November 29, 2023, Hunt
About ten degrees too
warm but still saw plenty of deer. Also
too quiet. Not enough wind. That might
be why none of the deer picked me up.
Had deer go by on both sides. Couldn't
bring myself to offer a shot at the old
wide eight. He's definitely old. He
walked by at twenty-five to thirty yards
but never stopped. Saw the largest wad
of does and fawns I've seen in a long
time. I'm hoping that bodes well for
late season. Saw half-a-dozen bucks.
November 26, 2023, Hunt
Windy and I was in it.
Cold. My heated insoles seem to work
well. Sat in transition to feed. Hoping
deer would move early. They did. First
group was a doe and fawn with a small
buck behind. Two-year-old six. Gave him
a loud MAAA! He heard it and stopped at
thirty-five yards. They are definitely susceptible
to calling now. Just wish the right one
would come cruising my direction.
Main movement was last
40 minutes. Had an old wide buck at
thirty-five yards. Might have taken a
point blank shot. He's definitely got
some age and he is wide. Too windy and
thirty-five yards is on the edge of my
comfort range. I like them fifteen
Saw five bucks. All
the rest were dinks. Everything was
wired due to the wind. Some came
blasting by to get to the feed. As soon
as they get out of the wind they relax.
Almost like they are taking a deep
breath before they continue on to the
November 26, 2023, Hunt
Coldish! Had Two does
and fawn go by less than ten yards from
my cedar hidey-hole. No clue I was
there. Saw other bald deer back in the
trees. No bucks. Relatively slow.
November 25, 2023, Hunt
Quiet. Too quiet, so I
thought. Deer already on feed when I
drove in. Light snow. Had a doe and fawn
go by with a dink in tow. Watched them
as they headed to feed. Saw another buck
in their direction. My target buck (so I
thought). He went over to greet the
first three that had just went by.
Grabbed my grunt tube, gave him a single
grunt. Wheezed at him. He's looking.
After about thirty seconds, here he
comes, ears laid back, stiff legged.
Ready for action. Burly sucker. Fifteen
yards. I'm at full draw, his ears are
laid back, he had no idea I was there.
If he's my target buck I woefully
misjudged him (he's not). Let him pass.
He did a semicircle around the stand
looking for the challenger.
Didn't find him but
found my entry trail. It didn't bother
him at all. He was so worked up he
started rubbing on a bare steel T-Post.
Funny! He continued up the hill and hit
a licking branch. Perfect setup. The
buck just didn't have the 'IT' factor.
November 25, 2023, Hunt
Good hunt. Had a
parade of small bucks and does go by.
Nearby camera showed two shooters
overnight but nothing in my vision in
the morning. Cold but tolerable for
November 23, 2023, Hunt
Planned on a short
hunt. Turkey dinner commitment. The
short hunt worked out pretty well. Saw
two bucks behind a doe. Biggest being
140. Had a dink go by in the shooting
lane. Had a coyote at five yards. No
shot before he found my entry trail. He
was in range when I first saw him. No
bow in hand.
Had a camera
reasonably close. It sent me a picture
of a buck go by that looked very
interesting. Need a close-up look.
Fun hunt. Good turkey
and side dishes today.
Happy Thanksgiving to
November 19, 2023, Hunt
Went to the other
farm. Planned for a long afternoon sit.
Got situated early. Farm activity early
afternoon so I left and went back to the
other farm. Had enough time. Been my
luck this hunting season.
Figured I would sit
the field edge and take inventory. Saw
plenty of deer, lots of bucks but not
one buck would have been worth the drag.
Crazy year. Age structure is horrible.
November 19, 2023, Hunt
Had the thermal I
wanted. Went to the rub patch. Things
didn't look so good after daylight and I
was NOT well hidden. Very little
movement. A few bald deer. Left early
and went to address a camera that needed
a slight relocation.
November 18, 2023, Hunt
November 18, 2023, Hunt
Slow morning until
9:30. Then a doe came running under the
tree followed by a spike. I grabbed my
doe, knowing full well, big boy might be
a ways behind. He was, but not a
shooter. A three or four year old ten I
knew well. He posed at thirty yards
looking for his lost love. He needs at a
least a year if not two. He proceeded to
confiscate his property. For his reward
to rescue her from the timber tyrant the
doe let him breed her. That's a record
for me. I've witnessed three different
bucks breed does this November.
Quiet after that.
November 17, 2023, Hunt
Got a picture of a
probable shooter. Setup in the area. Saw
one two-year-old buck. It was so quiet
you could really differentiate his noise
from the squirrels before I saw him. My
view was limited. Had bow in hand ready
to go. False alarm.
November 17, 2023, Hunt
Weather was cool and
calm. Deer movement where I was at was
poor. One dink buck that bedded after
daylight. One two-year-old and one
three-year-old 130 class. Four orphans.
Pulled a branch from
in front of one camera and deployed
November 16, 2023, Hunt
Action started early.
Two bucks chasing a doe up the hill. A
dink and a 130. Guess who won the girl?
After the chase stopped, the small buck
collapsed to the ground. So did the doe.
Must have been going on for a while.
The doe eventually got
back up and the bigger buck bred her.
After a short time, she laid down again.
The 130 stood over her like a guard on
duty. Watching for any intruders. After
she got up again, he worked her like a
cuttin' horse, directing her the
direction he wanted her to go.
Eventually a challenger showed up, a
burly bodied 120 inch buck. Ears were
laid back but no fight ensued. The 130
inch walked a way. The new buck chased
the doe out of sight.
At sunset, the woods
came alive with bucks. Once at a time
they passed by the tree. Upwind and
downwind. They let me off the hook.
Thank you. The 130 must have made a big
semi-circle I wasn't aware of because he
passed right by the tree at about ten yards.
Do that again in two years. Symmetrical
10, Mr. Perfect.
Good hunt. Hoping the
lockdown ends soon and a shooter does
the same thing as the 130.
November 16, 2023, Hunt
It was 'do the
opposite' morning. Didn't work. Once or
twice a year I hunt a stand with a wind
that is opposite of when I would
normally hunt it. It didn't pan out. Saw
two little bucks and a fawn.
Moved a camera and did
a short walkabout to check on a place I
noticed last year. I call it a 'rub
patch'. It's tore up again. Need a
camera there for sure. Not sure how I
hunt it though. A south wind at this
location would swirl like crazy. I'm
thinking a calm morning and hunt the
November 15, 2023, Hunt #30, P.M.
Went to a different
farm in the afternoon. Made a major move
to get closer to the shooter from the
night before. I hoped to get closer
anyway. I had seen two mature bucks do
basically the same thing within the last
week. So I made the move.
Three little bucks was
all. Only one was chasing a fawn. Pretty
quiet evening. The peak of the rut is
definitely the lockdown of the rut.
November 15, 2023, Hunt
Went to a spot with a
lot of visibility and a stand I had not
hunted yet. Knew the wind was going
progressively change this morning. This
stand would work. Saw four small bucks
and an equal amount of does. Rattled a
few times. No response. Moved a camera.
Fairly uneventful morning.
November 14, 2023, Hunt
Not much confidence in
this hunt due to weather. My pessimism
quickly turned to optimism. Wasn't in
the stand five minutes and a doe
appeared with a buck in tow about fifty
yards behind. Running about half
Saw my first
no-doubter of the season shortly
thereafter. Two small bucks were chasing
a doe and he either stole her or they
were chasing his doe and he flexed. Not
sure. Either way he dwarfed the two
bucks and doe. He bred the doe after
some trial and error as she could barely
hold his weight. He got it done though.
They lingered in the same general area
for the next hour-and-a-half then
moseyed over the hill. Finally!
Had another small buck
galloping behind a doe who too was
galloping right by the stand. All-out
sprint. The orphan fawn was bleating and
running trying to stay with the pair.
Tomorrow is the
supposed peak. Hopefully the action is
November 14, 2023, Hunt
Hunt started out on
fire and then fizzled out. Saw a dink
cruising. Then saw a dandy eight on the
same path cruising. Seventy-five yards.
Then saw a 140 ten on the same path
cruising. Bucks following bucks. We've
all seen it before. It's the rut. Saw
one doe after that. Grunted at the eight
and ten. They looked but trusted their
nose more than their ears. They couldn't
see the action either.
Gave this stand a
couple of years to produce. It did not.
Pulled it. A tree has fallen across the
trail about 50 yards away. Their
movement has changed enough that my
confidence no longer exists with this
November 13, 2023, Hunt
#25 & #26, All Day
10-1/2 hours in the
stand. I have tree stand butt. Counting
it as two hunts. Long ways back. Saw
more than six bucks in the morning,
might have been eight, not sure. All
small except for one. He might have been
140. Two dinks sparred right in front of
the stand for a good ten minutes. Fun to
Afternoon was a total
bust. Had a small buck bed about 150
yards away. He watched all my antics in
the tree stand but never left. He bedded
before noon and didn't get up and leave
until 4:30 with a doe. That lack of
movement makes it tough. I had had
enough by sunset. Climbed down to check
the field on my egress. A good number of
deer were in the field. Looked like
A couple of cameras
had good activity mid-morning. Decent
bucks. The one might have been a new
buck but hard to tell. Good tine length
but short beams.
Had a squirrel visit
my perch numerous times during the day.
He would climb down the limb (inverted).
Stop about my eye level on the back of
the limb and bob his head back and forth
from one side of the limb to the other.
It was like whack a mole. Curious little
November 12, 2023, Hunt
Went to the tree
without much optimism due to the temps.
As soon as the sun dropped below the
tree horizon the action started. Temp
felt like it dropped ten degrees. A
couple of does came blasting by to my
west with spike not too far behind.
Shortly thereafter two two-year-olds
came by on the same path one at a time.
I gave the first one a PSSST! He stopped
and posed for a virtual shot at 30. The
second one came through, I gave him a
PSSST! He was wired! A squirrel made
some rustling in the leaves near him and
he turned inside out :). They all ended
up in the field. I was in a transition
It wasn't long and
here came one of the does with the spike
right behind. Right under the tree. A
short time later one of the
two-year-olds came trotting in looking
for the action. Five yards from the
tree. Chaos! I love the insanity of the
Iowa rut. It's unpredictability is
frustrating yet enjoyable when you are
in the middle of the action.
The two-year-old could
not find the action he was too far
behind. He ended up 70 yards southwest
of me. He heard all the leaf crunching
from the spike hot on the trail of the
doe as they were runnin' and gunnin'
north of me. He came blasting back and
eventually chased the doe into some CRP.
AS does almost always do, she stopped
and peed. OF COURSE he found that spot
and lip curled. It's guaranteed to
happen! I swear it's a defense mechanism
of the does to slow down the constant
chased another doe out into the field
further west of me.
Good hunt. Fun to
watch. That's why I love the Iowa rut
even if half the herd is dead from the
To top of this weird
day, I backed into my garage stall when
I got home and there are two piglets in
my front yard. WTF! They tried to come
in the garage with me! Not going to
happen! NO no no no. I chased them over
to the neighbors. Let them deal with
them :). They are farmers anyway.
Weird day and it's not
full moon but loaded with memory making
November 12, 2023, Hunt
Well I didn't see any
bucks but had a laughable sit. Had a
coyote come from my behind me to my
left. Before I could get my bow and get
my release hooked up he had passed my
window. I squeaked at him. Oh yea! here
he came. I'm at full draw. At the same
time two raccoons were 3 yards from my
cedar trees. Then it got western. The
coons were running for cover, I think
the coyote got my scent or got spooked
by the raccoons. The coyote took off. No
idea where the coons went until about 15
minutes later. I heard a bunch of
purring like a content cat. Here they
came scooting down a tree about 15 yards
away. Purring all the way. I think they
wondered what the ruckus was all about
November 11, 2023, Hunt
Rushed out after the
family event. Saw two bucks and a few
bald deer. Both bucks were definitely
hard after the does. I think the does
stop and pee to distract the bucks and
then take off. The bucks will do
everything they can to find that spot
and get a snoot full of that urine.
Happens every time. Those does are
November 11, 2023,
No Hunt, A.M.
Decided to glass. Had
family obligation middle of the day. Saw
6 deer including one buck chasing a doe.
It was buck I wanted to lay eyes on.
Nothing special. Wide 8. Deployed three
November 10, 2023, Hunt #21, P.M.
Beautiful night to be
in a stand for the Iowa rut. Saw all the
bucks and does on the farm I think. Deer
everywhere. Only problems? Way too quiet
to execute a shot and never saw a
shooter. Saw the same two ten pointers
I've seen prior. One is maybe 125. He
walked under the stand. Looked sick or
wore out. Could have been either with
the crud running around like it is.
Second was tending a doe at quitting
time. Three year old maybe 135-140.
Provided some tending grunts for my
enjoyment and herded her like a border
collie. She was going one way and way
only if he had anything to say about it.
Doe looked wore out. She complied.
Very enjoyable hunt
but disappointing no mature bucks. It
will require a move-in I believe on this
farm. Still time for that to happen.
Plenty of does around.
November 10, 2023, Hunt
Farm activity early. Baled. Went home
and shot the bow.
November 9, 2023, Hunt #19, P.M.
Windy! It even sprinkled
a little. Mini cold front came through.
Deer were edgy. Squirrely. Started off
good with a couple of fawns and a small
buck. Midway through the hunt two bucks
came blasting by but no idea why. Did
not see a doe. Good movement started at
five. Pretty sure I saw my target back
in the woods but do not know for sure.
Looked like he was scent checking and
also may have been following a doe. Long
Also got pictures from
another hunter friend of more EHD deer
near the other farm. Five. Mother Nature
shows no mercy.
November 9, 2023, Hunt
November 8, 2023, Hunt #17, P.M.
Decent wind although I was getting a lot
of kick-backs early on. Watched a puff
of leaves come out of a tree next to me
(I assume from a nest) and a squirrel
landed from thirty-feet up with a thud
on the ground. He must have been dazed
because he didn't move for a few
Had a nice looking two
year old trailing a doe around sunset
time. I gave him a PSSST! He stopped for
a virtual shot then moseyed on. That was
it for the day. About eight hours in the
deer woods. My feet hurt from the walk
in and walk out from the deep incursion.
November 8, 2023, Hunt
Went deep. Half mile
deep. Dud for five hours. A couple fawns
and a couple small bucks in the
distance. Nothing close. This location
has been perennially good since I
started hunting this farm. Difficult to
get to and a long walk. Horrible hunt.
I've killed a buck here, seen some
knock-down drag out fights, watched a
Booner class wounded buck for half day
at this location. Not wounded by me by
the way. Nothing worth talking about
today. One day about 15 years ago I
counted over 25 bucks go by. Not any
more. This location jumped the shark a
couple of years ago.
Had a camera a quarter
mile south of me on fire with bucks
chasing a doe if my interpretation was
correct. Late morning action. And by the
way, I sat that stand yesterday morning
and it was a dud.
November 7, 2023, Hunt #15, P.M.
Second worst hunt of
the year behind the morning hunt.
Horrible. One small buck. Nothing was
November 7, 2023, Hunt
Worst hunt of the
year. Two small bucks in over four hours
this morning. Nothing was moving.
November 6, 2023, Hunt #13, P.M.
First deer out were
two fawns headed for feed. A little
later I saw two dink bucks raising all
sorts of ruckus with a doe. Crazy chase.
Saw a small buck after sunset and then
what may or may not have been a shooter
on the horizon at quitting time. Too far
away and too quick of a glimpse with the
10x42s but definitely wide.
Need to regroup for
November 6, 2023, Hunt
Morning started off
with a bang. Had a tree stand I wanted
to climb into but needed more north in
the due west wind. Planned to sit all
day so did not race the sunrise. First
mistake. Got to my ground spot. Killed a
buck there a few years ago. As I'm
getting setup I hear noise. I watch as a
small buck jumps the old fence downwind
of me. Dang it. I hear another noise and
holy smokes there's a shooter at 20
yards. Wide! He comes to 15 as I'm
frantically trying to load an arrow.
He's wondering what the commotion is as
I'm trying to get setup. Fruitless. He
snorts. Bounds off a little bit, then
walks over the hill. Stupid!
The rest of the
morning was slow. A couple of small
bucks and farm activity so I relocated.
November 5, 2023, Hunt #11, P.M.
Another slow hunt.
Does only came out to feed and they came
out early. My anticipation was high. Had
one camera with some buck activity this
afternoon. It's one of my favorite
spots. Close quarters. Have not hunted
it yet waiting on something decent to
walk by the camera. One buck may have
potential. Too far from the camera in
the trash to
November 5, 2023, Hunt
Slow hunt. Two small
bucks and they were not in a hurry to
get anywhere. Cameras were slow too. Not
much to add.
November 4, 2023, Hunt #9, P.M.
A couple of fawns went
by early on their way to feed. Good buck
action the last hour. Two three year
olds appeared to be after the same doe.
It makes sense with all the dead EHD
does that competition by the surviving
bucks for the surviving does will be
intense. Hopefully the survivors pass
their genetics to others so we don't go
through this again. The numbers of dead
deer I'm hearing are staggering.
Population taking a major hit.
Deer had no idea I was
in my perch. I like those types of
November 4, 2023, Hunt
Different farm. Needed
new scenery. Saw a dandy 8 tending a doe
on drive in with the headlights. Open
country. No world beater but worthy of
my chase. Mature.
Tried my new half a
blind. Three panels with hubs and rods
that fold around me on my stool. I like
it. Deer see it but pay it no attention.
I needed this five years ago. It's
inexpensive and light. I can shoot over
the top. Perfect.
Heard a ruckus in the
dark about 70 yards away. Definitely
heard a snort wheeze. Never did see the
deer at daylight. One buck back in the
trees while in my hideaway.
November 3, 2023, Hunt #7, P.M.
First pulled two
cameras. Did not produce for two months
and they were remote. They need new view
sheds. Checked a regular camera pointed
at a legacy scrape. No shooters last
Saw four bucks
tonight. Biggest maybe 125. He chased
one doe for a bit. The rest of the deer
fed all night. Wind was iffy for me.
First hunt from a tree stand. Been
numerous deer killed from the stand.
Doesn't look like it's going to happen
this year. No shooters in the area that
I'm aware of. Just hope.
I've got a different
plan but need some different wind.
Tomorrow looks decent.
October 29, 2023, Hunt #6, P.M.
New spot based on
camera pictures. Dud. Timing is
everything and my timing was bad
tonight. Did have a dink go by at 10
yards while I was sitting in my cedar
hidey hole. Saw two other deer.
Had a raccoon climb in
the cedar I was sitting beside. Young
one. No matter what I did to try and
scare him away he was determined to
climb that tree. After he got to his
perch it sound like he was about ready
to barf up a load. Sounded like a dog
getting ready to puke up a pile. He
eventually climbed back down and moseyed
Nicer tonight than
October 28, 2023, Hunt #5, P.M.
Cameras much better
this week. New bucks. Decent bucks but
no whoppers. Where have they been? Still
hoping 'Rumor' poses for the camera.
Heard about him again tonight. Would
like to lay eyes on him or get a pic of
I did not wear enough
clothes. Should have head my heavy duty
long underwear on. Would have been much
better. The hand warmers worked good.
Glad I put them in the truck.
Saw five small bucks
and a bunch of does and fawns. One buck
did some chasing. Would stop and eat
some. Lay down for a while. Then chase a
little more. All the other bucks were
feeding. Saw a fawn that can't be a
month old or a dwarf. Twenty pounds at
Deployed a camera on
my way out. This next week should be
good. Would like it a smidge warmer.
October 22, 2023, Hunt #4, P.M.
Still looking for a
shooter. Chasing a rumor on a different
farm. Deployed 4 cameras yesterday
afternoon. One of the four was a
relocation. One rub had been touched but
not whittled. None of the legacy scrapes
had been touched. Hopefully capture a
photo this week or I'm questioning the
rumor. Still hearing HD reports. Not
good. The numbers are substantial too.
Hunted my same old
spot tonight. More observation than
anything. The field is pure green. I
don't understand the lack of big horns.
My doe friend spotted me from over 200
yards when I was glassing some deer way
in the distance. Do you think she would
leave me be. Nope. She slowly walked my
direction with her fawns in tow. Yes,
she settled in about 30 yards downwind
of my hidey hole. What a nag. I messed
with her. Started making all sorts of
stupid noises. She was totally confused.
I said screw it, drew my bow and settled
the pin on her shoulder at 35 yards.
Didn't shoot but let her watch as I let
her pass. She eventually had enough of
my antics and wondered back out to the
field with her fawns.
One small buck and
numerous does and fawns was the tally
tonight. No shooters. Hopefully by next
weekend when the weather changes the
final inventory will include a shooter.
The weather is gonna
be a changin'. Crops are well on their
way to being out. Hoping for an old
familiar buck or two to move back to my
October 15, 2023, Hunt #3, P.M.
Very hard to get the
gumption to go when no shooters have
posed for the cameras and EHD sounds
like it is running rampant in this area
of the world. Frustrating. Lots of dead
deer reports the last few days. Still on
observation hunts trying to take
inventory. Saw quite a few deer feeding
including a bunch of little bucks. Dinks
for the most part. Must have good
One old nag has my
number. She's checking for me now. Wind
was good for me until she decided to
walk a 100 yards to get downwind of my
hidey hole. She ran back to the group of
feeding deer. She snorted. The rest of
the deer looked when she snorted but
went right back to feeding. She must be
a "Karen" of the deer herd on
Lots of crops coming
out. Hopefully some beast of a buck
decides to move in. One can only stay
optimistic at this point.
October 8, 2023, Hunt #2, P.M.
Went back to same
place. Similar results. Bucks and does
came out to feed. Biggest was a
three-year-old 125. He came out early.
Still hoping to see a shooter that is skirting
my cameras. No-go so far. Had a flock of
long beards come out too. I can never
catch a break with those darn things.
Their eyes always catch my slightest
movement. One put and the whole deer
herd goes on alert.
October 7, 2023, Hunt
Fun hunt. Saw lots of
deer but zero close to a shooter. My
prediction is for a lousy year of
bowhunting. No shooters on camera yet.
Biggest might be mid 130s. The bucks haven't
moved in, there's too much farm activity
or they don't exist. Do not know. With EHD around again
they could be dead.
Hoping for a BOAL but
would be happy with a mature