Nobody Said Hunting Would Be Easy

Posted on January 2, 2013


Saturday was some tough hunting. I woke up very early to hit the Shagbark Hills area of Woodbury again. It was about 9F out, about 15 degrees colder than the day before. Investing in the winter kit was pretty essential to staying outdoors long enough to have a decent chance of seeing anything. I hunkered down before dawn dear the nexus of several groups of fresh deer tracks. I knew they were fresh from the fact that anything more than 12 hrs old would have been already obfuscated by the recent snow storms.

Sadly, I saw nothing. After sunrise, I decided to try tracking some of the freshest and largest snow prints. After about an hour of tracking prints in what was essentially a large loop I figured that whatever beast had left them was long gone and retreated back to the farm to eat breakfast and regroup with my Cousin.

Following coffee, my Cousin and I traveled to private lands in Woodbury known to be lousy with Does. In a moment of irony, we spotted a group of Does in Cherokee County on our way, but my tag was for Woodbury only. Que Sera.

Back in Woodbury, we went to a river basin with timber and corn fields. In short, deer paradise. Deer tracks were thick and bi-directional. We thought our chances of jumping a Doe were very very high. Again, after a few hours of trekking, we saw nothing and decided to head back to the hunt the food plots of Shagbark Hills for Sunset.

My Cousin and I getting ready for sunset:

From Hunting in Woodbury Iowa
From Hunting in Woodbury Iowa

At Shagbark, I saw the thickest, freshest, deer tracks I’d seen to date. Again, we hunkered down at a nexus overlooking the gap between the timber and the food plots that appeared to be a deer super-highway. Note to self… hunting in snow, consider bringing some sort of collapsible hunting seat. Standing motionless for an hour is not my preferred way to hunt both for comfort and stability. I used the Zeiss to range the 3 potential avenues of approach, one was 45 yards, one was 140 yards, and one was 270 yards. The 270 yard approach wasn’t doable with my muzzleloader, but given the wind direction, I think I could have simply waited for a deer to close within the effective range of my muzzleloader.

Waiting for deer to come into range:

From Hunting in Woodbury Iowa

Beautiful sunset:

From Hunting in Woodbury Iowa

Plenty of tracks:

From Hunting in Woodbury Iowa

Once again, the sun set but no deer came. Oh well.

I think next year, setting up a box blind downwind on the private grounds and simply waiting would be a more effective strategy. Also, I’ll hopefully get lucky and get one of the non-resident lottery tags.

Took me a few days to post this. I’m back in the city. 2012 is over. The 2013 season is 9 months away. This blog will probably get more quiet until the next major training or hunting trip. Maybe Front Sight in April or South Africa in July. We’ll see.


Posted in: Hunting