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Iowa Public Hunting

Iowa Public Hunting “YOUR ADVENTURES” w/ Edwin Shirts

The alarm clock rang, and I reached over and hit the snooze button.  I was still feeling groggy from working the day before.  I definitely did not have the motivation to get out of my warm bed.  The date is 11-13-13, and the temperature is as cold as it has been in a while.  I was cozy and warm under the fleece blanket and the comfort of the mattress.  The snooze button did its job it prolonged the dreadful sound to get me out of bed.  I turned the alarm off and got up.  The coffee pot had a delay button and the smell of fresh coffee filled the air, and my eyes started to open a little more.  I poured me a cup, embellished with creamer and a little sugar.  It did the trick I was ready to get to the tree that I was going to climb this particular morning.

I had talked to my hunting buddy the night before and we had a game plan.  I went to my local store to collect some scent wicks and bottled estrus.  I also picked up another antlerless tag, as I had filled my other a couple of weeks before.  We were to meet up a little after 5 a.m. at a public hunting area.  It was a little after 4AM and I was enjoying my first cup of coffee.  I poured a to-go cup, and then began getting my climbing stand, bow, arrows, backpack, and other hunting items to the bed of my truck.

IMG_0152By now, I am awake and dressed and ready to go.  I get in my truck and head off to the public hunting area.  I was the first to arrive and as I finished getting my scent free clothes on, and climbing harness, the local convoy of vehicles going past started to begin.  All these vehicles going by and I am smiling.  I know what you are thinking, “How could you be smiling when there are so many vehicles showing up to the public area”?  These vehicles are not showing up to hunt deer, they are QUACK-A-HOLICS and they are after migratory birds.  Not too long of a wait and Bill, my hunting buddy, shows up.  We converse for a second then we put our backpacks (portable climbing treestand) on and head off into the darkness, our headlamps showing our way.

When I arrive at my tree, I strap my stand to the tree and begin hanging my scent wicks and apply some estrus to each one.  I get into my stand and hook my harness to the tree and begin to climb.  I climb up a distance of around 25 ft. up the tree.  I am comfortable with this height.  I get my bow up to me, and get settled in and wait for daylight.  Bill is in his tree 75 yards away.  Daylight gets here and I am pumped.  I saw a lot of rutting activity the day before while I was driving my route for work. There were a couple dandy bucks following what I presumed to be hot does.  So, I had all kinds of visions and hopes floating around my buck fevered brain.

There was some activity the first few hours of the morning, and I was still in my stand and waiting.  I rattled my rattle bag and grunted to set the scene that there was two bucks getting worked up for a hot doe.  This scene worked for me before, so I am positive that I can do this.  I hear some leaves crunching over my shoulder and I have to look.  Here comes a nice buck, and that is when I uncontrollably start to shake vigorously and cannot control it.  BUCK FEVER, is what most people call it, but this is why I hunt.  I love this feeling, and it has caused me to not get the buck, a number of times. 

IMG_0169This time I managed control myself.  My buddy Bill, starts grunting to the buck when he notices him.  The buck is to my right and angling away.  I am thinking to myself, here goes another missed opportunity by me again.  Then I hear some grunting coming from Bill.  This caused the buck to turn left and start to make his way downwind to smell the intruder grunting at him.  This puts him walking directly in front of my tree, 20 yards right in front of me and broadside, I am at full draw and anchored. I squeeze my release and watch as my arrow hits its mark. The buck mule kicks and snaps my arrow off and running for his life. He does not even go 50 yards and he collapses on a dead run.  I scored and I am shaking violently, and excited as all get out.  Tag filled and antlers for the wall.  I love this sport of chasing whitetail with a bow, and encourage everyone I meet to take up the challenge.  It is very rewarding, and challenging at the same time.


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