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2021- the BIZARRE Year!!!!


Active Member
We had plenty of good deer on cam, but more than usual were only at night. I only saw 1 mature deer from the stand during bow season and the only rut activity I saw was in late Oct. until 2nd gun season. The buck I shot on 12-11 was with a doe, and my brother saw several bucks bumping does during the 2nd gun season. We had more mature bucks in daylight on cam during a 4-5 day stretch in Dec than we did the whole month of November.

It was a strange year for sure. No clue the reason why.


Staff member
After guiding all fall I can attest to this being the worst hunting season I've ever witnessed (Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope, Whitetail) up until the last couple days. On average I'll see 1 mature 140"+ buck per day during whitetail hunting season here in Iowa. I believe I only saw eight mature 140"+ bucks ALL firearms/muzzy seasons, which was extremely unusual. I had less deer on cameras, but, I'd still see 20-25 deer per day on average. I have farms that normally have 10-20 deer on them every year and now they only have 1-2. EXTREMELY unusual year, I remember even messaging Skip about it earlier in the year and how odd it was.


Staff member
I'm going to be darting deer in Illinois soon, I'll see how they react and my success there this year compared to last year. I don't know if we'll be administering COVID tests to these deer or not, but, I'll keep you updated.


PMA Member
Curious if now that season is closed if anymore thoughts emerged. For me I think it comes down to more human pressure in a variety of forms, more dogs around than ever before and generally hot weather. Deer did not go to usual spots this late season. Think alot got pushed off the farm by dogs...


Active Member
I think most of the cattle in nw mo May have had Covid in 19 and 20. Calves were crap for many many farmers. Cows weaker and acted sick. Not all at once but many of us agree that something affected the cows an calves. 2021 they are back and my calf crop was awesome this year compared to the last two years.

As far as deer go we have had the three best years on camera that we have had. Sightings are always almost next to zero. Hunting pressure is massive everywhere. I think a lot of times your outlook is on how your season went.
We also discovered this year that having 8 cameras on 4 acres made all the difference. We had a 185-200” buck we were after. Nephew killed him 1/2 mile from all of our videos and pics. But him and 5-6 other good bucks traveled no where until the rut. They stayed on about a 20 acre patch all summer and fall. Having a bunch of cameras 80 yards apart(not normal) for us we discovered that the bucks are there but they would be on a different camera every week.
We learned just how tough it is and lucky to get pics of mature deer. They could be there and just walked out of range of one camera but having another camera 80 yards away got them.
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