Our hunter arrowed this 10pt last night around 4:30pm (Nov 6th). Sorry for taking a horrible photo where the left G3 is blocking the left G2. Having rumen, liver, and heart in a blood recovery was definitely a unique one for me, but the deer went a total of 200yds from the shot, so it was a good recovery. Starting the track at 8, the buck was at the processor by 10:45pm. This was a special recovery for me as it was the first one that my son, Brantley, was able and wanting to come with. Not sure how much he helped, but he did a good job with the flash light and not stepping in the actual blood trail. He became the pack mule out as we carried the deer out like the old timers since we couldn't get the Ranger into the deer.
Earlier yesterday in the morning, we had a hunter in Zone 5 make a clean miss at a stud that is either this buck below or one slightly larger than the one below with long main beams. That was that hunter's first morning, so he has time for some redemption.
We have been hit by some EHD as we have found a total of 5 dead deer on two farms, one in each zone (5 & 6). Yet, those farms are showing slightly low to decent deer numbers right now, so not sure what to think. We have not seen many mature deer on cam for a couple days now, and most all of our trail camera action has been nocturnal. Between warm wether, barometric pressure, moon phase, and EHD influence, this has been the oddest pre-rut and rut I have ever seen. I would say the action has been 75-90% nocturnal, maybe more, which does happen in the rut occasionally. The saying with this is that "the rut is still happening - just at night". Well, until Iowa legalizes spotlights on bows, I don't think we have a great chance. Yet, it's still Southern Iowa. It's still sweet November. Anything is possible.
Today is my all-time favorite day to hunt each year, and if I was a betting man, I'd bet November 5-11 each year when picking vacation time. Some people prefer to hunt the pre-rut, but we have never had the same amount of success then. I also have hunters get super aggressive in that stretch, which tends to delay good movement until the middle or late rut phase. Anyways, I am just excited to be in the rut now. We will see what happens. Luck hasn't been on our side yet besides our hunter above who killed last night. Yet, we are persistent and committed, so we will see! Wish us luck!
We have about 11 days left of archery hunters in hunting but most will be gone within the next 4-5 days. Then, it is prep mode for gun season - which will be in the coming blog posts in mid-to-late November.
We hope you are having a good hunt wherever you are hunting. If you knock something good down, send some photos and details! Love to see everyone's success!