands of cedar and pine trees that have low branches and limbs, these are great areas to target, especially on south-facing slopes where the deer lay to warm up during the coldest winter days.

By using shed traps, you will be more efficient with your time during the bitter cold of Iowa’s winter, but more importantly, you’ll gain more opportunities to collect sheds. Try some of these options for shed traps and check them regularly. With persistence, patience and maybe a little luck, you’ll find some handsome whitetail deer head gear!

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Lone wolf alpha hang on

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I have a brand new in box Lone Wolf Alpha hang on tree stand. i bought it thinking i would use it during late muzzleloader but due to weather never got it hung. i took it out of the box to check it out and that is all the further i got. It comes with a safety harness and dvd both are unopened. $200 email me at loesshillsoutfitters dot com at gmail dot com have pictures. located in western iowa. can meet, mail, or deliver.

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Due to the fact that not everyone has access to a scale we are changing the rule to biggest doe instead of heaviest. This will be determined by using the simple BIG MAMA SCORING SYSTEM. Use the link below to see how to come up with your score and then submit it to the harvest page. A PHOTO OF SCORING MEASURREMENTS SHOULD ACCOMPANY KILL PHOTO.


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2009-10 IO.org Biggest Buck Contest.

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2009-10 Iowa Sportsman Biggest Buck Contest.


Rules are below: Please indicate which category/ies you are signing up for.

1. Two categories: Gun (shotgun, handgun, and muzzleloader) and Archery (Traditional, crossbow, and compound)
2. Largest score will be determined by P/Y and B/C scoring systems. Please submit bucks with a gross score. If you are unfamiliar with the systems please ask for guidance in scoring your buck.
3. Must be contestants buck and shot legally of course
4. Must be an IO/Iowa Sportsman member to participate
5. Buck must be shot in Iowa or bordering states. Buck must be shot in 2009/2010 seasons.
6. Score can be determined instantly, no drying time required.
7. Once your buck is scored post the score and picture on the harvest report page in the Deer Hunting Forum.(If you don't know how to post a picture let an admin or friend know and they will take care of it.)
8. A picture is required. A second picture also may be required to claim prize. Photo needs to be taken day of kill.
9. Contestant can turn in a bow kill and gun kill, one buck entry per category though.
10. Prizes will be given to top bucks in each category-overall biggest buck gets the grand prize-Knight Muzzleloader
11. Last day to sign up is SEPTEMBER 30. Winners will be announced in January.
12. There is a 16 year old age limit.
13. Admins reserve the right to make amendments to the rules up until September 30.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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