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1 Buck state In iowa??

Would you be FOR a 1 Buck state for iowa?

  • Yes!

    Votes: 72 71.3%
  • No!

    Votes: 20 19.8%
  • Maybe, need to think about it.

    Votes: 10 9.9%
  • I have a better idea!!! (Post below).

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    101
I voted yes because Iowa's deer population is heading in the wrong direction and I'm for anything that would help. I'm a landowner and rarely buy 3 tags. I buy an archery and shotgun tag, usually don't fill both, sometimes neither.

For the sake of discussion though, I'm curious if it would really have the desired effect on the population or quality. How many actually fill both or all 3 tags? If you compare it to the declining turkey populations, the first instinct may be to eliminate the option to buy 2 spring tags. I think only 5% of people who buy 2 spring tags fill them both. So it's eliminating revenue while not actually accomplishing anything of substance.

Iowa's deer population is managed through shotgun season. Any meaningful change in population needs to be done there, but I'm not sure what that change would be. Some good ideas have been floated in this thread.
 
@Sligh1 , I actually buy and use my multi anysex tags in line with how you do.

1. Statewide Archery - This is my main 'Trophy' tag. It's the one that I get the most mileage out of. It never gets placed on an immature buck and rarely ever gets placed on a cull buck, or a doe.

2. Landowner Archery - This is less of a 'Trophy' tag. If I fill my #1 tag, this tag is motivation enough to go hunt 99% more often than if I had a pocket full of doe tags. It never gets placed on an immature buck, but often gets placed on a cull buck or doe. A trophy buck is a no brainer.

3. Statewide Late Muzzleloader - This is my lesser 'Trophy' tag. If I didn't have this tag, there aren't enough doe tags to get me out of the house. It only gets placed on a mature buck or a cull buck. Due to a usual full freezer by this time, and my lack of desire to drag and process a deer, everything else gets a pass.

I've had seasons where I've punched 0 of these tags, and I've had seasons where I've punched all 3 of them. My punched anysex tag success ratio over the years probably looks like this: / 0 = 15% / 1 = 50% / 2 = 35% / 3 = 10% / Rarely have I harvested 2 or 3 'Trophy' bucks in a season, but it has happened. A vast majority of my anysex tags, I eat tag soup or harvest a cull buck or doe with them.

If I were limited to one buck tag, I see most of my seasons being over by or before November 20th, as I usually have my buck by then, if I'm going to get one. Unless I absolutely needed the meat, hunting does wouldn't be enticing enough for me to put the time, effort and $ into hunting after that. Today, I hunt pretty solid from opening day to closing day. The opportunity to hunt a buck entices me enough to hunt the entire season. Limiting me to one buck would pretty well turn me from a full multi-season hunter who harvests cull bucks and does, to an archery only hunter, who won't harvest anything but a trophy buck.

(I used to urban hunt when I was younger to fill the freezer, and loved it, but never earned a 4th buck tag for the next season. It was aggravating when I had the biggest buck of my life (at the time) walk under my stand, and I couldn't shoot it. Party hunting is a blast, and my group has a discussion every morning about what's the acceptable buck characteristic for someone to harvest one with someone else's anysex tag.)
 
How has it worked out in Indiana as far as access? Did the 1 buck rule make any difference one way or the other? More or less locked up land? More or less pressure on public ground? Do you see more older bucks with inferior racks?

Personally, I'd love to see it happen here but what I want means nothing. There is no way that iowa is going to make any moves that appear to limit deer harvest from what it already is. Real world affects won't matter. It's a fun discussion but I doubt it ever happens.

Hard to answer this accurately as I have been here for 15 years and we have gone through a ton of changes. I can comment on my personal experience as well as my good friends I hunt with here.

1. One buck rule has applied the entire 15 years I have been here.

2. We have implemented rifles (any) and crossbows during the standard gun and bow seasons over the past 8 years.

3. We had stupid doe tag limits for many years. I could shoot 8 does in my county and an additional 3 statewide (that was every hunter). I knew guys that shot 8+ deer every year. This hurt our population bad

4. Despite 2 and 3 above I continue to see mature bucks on every farm I hunt, every year. I would say overall the buck age structure is better. This includes properties I have sole access to and 3 properties that are shared among several guys. I have to attribute this to the 1 buck rule working.

5. There has been zero impact to “locking up” land. It is the same here as every other place I have hunted. Not easy to get access but hand shakes and hard work still can pay off
-I do not hunt public, mainly because I do not have anything < 1hr away.

6. We do have more old bully bucks, we try to control this with harvesting them late in the year if we have tags or putting others on them that are happy to put a tag on them anytime (kids, those looking for meat, etc)
 
If we’re going with only 1 anysex, make it across the board, LO or not.
I’m entitled to 3 myself but have rarely used more than 1. I can’t recall ever getting all 3 in the same yr. I buy 3+ antlerless tags per yr and use them with my anysex as a backup. It seems like I always have at least 1 for soup.
 
Restricting buck tag opportunity even more will increase the feeling of urgency in people to make sure they solidify their own locked down private ground.

I've got TROPHY BUCK fever from the huntin shows I've watched.
I'm only allowed one buck tag, so on only one chance annually to bag me a big-un. Better make my time and $ count!
Too much competition on public ground.
Can't gain access to any private ground without renting or buying my own.
Better lock down my own private ground and keep everyone else out, so I can farm TROPHY BUCKS for myself. (Only adding to the problem.)
OR

Don't make enough $ to rent or buy my own ground, so screw this hunting stuff anyway. (Discouraging people from getting into hunting, or continuing to hunt.)

It's just another thing to feed the juggernaut that Iowa deer hunting has become.

While that may have some accessibility validation, I would like to mention that these landowners "locking down private" are having a great impact, positively, on the deer herd that would NEVER be done without them. Never. The amount of habitat work that needs done, and the cost associated is astronomical to many hunters.

Skip has been involved with hundreds of farms in Iowa, and I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, every SINGLE one of those farms holds more wildlife now than before. I would draw the conclusion that those farms, and the people 'locking them down' have had a much greater positive impact on Iowa's wildlife populations than the negative impact that can be attributed to loss of access.

It's impossible to fill 3 buck tags if they don't exist on the landscape. Iowa is 6-7% timber, habitat is our problem and it isn't getting better by large, gigantic farmer landowners ripping fence rows, removing timber to get every little acre they can muster for production. Most all agricultural practices, and I think we can agree they are the largest landowners in the state by 10fold, have absolutely no consideration for wildlife and certainly not the habitat they need to flourish.

Can every hunter own / have access on a highly managed property? Surely not. But they weren't going to hunt that property anyway due to lack of opportunity before we developed it from a useless cattle farm. Now the entire neighborhood holds more deer and wildlife opportunity in an area that did NOT hold deer year round before. The entire neighborhood benefits from the increased population.

I'm rambling a bit here, but it is all a balancing act. Access and hunter recruitment is vital for the future of our passion as well as a sustainable, flourishing population.


- Back to party hunting -

Yes, the loophole exists for non residents to get an antlerless tag and party hunt bucks using a residents anysex tag. The issue with this, as stated above, MANY times said anysex tag holder has absolutely no involvement with the hunt. It's a wife, sister, brother-in-law, grandma, grandpa, neighbor John, etc who hasn't hunted or doesn't hunt. I personally know of multiple gun groups with 20+ guys who 'supply the town with meat'. They've bragged multiple times that they have over 50 anysex tags. Literally, many residents of the town buy tags to give to these groups in hopes to get a deer in return. One group killed 27 deer in one small 40 acre section in one afternoon.

There is also a large amount of miscommunication that goes on. How many bucks get left laying because - "you aren't putting my tag on that", "OPE, we are out of buck tags and we've got 3 more laying here dead" oh well. I know of one individual who killed 5 bucks last gun season, as well as the one before that. 3 guys hunt together in that group. That math seems off!

I understand that the majority of our deer are killed during gun season and that we need those numbers to keep non hunters and such happy. But the apparent and blatant abuse of the system and the ease to do it, just doesn't seem right.
 
We have it here in Indiana, only thing that has saved our buck quality as we can use any weapon here (full crossbow and rifle). If we were killing 2 bucks we would have 0 left

Like Missouri?! It does help you can only take 1 buck before firearms in MO, but the majority are killed during the rut firearms season here so I don’t think it helps honesty.

Don’t ever let them move a firearms season into the rut, death of the mature buck herd..
 
Minnesota is a one buck state, but still allows party hunting. Some take advantage and shoot 2+ bucks.

Most guys I know will quit after one. I would like to see Minnesota limit party hunting to the gun season only. No need to swap tags during archery and Muzzy!

There are some zones in Minnesota which should be a buck lottery ! Farm country and then in NE MN, wolves, winter and too many hunters have knocked the herd way back !!
 
... I would like to mention that these landowners "locking down private" are having a great impact, positively, on the deer herd that would NEVER be done without them. Never. The amount of habitat work that needs done, and the cost associated is astronomical to many hunters. ...

... - Back to party hunting - ...
No doubt, but if the land is locked down, what good does it do for the average Joe hunter, (who happens to be 95%+ of the total hunting population)?

I'm a landowner myself, (not enough to 'manage' a deer herd on). I personally do have the means to rent / buy and lock down a good chunk of property to 'manage' a deer herd for myself, but I choose not to because I don't want to become part of what I see as a / the accessibility problem for my fellow average Joe's.

With that said, I'd still personally prefer to have easy access to more property with less 200" bucks running around the state, (like 20-30 years ago), than I would to have extremely limited access to property with tons of 200" bucks running around the state, (like today, and mostly on the land that I can't hunt). I believe most average Joe hunters share in my sentiment, but I could be wrong.

As for illegal tagging practices within party hunting... Criminals will always be criminals. Example: Politicians are fighting tooth and nail to take law abiding citizens guns away, or at least make it difficult for them to obtain guns, in order to prevent criminal 'gun violence'. This is one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard. It won't stop the criminals, because they never obeyed the rules to begin with.

If you personally know of someone breaking the law, turn them in. Do people think that illegal tagging practices don't take place in non-party hunting seasons? Criminals will always be criminals.

I know some of my views aren't very popular on this site, and I'm okay with that. We don't have to agree on everything. I respect all of you and appreciate that we can have calm and rational dialog without anyone getting cancelled.
 
No doubt, but if the land is locked down, what good does it do for the average Joe hunter, (who happens to be 95%+ of the total hunting population)?

I'm a landowner myself, (not enough to 'manage' a deer herd on). I personally do have the means to rent / buy and lock down a good chunk of property to 'manage' a deer herd for myself, but I choose not to because I don't want to become part of what I see as a / the accessibility problem for my fellow average Joe's.

With that said, I'd still personally prefer to have easy access to more property with less 200" bucks running around the state, (like 20-30 years ago), than I would to have extremely limited access to property with tons of 200" bucks running around the state, (like today, and mostly on the land that I can't hunt). I believe most average Joe hunters share in my sentiment, but I could be wrong.

As for illegal tagging practices within party hunting... Criminals will always be criminals. Example: Politicians are fighting tooth and nail to take law abiding citizens guns away, or at least make it difficult for them to obtain guns, in order to prevent criminal 'gun violence'. This is one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard. It won't stop the criminals, because they never obeyed the rules to begin with.

If you personally know of someone breaking the law, turn them in. Do people think that illegal tagging practices don't take place in non-party hunting seasons? Criminals will always be criminals.

I know some of my views aren't very popular on this site, and I'm okay with that. We don't have to agree on everything. I respect all of you and appreciate that we can have calm and rational dialog without anyone getting cancelled.

Where my macro concern lies is that habitat is dwindling, period. Eventually, without directed and focused management, the habitat loss will eventually lead to permanent declines in wildlife populations across the board.

I think we can take a some form of a parallel from what's going on with the turkey population declines throughout the east. Actually, I saw from Dr. Dwayne Elmore from OSU, that all ground nesting birds are on the decline east of the Mississippi. All of them. The primary commonality between the species in question is that they are ground nesting. That data suggests that loss of nesting ground, habitat, is the underlying cause of the population declines. Now this opens a whole rabbit hole that isn't at all related to the original post. I hope I came across in a clear manner here.


Let's flip the switch and just discuss our public lands and public access areas. Many of our lands could sustain 10fold the amount of wildlife they hold in many cases. I wish our DNR could some how afford to have a higher level of management on these lands to make every acre top notch. Only issue here is that it takes one guy full time to manage roughly 750-1000 acres. On that amount of acres, your talking an additional roughly $25-50k annually in operation expenses. Spread across all of our acres, I don't see a method to feasibly get to that level of management.

I'm 27 years young in this game, my two boys are under 2. The future is everything and urban sprawl these last 4 years has been eye popping. Just look at this years legislation batch... Hoping to do everything I can do to positively impact our sport and keep Iowa GREAT!
 
Here's a thought, is every anysex tag sold in iowa ALWAYS used and ALWAYS used on a buck? No they're not. If you think going to a one buck limit will suddenly make 180 to 200 inch B&C deer available everywhere you hunt, pinch yourself so you'll wake up from the dream you're having.
Let's not forget the landowners are the ones who furnish a large amount of habitat and food, so the rest of us can have quality deer to hunt.
I agree 180-200” always be super rare. My concern is: the trend is to LESS of them lately vs more overall IMO
Would 1 Buck increase the age (thus size) structure of the herd????…..
if we look at data…. Indiana for example had a staggering increase in B&C bucks killed across state in a very short amount of time after going to 1 buck. It was something like “10-20th in nation” to something like, I think “#4”?? I can look it up but it made a HUGE difference in B&C bucks. Age structure absolutely was impacted for positive in Indiana (took a step back a bit with their insane management choice to add high power rifles). I would argue the same for Ohio vs other Midwest states with 2 buck rule.

Here’s potential across state for every hunter if we did this…. 1 buck. 1 to maybe 20 does if a guy would drive to a high doe populated county. 1 urban buck if desired with countless does there too. & if a guy wanted to party hunt & wanted to use a buck tag, another buck there. That’s a lot of opportunity IF a guy wanted to do the work. I realize party hunting has its problems or there’s a bit more to that discussion - same with shooting a lot of does. But that’s reality.

Lot of opportunity with “one buck” which is really a staggering amount of deer 1 person can get here. With access & guys desperate for a chance at ONE buck…. IMO- this is probably a route we may be should be going if we want to level the field a bit so new & everyday hunters have a shot & have access to Decent land.
 
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If you want to tighten up the buck kill just create a law that nonresidents can't group hunt. A nonresident just recently bought a farm adjacent to our farm and simply has a couple resident kids buy statewide either sex tags and has them sit with him during one of the shotgun seasons. He buys a nonresident doe tag which he has no intention to fill. He can legally shoot two bucks and what does Iowa get from the nonresident, a sale of a doe tag. Close that loophole and you will save bucks.
 
Hell, with today's ($$) to mount a buck, I don't even wanna shoot ONE big one every year.
 

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There’s no doubt that going to 1 buck will make you think hard about taking that shot. Some might give a few more a pass.. Indiana demonstrates that.

I can’t comment for Iowa but here in Missouri, party hunting seems to be less and less of an issue. Certainly groups out there that still do it, but it seems the “deer camp” tradition is dwindling sadly. Along with that deer drives. So good and bad perhaps.
 
There’s no doubt that going to 1 buck will make you think hard about taking that shot. Some might give a few more a pass.. Indiana demonstrates that.

I can’t comment for Iowa but here in Missouri, party hunting seems to be less and less of an issue. Certainly groups out there that still do it, but it seems the “deer camp” tradition is dwindling sadly. Along with that deer drives. So good and bad perhaps.
The deer camp tradition is awesome and hope it lives. Deer drives are fine and an effective tool for deer management, but use your tag and that’s it. It would be hard to monitor but anything is better than the free for all it is now.
 
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