2018 - 19 season perspectives

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by BJohnson, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. BJohnson

    BJohnson Well-Known Member

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    Now that the 2018-19 season is closed, what was everyone's perspectives on their season. I'll start:

    1) Mature buck sightings - down for me. I saw one shooter buck on 11/9 that I estimate was at least a 4 yr old and was never offered a shot after 3 hrs of watching him tend a doe at 50-70 yards. My cams indicated I was off on my trips by one day with images of this buck within range of a regular stand location one day prior or one day after at least two of my trips to our farm. Hopefully he is still upright and in the neighborhood next fall.

    The only other mature buck sighting was an old brute I know well around my permission farm, but he was at 250 yrds with a doe and all I could do was watch him bump her around the field that morning. He has been a rare visitor to this farm over the past 4 seasons and this year was no exception. Most of my close encounters were 2 or 3 year old bucks.

    My cam images of 4+ bucks were also off this season on both my farm and my permission farm.

    2) Weather - Nov temps were awesome, but on the days I scheduled trips to my farm I dealt with rain which made for some LONG days in the field. Late season, great for golf - not so good for hunting so late season was also SLOW on buck sightings.

    3) Projects - built a hayrack blind (thanks Rjack for your help) and was able to slightly expand one of two plot locations on our farm. Screwed up some seed mixes and learned a valuable lesson about seeding rates.

    4) Other - pretty good year overall. I put solid shots on a coyote and doe with my bow, I was with my neighbor when he shot a doe from my blind during second gun, and I got to spent some great time with my daughter during her first year hunting in late season.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  3. StickersNKickers

    StickersNKickers Camo Up!

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    For me, season was about par for the course. No big buck sightings. Did encounter one buck a couple times in the same area, but decided he could use another year (maybe 4.5 and needing some growth) and neither encounter provided me a good opportunity anyway. Saw another possible 4.5 yr old (maybe 3.5) that I thought could also use another year and didn't come close enough. Could have had multiple opportunities on does with the bow, but chose to hold out for a buck until the last hunt. Then blew my chance on a good sized doe. Actually didn't have many opportunities on small bucks. Did get a deer in shotgun, so did get some meat in the freezer. I seemed to hit a lot of snow days in November, which was cool (or cold!). Basically just got out on weekends except a few afternoon hunts mid week. Didn't get to get out as much as I'd like during late season, and missed the better weather days for that season. Confirmed that a couple stands need some tweaks for next season, and would be nice to have more food! Need to get better at picking right days, right places to hunt (say that every year!). Overall, thankful for the opportunity to be in nature and away from everything for a little while.
     
  4. Ishi

    Ishi PMA Member

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    Down for sure as far as mature buck goes in more ways than one.
    Last year was crazy good also in more ways than on.
    I see cycles in mature buck and I’ve always say it’s normally a three year cycle. Hunters say they seen a good number of deer just not many good ones.
    Social media doesn’t portray everything but what I seen it’s been just ho hum this year.
     
  5. LYON

    LYON PMA Member

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    Overall I had a great year. Camera action over scrapes wasn't nearly as good as last year, so I was a little bummed about the "prospects" on camera. But I'd say I personally saw maybe 5 bucks during bow season that I would consider mature and shooters. That's pretty good for me. We did a few pushes last weekend and the group saw at least 3 different shooters which was completely unexpected, but good to know they are out there. This year I hunted with my kids as much as I could and that's always a treat. I was able to arrow a doe AND put a non-lethal hit on my #1 on the same sit while having my 4 year old in the tree with me. Then the first week of muzzy, I was able to finish that buck off while my 9 year old was with me! Great moments to remember! Summer projects will consist of making at least 2 hay bale blinds. I have a few spots where these will work really well and have wanted to make them for awhile. One area I need to move some stands around and maybe do some work with trees to direct the deer's paths a little more.
     
  6. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Overall...I had fun, relaxed and enjoyed myself. Mission accomplished. :)

    For us, deer numbers were good, mature bucks were present, although not as many as in past years. I do tend to agree with the "cycles" theory, in that it seems like not every year has as many older bucks present and as such...next year should be even better! :)

    My son Mark shot a very nice 8 point, I should have bagged a 5 year old 9 point that I was targeting, but didn't take the open shot I had at about 26 yards, choosing to let him get into point blank range...which he wisely then did not. Drats! I did take 4 does, not bad, but a couple less than I was planning on for the year.

    Next year, we are really going to get them next year!! :)
     
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  7. flugge

    flugge Well-Known Member

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    My season was miserable...Our farms really have seen a hit in deer numbers, we only had one mature buck on camera we were after. Of course, he shows up the day we are driving to deer camp, and then was never seen again until after both shotgun seasons ended. Its been a long time since I havent filled a single bow tag. Overall, I had 7 tags left this year unused, that hurts. The wife killed a good buck, the stepdad finally got back into hunting, so those two points make my season worth it, regardless of how I did.
     
  8. loneranger

    loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Well here NE of Davers area the usual Many yearling and 4 or 5 2 yr old bucks. Saw one 3 yr old. Which is my starting point for meat on a buck. Saw. Him once beginin of Nov and again at the end when I took him. A half broken up 10 pt which most guys on here would definitely have passed on. But since I am hunting mostly for meat and not horn,,after 65 hrs in stands I was happy to take. Saw one other 3 yrs 200 yrds away and a definate 5 right brhind the house while takin out trash on a Sunday. I dont hunt on SUNDAYS. took a doe 3 days before shotguns. More does showed at the end leading me to think maybe should have passed buck in favor of does? Every year it seems I see a slew of young bucks while only one or two 3 yr old bucks. What happens to all the 2 yr olds? I ask myself. They are taken out somewhere? Pretty lean pickins here. And yes I am hunting in Iowa. But have been told by more than one person I picked one of the poorest areas they know for deer hunting. A challenge to see an older animal but I sort of enjoy the challenge.
     
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  9. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Great season - family shot a bunch, some real nice bucks. I am not sure how next year will be though - lots of 2.5 and 3.5 type bucks got shot on neighboring properties. :( It will take a couple years to rebound from that, assuming next year isn't a repeat of this year.
     
  10. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    I was happy with the season. My two oldest boys and I all shot mature bucks... both boys shot their biggest buck, mine was in MN, not my overall best, but nice. We also each shot a doe.

    So plenty of action and venison!
     
  11. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    I can’t complain since I had limited time to get out. I enjoyed it when I did get out, filled a couple of tags. I’m in that “next year will be different” mindset now, LOL


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. sep0667

    sep0667 Land of the Whitetail

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    My season was not the best. I did not have as much vacation time to hunt as the past few years, just 3 days, and of course weekends. Unfortunately it rained all 3 days that I took off so I hardly even hunted those days. Wednesday the 7th was a fantastic day though, I saw probably over 10 bucks that day all in the timber ridge I was set up in. I came to full draw twice on two different bucks, but couldn't make it happen as they were dogging does hard and an ethical shot opportunity was not given.

    As always I could have taken plenty of 1.5 or 2.5 year old bucks. I guess I'm like loneranger wondering what the heck happens to all these 2.5 year olds. I only see a couple 3.5+ it seems each year. I didn't run any cams, so I don't know what was out there that I didn't see. Really I only hunted about half as much as I usually do due to less time off, and rainy conditions. Also the public area I usually hunt a few times was flooded out.

    My dad shot a real nice 8 point on the weekend of nov. 3/4 so that was great to see him have success. Only the second deer he has ever shot.
     
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  13. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 PMA Member

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    My season was a great success! I was able to fill both my buck tags on mature deer and also filled 5 doe tags. Was able to fill my freezer, the freezer of some that do not hunt and also help decorate the house! I saw several mature deer both in person and on camera! But i never had a true "giant" Deer numbers in my area were very good. I am lucky enough to have a very like minded neighbor so the younger deer get a great chance to grow up.
    I hunted a new piece of ground this year and learned a ton about natural deer movement throughout the property and will take that into next year and hope to continue my success.
    I will say that there were some very large deer killed this year but that number seemed to be down from previous years(according to social media)....I feel like alot of deer did not grow as well as they have in previous years, maybe the drought...who knows....still at the end of the day I hunt to fill my freezer and enjoy gods creation, so its always a great success when you are able to get out!!
     
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  14. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 PMA Member

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    Along the same lines as what i said about social media, it seems as though the harvest forum here was pretty slim this year compared to others
     
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  15. loneranger

    loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Hey there sep, glad there is someone out there with a similar situation as I have!
     
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  16. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Just finished a delicious meal of Buck tag soup! A DOUBLE!!!! Land owner buck tag & late Ml buck tag. Lots of seasoning & let it simmer for a while- not bad actually!!
    I sat with a lot of buddies that smoked some dandies. So- it was a blast. I got my target in October & it was shooting does & bullies after. My buddies killed the bullies or mature/maxed out bucks- so I ate the tags. & I’m cool with it. I HONESTLY- do not care. I really don’t. I had a great time sitting I slayed does on one farm & the rest didn’t need any shot. For sure- every year that goes by- I’m happier to see others shoot bucks vs myself. I’ve always been like that but even more so as I get older.

    Sitting with friends & having them shoot some- made my season. Kids had blast and Charlie hunted with me and we shot tons of does AND!!!...... he loved it!!! He’s 7 so the fact he loved it & we spent time out - so great. Made my season.

    My 2 other “target bucks” I found sheds off of - never a picture, sighting, nothing. zero. Zilch. When they were Mia - i knew I had one buck to chase & likely I was done. I was right. First time I’ve had bucks live on me from 2 to 6 or 7 & vanish after finding sheds. Weirdest thing. I suspect ehd. Or..... they rutted extremely hard, shed horns & died. Who knows. Rare but happens.

    A lot of guys I know had very difficult seasons & “frustrated” & stumped.

    Silver lining- most the young good gen studs - they made it!!!! Healthy & Jan 9 I had 4 of the best up and comers in front of me. So fun & be great if find some sheds.
     
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  17. MN2IAGuy

    MN2IAGuy Member

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    No non-res archery again so hunted first shotgun doe. It rained on 12” of snow so I sat in a ground blind the whole time. Shot a doe right away with my muzzy and left. I didn’t get to enjoy being outdoors!
    When your stuck with a 5 day window you can get screwed by the weather
     
  18. MN Slick

    MN Slick PMA Member

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    My take aways.
    1. Weather was a battle for food plotting.......yet again. Grew some good brassicas but not enough acreage to get through to late seaosn. Fall plantings were a bust due to too much rain of all things. 2. Brother killed a nice early season buck that we passed up 7 or 8 times since 2016. Fun to watch them grow up then kill them when they are 5.
    3. For some reason they did not hit scrape trees and mock scrapes worth a darn on one farm. Very odd.
    4. Lots of guys talk about managing for older deer but when it comes down to it the cave.
    5. Nov 6 and 7 were on fire this year. Each year there seem to be only a couple days when bucks are really moving good. Unfortunately they aren't the same days each year.
    6. One farm had a number of bucks go missing after Oct 31 this year. Usually it's the opposite so I'm scrathing my head on that one.
    7. Tag soup on bucks this year for me which I'm ok with. I had 2 targets and had a close call with one on 11/6 at 12:20 pm. The other one wasn't nearly as active on my ground as he was in 2017 but he was on the west side of the farm on 11/8 while I was on the east. Unfortunately, he walked by a cam on gun opener on 11/10 sporting a gunshot wound so I'm not sure if he'll make it to 2019.
     
  19. hillrunner

    hillrunner PMA Member

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    I'm not sure how to rate this season . We lost my dad in july so not sharing the woods, pictures, and stories with him left a pretty big hole.

    Overall deer / buck numbers were great and the future looks really good for my area. I picked two bucks out of the group that I wanted to target and I stuck to that goal and passed all others. I had multiple encounters with those bucks, even got the bow drawn a couple times but i wasn't presented the clean ethical shot opportunity I was looking for.

    I did draw blood on one of them with the muzzleloader. I had to make a quick decision and I thought I remembered the distance across this field to be around 200 yards. It ended up being 130 in reality. I believe I hit him high above the spine due to very little blood (Barnes expanders) and the way the deer acted after the shot. That's the first time I have pulled the trigger on a deer with that gun and not killed it .

    I killed 4 does but I probably should double that number.

    This is the the first time in ten years I didn't kill a buck but it wasn't due to a lack of action. I expect next year to be really good again. I'd trade all of it to hunt with my dad again though.
     
  20. sirrloin

    sirrloin PMA Member

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    It was my first year hunting my new property. Found out a lot about how the deer use the property and area around it during late season. Next go around with a few changes I think I should have no problem. New stand placement and a few acres of food and getting some fruit trees in should make the late season a lot more productive.

    Had an encounter with my numero uno on Nov 7 and he came in hard behind my stand looking to fight after I had been grunting. Got spooked at 25 yards and he was gone by the time I made my turn. If he survived this year he should be every bit 180+ next fall and there were plenty of other respectable bucks this year that I passed hoping I'd see him again.

    We've got a bunch of saplings coming this April from the state nursery and i've got a couple areas mowed down to frost seed some clover in. I'm somewhat limited with equipment at this time so the good ol' honda push mower might just have to do the job for now haha.

    I think I'm going to try my hand at filming this year. If for nothing else to see how things will change over the next couple of years. I'm slightly east of Winterset so I have the large quarry, city park and waste water land as a buffer that doesn't really get any pressure. Then my tiny property is sandwiched between about 1000 acres of big timber trust land that only 150+ deer are allowed to be harvested. During the rut the bucks seem to use my property as the main travel area but come late season scoot out for ag fields. It's impressive to see what good management can do if given the time. A lot of days in early November there 35+ bucks over the entire day going all over the place.
     
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  21. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    The neighborhood looks very promising.!
     

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