Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Does of Iowa Part 2

Several days ago I had walked the entire bottom land of the farm I intended to hunt.  I was looking for hiding places that would give me the advantage depending on the wind.  I have been winded by deer many times when not only deer hunting, but turkey hunting up at Fort Calhoun.  After spending a half a day scouting, I was ready depending on the weather.

Just as a side note.  I have friends that harvest a fair number of deer every year, and they rub their clothes with a halved apples.  I am going to try this.
Normally I would like it balmy, but this time I wanted it to stay cold and frozen.  I can dress for that.  I would be driving across part of a feed lot to get close to the locations I planned to hunt.  If anyone knows about feed lots in Iowa when it thaws, it is not a good thing. That night a warm front moved in, and it rained.  This is not good.  I decided to wait for colder weather.  Two days later, the snow was almost all gone, and colder night time temperatures moved into southwest Iowa.  This was what I wanted.  The ground would be frozen in the morning, but by noon, I had to be off the farm as the temps warmed up and the sun came out.

The night before the hunt the temp dropped into the teens, and the next morning a temperature inversion had moved in with light fog.  I was at the farm by 6:45 AM, and sitting down at my spot by 7:00 AM.  It was dark, cold and humid.  Visibility was non-existent, and I had to use a flashlight to find my way into the edge of the woods where I wanted to hide.  I did not like that. You can see better when snow is on the ground.  I sat down and got myself situated.  By 7:30 it was starting to show signs of light.

At 7:45 off to my left came six small does.  There was no wind, and the air was dead still. They were coming into the woods from the corn fields to my left and above me.  I had seen some bigger deer that this, but when you hunt for meat, you take what you can get.  They moved slowly heading up the lane right in front of me. They were not over 20 yards away. Stopping to stare, they sensed something was not quite right in the woods.  They would take a few steps then stand and stare.  I had a friend tell me to never look back into their eyes.  Why not?  I did, and nothing happened.  Then four more anterless deer came slowly from the south.  These were bigger, and I picked out one nice size doe to focus on.  The small deer were now in my way, and I did not want to shoot one of them, but they kept standing there looking at me.  I kept saying to myself, "Move it or you will be at the processors in 60 minutes." 

The bigger deer seemed to push the smaller ones forward, and my opportunity presented itself.  One nice big doe, not more that 20 yards away, paused to stare at me.  Meat was in the freezer, and it was not even 8 AM. A quick job of field dressing, driving my truck down to pick up my harvest, and I was gone from the farm by 9 AM. 

This was a great morning.  I still have two more tags to fill and I have two more people that will take deer.

If you have a great story along with a picture(s) send it to me.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank.


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