THE REQUIREMENT GUIDE
ON THE ENTIRE PROCESS
FROM BOOKING TO COMPLETION OF THE HUNT
BEFORE BOOKING THE HUNT
1. Review MDLO's website, content, and linked documents thoroughly, taking notes & jotting down questions to ask MDLO (if any arise) prior to booking. This is your opportunity to learn everything about MDLO, especially how the hunts are conducted, reasonable expectations on you as the client/hunter, etc.
2. Via email to MDLO, schedule a time to speak with MDLO over the phone to go over any questions, comments, concerns, scenarios, etc., that will help you understand MDLO and our hunts better.
3. Speak with MDLO making sure all questions have been answered and you end the phone call with a firm understanding & awareness to what MDLO offers.
4. Review MDLO's Hunt Agreement (being updated for 2023) to make sure you agree to all conditions.
5. Review MDLO's Booking Terms & Conditions to make sure you agree to all conditions.
6. Email MDLO specifically regarding any questions, comments, or concerns on either of the two documents (4.,5. above) or schedule a call to go over such. Documenting such is important to keep proper awareness.
7. Confirm with MDLO as to the current Hunt Availability of the MDLO Hunt you plan on booking. (Website shows most current Hunt Availability).
BOOKING THE HUNT
8. Submit your online Hunt Booking Form and Hunt Deposit to MDLO.
9. Receive your MDLO Hunt Invoice PDF from MDLO within 5 business days of booking and keep saved for your records & reference.
AFTER BOOKING & BEFORE THE TAG APPLICATION
10. Purchase any required Non-Resident Preference Points the years (one point per year) prior to applying for the tag. Please review our Iowa Licenses & Tags Site Page.
11. Plan accordingly to make sure your February 1st 50% Hunt Balance Payment reaches MDLO before February 1st to avoid any late fees.
12. Spend your down time researching Iowa deer (body size comparisons, antler size comparisons, age estimations & known comparisons, etc., online via Google and other mediums (Hunting shows & profiles)... train your eyes & brain. MDLO will send you trail camera photos in the current hunt year to also review.
PRIOR TO APPLYING FOR THE TAG IN HUNT YEAR
13. Contact MDLO in mid-April of your hunt year to discuss the upcoming Iowa Non-Resident Licensing & Tag Lottery via The Iowa DNR that opens in the first week of May. MDLO will tell you what you need to purchase, what Zone to apply for, and answer any other questions that you may have about the Draw Process. You will apply for your tag in early May of the hunt year via Iowa DNR's online system.
14. Await for The Iowa DNR Non-Resident Tag Lottery/Draw Results that are usually posted and announced individually via email in mid-to-late June... varies each year. The DNR will email you notification of your results.
15a. Upon unsuccessful draw results, your booking is automatically transferred to the next year under MDLO's 1-year booking extension discussed in the Hunt Booking Terms & Conditions. MDLO will be in contact with you to explain this further if such occurs. You will not continue on with these steps until you successfully draw.
15b. Upon successful draw results, The Iowa DNR will send out the physical license & tags in one envelope. Make sure to check your mail! This usually takes a few weeks to a month. Contact the DNR if you don't have them within 1 month.
AFTER SUCCESSFULLY DRAWING TAG
16. Plan accordingly to make sure your August 1st remaining 50% Hunt Balance Payment reaches MDLO before August 1st to avoid any late fees.
17. Once your overall/total Hunt Balance is paid in full to MDLO, the next steps are all for planning out and discussing your hunt.
AFTER PAYING FOR THE HUNT IN FULL & BEFORE HUNT
18. You will receive an email from MDLO specifically discussing your assigned farm, aerial maps, scouting report, etc., as well as where you need to look for your lodging (Client's responsibility), your meals/eating (Client's responsibility), and review MDLO's Recommended Gear List for your hunt. Email MDLO with any questions on this until finished.
19. Book your lodging properly. MDLO does not offer refunds due to any date/timeline leniency on the hunt schedule due to improper handling of and planning for lodging.
20. Schedule a Zoom video call with MDLO (you must use a computer, not phone) to go over farm boundaries, aerial maps, key property features & play, hunt potential(s), and more to better understand the farm that you are hunting on. This should be done no less than one month prior to your hunt.
21. Save all aerial map photos and scouting reports to your mobile device or cloud system to easily access such without needing internet (offline maps onX)
22. Keep practicing and gaining proficiency with your weapon system leading up to your hunt. Keep studying Iowa deer (age, score, size). Keep planning out your gear and storage (vehicle, personal). Get it all completed so that you do not feel rushed as your hunt approaches.
DURING THE HUNT
23. Arrive to Iowa at your lodging facility the day prior to your hunt starting so that you can comfortably unload, unwind, and relax. Your energy is valuable, and so is your calm focus.
24. Communicate with MDLO via text message that you have arrived to your lodging facility and are ready to go for the morning hunt. MDLO will then recommend you travel to your farm via personal vehicle to gain some awareness of the neighborhood and property from the roads. You might even spot some deer & gain some scouting intelligence. You should be on the phone with MDLO when arriving at the farm unless MDLO has told you otherwise. Please give MDLO 30-mins notice.
25. Retreat back to your lodging, relax, eat, and open your phone or device to study the aerial maps now after having seen the farm & driving around it and the neighborhood. It should make more sense to you now, and you'll be able to now make sound decisions based on the way of the land when/if needed.
26. MDLO requires consistent on-going communication via text message from you. Most importantly, MDLO requires a text message every day when you leave your vehicle to enter the farm, when you reach your stand/blind, when you are in said stand/blind safely & secured. Every 1-2 hours during the hunt at a minimum, instantaneous following deer movement that you see regardless of whether the deer are on MDLO's farm or neighbors. When the sit or day is over, you must text MDLO prior to descending your stand or leaving the blind, when you get back to your vehicle, and when you leave the farm.
27. If MDLO calls you, you must answer immediately. The only reason to now answer is a shooter buck is in range and you're about to shoot. Keep your phone charged with portable charging devices.
28. Repeat 26. daily during the hunt until Hunt Ends.
29. Listen and abide by MDLO's guidance and recommendations on how to conduct your hunt, even to the most acute details. MDLO would rather take blame than blame you for your hunt outcome if negative. Failure to abide by MDLO's guidance will forfeit your hunt and end your hunt immediately.
30. Specific instructions on how to handle the post-shot actions will be discussed with each Client prior to the hunt starting.
31. Specific instructions on how/when/if you are going to hang your own stand sets or blind will be discussed with each Client prior to the hunt starting.
32a. If no shot is fired during the course of the hunt and/or the hunt ends, you can try to book another hunt on a per-day basis from MDLO if such is available and offered to you. If not offered or available, your hunt is finished. You will need to have your gear and belongings along with your self removed from and off of the farm by the end of your last hunt day. If any gear is left, it becomes the property of MDLO.
AFTER A SHOT IS FIRED
32b. If a shot a fired during the course of the hunt, you must remain where you are, contact MDLO by phone immediately, and follow MDLO's instructions. Upon successful retrieval of your buck, the hunt is over. Upon unsuccessful retrieval of your buck, the hunt is at least paused - your hunt is either over or you can purchase the remaining days of your hunt again (broken down per-day at the rate of what your hunt cost was) or your hunt is over. This is offered to you by MDLO at MDLO's sole discretion.
NOTE: MDLO operates in a Hybrid DIY+Semi-Guided mode, meaning that no tips are required and are only recommended to MDLO if you feel that such was earned by putting up with you and your antics and/or their tracking skills and help dragging the deer out is worth it.