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Halloween Hunting in Southern Iowa 2023 - Operational Update & Perspective

First, here is quick update on my archery hunters thus far:

Hunter #1 - Arrived Thursday to hunt Friday, but all clothing was delayed in Atlanta Airport, wasn't able to start until Saturday afternoon. He had a mature shooter encounter first night, but couldn't shoot due to too many deer close to the blind and moving would have spooked them. I told him he should have forced it. Ha! Since then, it's been slow with some young deer and does only. Low to normal deer numbers.

Hunter #2 & Hunter #3 (Group #1) - Arrived Friday to hunt Saturday, Hunter #2 was at full-draw on a shooter at 40yds by the end of the first sit, but no shot could be made in time before he got to cover. Hunter #3 has seen some deer, definitely not a lot, but no shot opportunities. Where these hunters are seems to be low deer numbers as nothing is showing on cam much. We are covering 200acres with 3 cell cams and 1 non-cell cam. Hard telling what we are missing. Not seeing much buck sign (scrapes or rubs).

Hunter #4 & Hunter #5 (Group #2) - Arrived Saturday to Sunday morning, Hunter #4 ended up getting a kidney stone on drive in, so they have been back and forth to the hospital(s) for relief. Today, Halloween (Tuesday), they are driving to a big hospital specialist for hopefully an answer. Hunter #5 has been able to have 1 x half-day sit so far. Hunter #4 hasn't hunted.

So, we have had two (2) encounters and eh-shot opportunities so far, but the action has been relatively slow. Cams are showing most movement during dark hours of the day, and I am just starting to see decent scrape action, about a week behind schedule. I will conclude that the full moon sparked things a little, but since has been poor. I don't think the moon has helped whatsoever. Also, finding some EHD deer in Zone 6 was unfortunate, but it was only 2 deer in a very populated neighborhood not showing any reduction in deer numbers from prior years. So, it is either A) deer are being very nocturnal right now or B) we have lower overall numbers in Zone 5 due to some EHD or C) Both. Hopefully, the next few days brings us some quality encounters with some quality deer. They're out there. In years past, we have seen this timeframe be almost like a lockdown (not every year though) where a couple does have hit early tying up the mature bucks. We can tell when that fog has lifted as the action starts to heat up nicely into the first week of November. I tell everyone this - my favorite days are Nov 5 - 11 for a reason.

Check out my instagram (@matt-petersen-iowa) or our Facebook (@MDLOutfitters) for more recent content from the cameras. We update there more than we do the blog. The next blog post will hopefully be about a hunt & recovery! Stay tuned.

This big-bodied ten is bigger than he appears, he'll push 150-155" and is a good representation of the low-end shooter label here at MDLO.

This tanker is pushing 155-160" (maybe more) and is a great representation of Southern Iowa whitetails. Total shooter!

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