Updated: Sep 22
Yesterday was the first day in almost two months that our farms in southern Iowa got rain. Now, it wasn't enough to fill the creeks, but it was hopefully enough to get your few food plots growing. We planted them about 3-1/2 weeks ago, and on that day, the Derecho hit Iowa. We got a little rain that day, but it was no more than 1/2". That plot might have started with that 1/2", but with yesterday's rain, it might help it! We have a couple of other plots that should have started with yesterday's rain as well. We could sure use more rain over the coming month leading up to "Opening Day" of the 2020 Iowa archery season. If we don't get it, I'm afraid that the corn will be harvested much earlier than normal, acting in opposite fashion of last year's extremely late harvest in December.
The next step for us in southern Iowa is to get stands up, blinds up, cameras checked, and eventually work cameras onto scrapes and food plots (if they come up). Cameras will be on scrapes, licking branches, and food sources by mid-October. This is also when rub lines will form, and we can get cameras on there as well. Recently, I had two hunters who are hunting in Zone 4 send me one cell camera each that they wanted put out on their farm. I got them out Sunday evening on my way back from hanging stands in Kansas, and within 5 minutes, we had deer at one of the camera sites. Pretty cool! If you are hunting with me this year in southern Iowa, and would like to send me a cell cam of your's to put out on your farm, get ahold of me. I know that not everyone has a cell camera laying around, but hey, if you have one, let's put it to use. I have 5 cell cams out right now in Iowa plus these additional 2. That should really help us hone in on them as we approach the rut.
Some of you may know this already, but the 2021 hunting season will be my first formal operating year in Kansas.
Here's the scoop. We were working on expanding into eastern Kansas as an operation this year with about 10-15 total hunters, but due to late notice, mostly COVID-19, and other circumstances, we were left to not formally operate in Kansas this year as an outfitter. However, we decided to partner up and lease some farms on a personal basis as a "test run" to see if we are in a good area, and if so, what is the potential highs and potential lows.
As of now, we have some close friends & past Iowa clients who are testing the waters for us in Kansas during the archery season and early muzzleloader season on some personally leased farms. Pending the outcome of this season, we will open the door for 2021 Kansas deer hunting!
What we look for in any farm, regardless of it's location, is the following:
• Neighborhood quality • Overall deer density • Buck genetics & age structure • Mature Buck to Farm Ratio • Crop Rotation • Habitat Evaluation • Ease of access for hunting purposes
We think that we have found some quality access at a minimum in eastern Kansas that will lead us into the 2021 season with the opportunity to expand westerly as dictated by the draw units and above characteristics. Here is a glimpse of what Kansas has to offer on just one of our farms... I think that we could be onto something special. Two different great non-typical bucks, one with NT on the left, one with NT on the right, both shooters in my book.
With Kansas being much different than Iowa, we have to do things differently there. Kansas requires very large aggregate liability insurance for commercial operators, a surety bond minimum, and an outfitting license. Thus far, I have been unable to get communication back from the state of Kansas for such, so we may have to get to that at a later date in the next year prior to the 2021 season.
If you would like to hunt with us in Kansas in 2021, there are a few things to know:
• The draw is much more lenient than Iowa's with the ability to draw every year to every other year based on a preference point system; strict application deadlines
• Kansas bow season opens mid September each year and runs through gun season until Dec 31st; we will have early season hunts, pre-rut hunts, rut hunts, and post-rut hunts for archery only. As of 2020, MDL is strictly an archery-only operation.
• You can hunt on bait, which is really a necessity to get the big boys up from the nasty thickets and swamps.
• Aside from unique differences in the deer behavior, Kansas hunts a lot like Iowa.
If you are interested, I recommend calling me at 563-320-6875 to discuss Kansas options, and if you decide to book, you can come right back to the website and click on the 'Booking' menu option with the drop down, or you can click this link: https://www.huntiowawhitetails.com/book-your-hunt
That's all we have for an update right now, stay tuned for the next one. Thanks, everyone!