Military... considering retiring in IA

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by daniel93077, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    I have spent my life (even as a kid) traveling around the country/world without a true fixed place to call home. My wife and I have always dreamed of living in Iowa. I am nearing retirement and we are certified Whitetail Nuts. Other states we are considering is Ohio, Kansas and Washington state.

    I know Washington probably seems odd but we have lived there longer than any other state and it is a beautiful area... with great whitetail hunting!!

    Here is my question. In WA state, with a lot of hard work... I can virtually guarantee that I will have at least a few 160-200 inch deer to pursue on any given year. I know Iowa is notorious for producing giants but is it reasonable to expect that a guy who is willing to put in the time (lots of time) knocking on doors and hunting public lands could hunt deer of at least this caliber every single year? (I know the knocking on doors is likely the most realistic situation since public lands are few in IA)

    I can tell you the nice thing about WA is that I prefer the public lands... lots of nice bucks and the pressure isn't too bad.
     
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  3. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty tough to beat! Never would've guessed WA to be a whitetail hunting state. :)
     
  4. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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  5. AIRASSAULT

    AIRASSAULT PMA Member

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    Thanks for your service.. I spent a little time at Ft Lewis myself for a mobilization. Awesome scenery up there but the amount of dreary days can take a toll. To answer your question, Ive lived in Iowa my entire life and I still sometimes struggle to have a huntable 160". Sounds like you will have a lot of time to scout though and that will be key. Public is somewhat small and can get crowded but if you knock on enough doors, you should have success. I can usually expect to have a 150+ with in shooting distance every year.. I'm only hunting 10 acres. Find the right area and I believe you will have a great time.
     
  6. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There are 600,000 acres of public hunting ground in Iowa (not sure how that compares to Wash. ). You are going to be hard pressed to find many booners living there, although it certainly does happen. There is just so many other places that they can go that don’t get touched. That being said I was aware of and hunting a 180" that was living on state ground this past year. I live very close to a large chunk of public. I can tell you it basically goes untouched during bow season, especially during the week. Weekends you may see a few trucks. Shotgun…..well no thanks. ​
    As for knocking on doors….it may work…but it is harder and harder. It is going to take a lease to get on anything good (in most, not all cases)​
    We did a similar search over a year ago. This included Illinois, southern Ohio (Athens area), Kentucky, etc. If you can all but guarantee yourself 160-200" deer why leave? That is about as good as it gets....even in Iowa.​
    Lastly and most importantly…. Thank you for your service
     
  7. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    yup....with those pics I would not be going anywhere.
     
  8. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Loess...the above are a few of the public land WA whitetail I have hunted. The hunting is truly great there but the absolute top end isn't going to be what you find in Iowa from year to year..... but 160-200 gross/class is possible to find every single year on public ground if you have the time to cover a lot of ground.
     
  9. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Thank you for your service too. I have spent all my time on the east side of the state. I would definitely have plenty of time to scout and knock on doors. I could cover a lot of ground. I think having a 150+ in shooting distance each year with only 10 acres is dang good. I have only found one small property in WA that I could do that on.... (and there it was more like 140+ rather than 150 each year)..... The only way I find the bucks above is by covering 40-50+ square miles each year.
     
  10. KnuckleDragr

    KnuckleDragr Active Member

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    First off thanks for your lifetime of service!

    As for your question, I don't personally know anyone who consistently has 200" deer to hunt. Key word being "consistently". I'm actually surprised that you mention those opportunities in WA state. Just don't hear much about trophy whitetails over there. 150"-180" is probably the norm for old mature bucks in areas that get managed well. With the occasional 200"+. The thing about Iowa is; there are great areas and not so great areas. I like to think that where I hunt in south-central Iowa is a great area. I see a fair amount of mature deer and some super up-and-comers, but have yet to lay eyes on a deer that would be over 200". Been hunting this area for about 15 years. I'm not sure if the neighbors shoot them too early or what.

    One thing for certain though, I can't think of too many places better than Iowa for a whitetail nut to live!
     
  11. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    That should've been my first comment. :eek: Thank you!

    Those pictures are amazing... makes me want to move to WA. :D
     
  12. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Thank you for supporting those who serve and thank you for the detailed reply...... Being a whitetail nut...I have always had this dream of living in the midwest (and particularly IA). My wife an I have spent some time in IA and really like it there... I also prefer to be surrounded by people who share this same passion (not as many people crazy about whitetail in WA..which I guess there are some positives to that too).More than any of that... Iowa's absolute top end (year to year) is better than WA will ever have (not that WA can't produce it... but it's just not likely)... We have giants in WA but IA has mega giants... I may never get a chance to hunt one of those (I realistically know they are few and far between)... but part of me is drawn to an area where it's actually a possibility. In the interim of course I would hope to at least have a realistic shot at hunting 160+ plus on a yearly basis like I can find in WA (I find them consistently but killing them consistently is a different story...usually takes a few years). In WA I can reasonably expect to take a 140+ each year. I have hunted in WA off and on for a decade and have never had a year that I didn't at least have one opportunity to shoot a beautiful mature 140 (the age class is pretty solid there in most places).
     
  13. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Thank you.

    I should clarify... you won't find a 200 each year in WA... What I meant is that you can find 160+ each year (pretty much guaranteed if you are able to put in the miles and time) with 200 being about the absolute top end you will find.

    It's great to get the perspective of people like you and the rest of the guys here who have hunted the state for so long. Thank you for the feedback.

    My wife and I have really enjoyed our time in IA... and we certainly enjoy the company of other people who are crazy about whitetail which makes IA even more appealing.
     
  14. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    First off thank you for your service! There are guys on here who you can pretty much expect a 160 plus out of every year. I would think in Iowa and covering a little bit less ground you could have the same results as Washington except it is much more pressured.
     
  15. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Thank you.

    I thought it might be possible but I do realize it's not a reality for most people because it is very difficult with every day life to be able to cover the necessary ground to consistently find these animals. The only reason I have been able to do it in WA is because my wife is a hunter. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't be able to spend as much time in the woods as I do.
     
  16. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker Moderator

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    First off thank you for your service.

    With the information I quoted from you, it looks like you have just as good of ground in WA as you would find in Iowa. Heck I put in more hours than I can remember this year in some great producing ground and didn't get a shot at anything over 130". Hope that gives you an insight on how Iowa isn't as great as the TV shows make it. Yes we produce some Giants every year but it looks like you are hunting the same class of deer we all chase in your trailcam photos. Let alone trying to get on ground with those kind of bucks on it in Iowa is becoming a very difficult process within itself.
     
  17. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    Curtis,

    Thanks for the reality check. This is exactly what I am looking for. In WA one certainly has the luxury of not having to worry about land access to hunt big deer.... it's a very unique whitetail hunt too... in the mountains 2,500 - 4,500 feet... no agriculture...just big woods.
     
  18. daniel93077

    daniel93077 New Member

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    A couple of bucks my wife has taken... the smaller buck was her first (TX) that she killed nearly a decade ago. The velvet is a WA buck that she killed on our 5 acre piece of land in WA. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker Moderator

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    Velvet... Another great reason to hunt in WA
     
  20. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's why I decided against southern Ohio. It made a lot more sense for family reasons, but I did not want to exclusively hunt big timber (not wrong or right.... just everyone has a preference)
     
  21. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    To add to what CW said just as an FYI.....going rate for leased ground is $10/acre and up. We have had some leases snatched away by some TV stars in southern Iowa that were willing to pay 3 times that.
     

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