Military... considering retiring in IA

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

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  1. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    That last buck kill pic I just posted didn't get us to 11 pages so I will try this again.... This is the James Cartwright buck... killed in 1992. I wrote the article for North American Whitetail Magazine nearly two decades later (it had gone relatively unnoticed outside the local area until that time). This was a public land buck.... 200 3/8 net typical. It was my first paid article so my wife had it framed for me with my first paycheck for writing.

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  3. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    This one was killed on private but the buck frequented public where my friend was hunting him.

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  4. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    These pics aren't from my trail cams but they are pics of WA bucks I have collected from guys over the years.... all but one of them have been killed or dropped off the map... I have others that guys are still hunting that I'm not going to post for now. The one that hasn't been killed is very public so I will post it: (Only the daylight velvet is public land... he still had a lot of growing to do in that pic... he is still alive and being hunted... that pic was a couple years ago.. one of his sheds was found this year.... very massive.)

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  5. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Anybody know if video can be posted? I have video of a fairly exceptional animal.
     
  6. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    I tried to track down the story on this old monster. I had several people tell me they knew who had it etc... bottom line...nothing ever panned out... Love these old photos though.

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  7. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    A couple nice public land velvet WA Whitetail... not from my cams.

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  8. Booner

    Booner Well-Known Member

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    Never in a million years would I leave what you have established in Washington state. Unreal.
     
  9. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker Moderator

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    X2.. Those are some awesome bucks anywhere.
     
  10. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    It's certainly a sleeper. They are only hunted in the eastern half of the state and all of the bucks I have shown pictures of are from within 4 counties (the majority being from one). A lot of guys simply aren't entering their bucks. I know of one guy who has multiple bucks that would net B&C and none are entered. The archery typical record is only 175 but I personally know of several archery bucks that net in the 180's (no surprise considering the overall state typical record Cartwright buck was 200 3/8 typ and went unknown nationally for decades). The archery typical record is undoubtedly the most likely state record to be broken. I know of a couple still walking archery state records from last season alone (at least 180's net for both)

    It wouldn't be the easiest of places for a non-resident DIY to come hunt effectively. It really takes a lot of time to consistently locate and hunt these bucks in this habitat ... it would be very difficult to be successful with a week or two hunt and not much scouting. Additionally there could be a lot of issues accessing these deer for a guy coming in from very far out of state if he wanted to hunt the mountains where most of these deer I have posted pics of live. The altitude is often 2,500 - 4,500 (some higher) and the snow depths can create issues without the right equipment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  11. Booner

    Booner Well-Known Member

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    Kind of ironic you say this, as 10 years ago this is what Iowa was all about. I use to know quiet a few guys who lived by the line "loose lips sink ships". The less guys that knew the better. The less guys who you had to compete against the better overall experience you'd have. NOT the case anymore.
     
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  12. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Yeah.. the greatest concern for most of us are other locals who will start following you around or looking for where your truck is parked. I'm not as concerned about non-resident pressure like I would be in Iowa.
     
  13. Booner

    Booner Well-Known Member

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    The internet along with those so willing to share information can be a great tool for guys to gain knowledge. However, it can also be a guys nightmare. Within 5 minutes someone good with a computer can almost find anything they want about a person or even where a person hunts. This website has shown me that, you really have to be careful what you post about in regards to information you do not want others to know about. Not going to lie, there are members on here that have posted things and within a short time period I can tell you the exact location to where they are hunting. The trail camera pics that have been posted, one can thus correlated to other spots of the parcel/area and before you know it with a couple phone calls asking for permission someone's hunting those guy's "trophy deer" that would never in a million years have started hunting there had they not got on this website (or any other hunting/outdoor forum based site)

    Pretty scary thought to think about.........

    All it took was getting burned one time for me to realize broadcasting unwanted information on the world wide web for me to learn my lesson.

    I've got a buddy who is from a southern tear county and is good friends with some guys who run a fairly well known "hunting ranch". Couple years ago they busted a trespasser shed hunting who came all the way down from Wisconsin to strictly shed hunt the farm. Fella claimed he had honestly been doing it for years and said he had hit other "private" spots. Had a hotel room full of antlers he had shed poached. Guy had arial maps highlighted with spots he'd found shed from the year prior and had entry and exit ways in and out of farms, etc. Insane the extremes some people will go just for an antler. And over the past 5 years things around here have started to get to this point.
     
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  14. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    I know what you mean.. I saw how they did that with the Ohio Giant over on Archery Talk.

    I have been fairly open with sharing for years over in the WA forums and fortunately I haven't had too many issues. The closest thing I had to an issue was a guy I personally knew as a "regular acquaintance... semi-friend level" who heavily shed hunted an area where he saw my truck, found my stand and then ran it by me that he was thinking about setting up on the ridge line about 800 yards above me. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that and while it was his right to do so on public land I would ask that he didn't do that because it's obvious I am hunting deer traveling that small finger ridge and he would essentially be cutting me off (he acted as if he didn't realize this). I told him it was within his rights to do so but if he did do it then I wouldn't be speaking with him anymore.

    The only other issue I have had is people thinking they found my "honey hole" because they have one of the same bucks I have on camera (most aren't convinced..or don't realize...there is no "honey hole".... I cover a lot of ground).. My honey hole is the entire 1.1 Million acres of the Colville National Forest and the 1.6 Million acres of the Kaniksu National Forest... along with a ton of other state, federal and timber company land.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  15. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Wow... Did this make the news? For some reason I think I heard this story before... that's crazy though.

    We do have guys hit the sheds heavy in WA too but there are so many that are never found. I find old horribly chewed up sheds all the time... some of them are so massive that I wish I could have seen them before they were chewed on.... I will admit.. the shed hunting in WA is a lot of fun... in some areas it's possible to find Elk, Moose, Mule Deer and Whitetail all in a single trip.
     
  16. Booner

    Booner Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks like this. You can really see your military background coming out and your "realistic approach" in your responses. I've definitely enjoyed your posts.

    There's guys who will read this who I have willingly shared information with, spots I've shed hunted in the past (public land) that has produced and now I find myself getting beat to those spots by the same guys. Pretty sad deal, but thankfully as you grow older you see these things from different perspective and thus don't get as worked up as I once would have. It's crazy how much of a bug "shed hunting" is and what extremes guys will go to just to find em. It truly brings the best/worst out in a guy. If someone is on the fence about a potential buddies character; take him shed hunting. How he reacts to finding antlers on your farms/or places you took him will be a good indicator on what type of character he has (will he try and back door ya or will he be upfront and honest, stand up genuine guy who you can show that 180 inchers trail camera pictures to a know he won't resend or say a word). Hard coming by those guys now a days it seems like. Thankfully I've got some that I'm able to share my passion with.

    Same goes for hunting in general. This fall I had the privilege of sharing a stand with one of my best friends. He was the reason we had gained access to this particular piece of land that we had started hunting. Both of us had our tags and decided we'd both sit in this new set we had just hung. I told him he was first up to bad no matter what deer came in. Needless to say the biggest buck either of us had ever had the privileged of hunting (net booner) walked 20 yards into his shooting lane. He shot right over his back and the buck ran off. I hadn't even thought about grabbing my bow as I was in awe with what had just happened. I don't know too many guys who would have done the same thing for myself however the dude in the stand next to me would have. Friendships like that are few and far between. Like I said, it's a bad deal the way the hunting industry has shaped so many guys into "bone collectors" rather than "outdoorsmen".

    And I'm pretty sure the shed poaching incident couple years back was brought up on here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  17. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Just read my post and saw all the horrible typos.. please ignore.. I just came out of hernia surgery today and I'm still a bit loopy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  18. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Those are great friends to have. It's too bad that there aren't more people like that. I have friends like that in WA and I definitely hope I can find more like that in IA. Being able to trust people and share these things with friends is one of the things that can greatly enhance the joy of hunting...it's fun sharing big buck pics with friends and getting feedback on their ideas about how to connect. In IA I know it will be more important to be careful with information than it is in WA because it's just a completely different situation.
     
  19. Forestryguy

    Forestryguy Member

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    With the pics and the type of hunting you re able to do in Washington would stay put. Heck I may even put it on my radar for future trips or career moves.

    I am lucky that in my area most guys will respect you if you have access to private ground and not try to get in on it also. Public ground s a different game. I tried to make fiends with guys in the area, scouted, hung stands and thought we had a hunting schedule worked out to not burn the place out. Found out they were in there all the time. I took the time to scout out the exact spot that ducks were wanting to be on the river and took a couple of guys out there. That spot always has sign of people being there, when no one use to be in there. Needles to say, I do not share public ground information any longer.
     
  20. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    My next thread....
    "Iowa Hunter... considering retiring in WA" - geesh man, incredible.
     
  21. daniel93077

    daniel93077 PMA Member

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    Based on your previous comments I would definitely keep it on your radar for places to move. I will give you a lot of info here and can answer any questions you may have. I'm laid up in bed recovering from hernia surgery yesterday so I have a lot of time on my hands (bored out of my mind) and I love talking to people about this stuff anyway...so here we go. (chalk up any typos and confusing sentences to the percocet I am on.

    It is a seriously beautiful place to live and you can't beat the outdoor recreation opportunities in the area. World class small mouth bass/Walleye fishing, amazing fly fishing opportunities, Salmon, and even the largemouth bass fishing isn't bad in a lot of the lakes (though obviously not the 15 lbs + lunkers you see in southern tier states). I'm not a big fan of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as I believe they pit hunters against each other (purposely) and often look for ways to minimize recreational opportunity when it comes to hunting...if they are doing it accidentally they are idiots...either way it's the end result of what they do.

    All that being said... let me paint the picture for the extremely light pressure you would experience there. In WA you have to choose your tag/season.. You can hunt the Archery, Muzzle, or General season. You can only hunt the seasons you chose a tag for. For instance as an Archery guy I can only hunt 1-25 September and 10 Nov - 15 December (in one county..the other counties start 25 Nov - 15 December. All the game management units (GMU's) are not open to late season archery but all the GMU's are not open to late rifle either (which makes it nice for buck survival). There are some GMU's that are open for all seasons. I will also add that I regularly hunt the areas with the most pressure and the pressure is still relatively light (compared to the rest of the country) and there are still a ton of great bucks in those areas. The only way you can hunt all seasons is if you draw a multi-season tag (which the past few years has been a high draw rate.. but I haven't noticed any significant increase in pressure with that tag)

    Here is an example from a numbers standpoint. I hunt four counties and a number of GMUs but I will focus on the two GMUs that I have spend 70 percent of my time in. (numbers come from WDFW). I threw in the multi-season pressure but left out the Muzzle pressure because it's so low.

    Total Combined Area of the Two GMUs: 3,500+ Square Miles
    Max Archery Pressure in those areas: Approximately 1,600 hunters
    Max Rifle Pressure they receive in the respective season: 6,000 hunters
    Hunter days average for Archery: Approximately 7 Days
    Hunter days average for Rifle: Approximately 5 Days
    Archery success rate: 26-32%
    Rifle success rate: 19-20%

    I want to point out that the above hunters are deer hunters/harvest in general... Most of them are whitetail hunters but you will have a few guys hunting killing Mule Deer in these units too (rightfully so.. the numbers are small but there are big Mule Deer in that country if a guy knows where to look). I should also point out that all 3,500 square miles is not prime whitetail habitat. I have seen whitetail above 6,000 feet during the early season (not frequently but they are there). In the late season they are mostly at 5K and below... and if I remember correctly the Forest Service considers 3,500 and below to be winter habitat... though they will stay up to 5K below through most of the hunting season unless the snow gets to deep then they will move down.

    Out of the two units I am discussing one of them does not have a late rifle season so a two week rifle season is all the pressure it receives from them. It is also the GMU that opens to archery two weeks ahead of any other. In this case that leads to a little bit of heavier pressure during those first two weeks (though not bad honestly) and then it really dies off after the other GMUs open (because the early opening GMU is in an area of lower population and more remote from the largest populations centers).

    Considering all of the above you can get the picture... It's really a dream from a pressure stand point. The lower rifle success has to do with the fact that most of the hunters simply road hunt or get out of the truck and walk around... there is a ton of escape cover so they rarely get a shot at those old bucks in the mountains. In fact, I'm generally more worried about fellow bowhunters killing a deer I am after than a rifle hunter... That being said...there are many times I'm the only guy in an area seriously bowhunting a specific deer.

    The number of deer sightings in a day can vary greatly.. In the late 90's and early 2000's our numbers were much higher and if I hunted private land/alfalfa fields I have seen over 100 deer a day with 30-40 bucks and 15-20 being Pope and Young (with top end usually being in the 140-150 range). It would be rare to see something like that today as deer numbers are lower.....back-to-back bad winters a few years ago, higher predator numbers (poor predator management), EHD, and more than anything a drop off in Alfalfa production. In the mountains my best day has been about 20-30 deer sightings though on average I would say it is 0-5 per day. The cameras tend to show that suitable mountain habitat probably holds anywhere between 10 - 20 deer per square mile in the mountains with buck to do ratio being 1:1 ( sometimes buck ratio is higher and vice versa.. though honestly I see it in favor of bucks more than does most of the time).

    It's rare that I don't have at least one P&Y buck on any camera I put out but to be more accurate we could probably call it .08/1 or so. It probably isn't that high for the state a whole but I have learned what to look for over the years an I get into areas that aren't pressured. Sometimes you will be shocked what you see in the same area between the early season and late season. The National Forest has cattle on it until October in a lot of areas so it makes it more difficult to get deer pictures in those areas... I definitely don't write them off.. my biggest deer have been killed in those areas.

    140-145 gross is going to be your average nice mature buck with 150+ ratio being found on 1:20 camera site ratio and 160-180 being found on about a 1:40 camera site ratio. That 180-200 mark would be more like 1:200 cameras..and maybe more.. not enough data to gather that accurately..they just kind of show up when they do... but I know they are out there on any given year just waiting for me to find them...(haven't connected on that 180+ though.. when you focus your efforts on a single mature buck in any area of the country it's tough...but this is tough terrain with a lot of escape cover...fortunately the lower pressure helps quite a bit but they receive constant pressure from predators) . Bottom line I can't run 200 cameras a year but I can run 40-60 which is why I know that will find me at least 160+ on any given year.... My best year ever I had a 200+ gross, 180+ gross, and 2 160+ gross on camera along with a smattering of 140-160 gross bucks.

    There seems to be a much higher ratio of big Non-Typicals in WA than Typicals. However, I have found that I see far more typical frames holding 5+ points per side than I do in other parts of the country (Gordon Whittington even commented on that to me one time). If you go onto B&C you will see that Stevens County has 15 all time Non-Typical in the book (It is the 30th best county in the book for non-typical). The best Iowa county has 20 all time (Madison). Now.. I know both states have a ton of people that don't enter bucks.. and Iowa probably has a ton of others in the P&Y... However, if you consider that Stevens is not all prime agriculture habitat, has a smaller deer population than Madison, probably less deer being killed, etc... I think Stevens stacks ups as a great county from a sheer numbers standpoint... Stevens is also the county where the 200 3/8 (215 gross typical) Cartwright buck was killed so at a minimum we know the genetics and potential to hold a world record typical is there.

    However, when you look at the top-end of non-typical (and even typical on average) then you will find that WA doesn't stack up in what the Midwest can produce year after year... The biggest non-typical killed in WA scored 236 5/8 and only 4 deer have scored over 230. I personally have never seen any undocumented WA buck that would go over 236 in trail cam pictures or on someones wall. However, I have seen a couple old hunting photos of bucks that may go over 230 and I did hold one set of sheds that was in that 230 ball park (from mountain/big woods habitat).

    If we open the aperture a bit and focus on the inland Northwest (Eastern WA/Northern ID/Northwest MT) then we are looking at like habitat and this is what we see.... ID has produced 3 bucks over 230 with the biggest being 267 4/8..... MT has 6 230 plus but not all are from the NW and none are as big as the Idaho kill. However, in the 60's and 70's NW Montana produced three bruiser 190+ typicals with two of them being 199 and some eighths.

    If Elk/Mule Deer are your primary interest I would chose Idaho or Montana over WA but even if you did choose WA you couldn't go wrong (if you draw the right tags you can get on some of the best elk in the nation). For Whitetail I prefer WA but you would probably get a variety of opinions on that one... Of course WA has the blacktail which are some of the most challenging animals in the world to hunt and people fall in love hunting those creatures of the temperate rainforest.

    Anyway.. I hope this helps.
     

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