It is on private deer hunting leases.
All on agricultural lands of Iowa heavily cut by wooded creek bottoms making for much deer habitat and very good Iowa deer hunting.
Each may hunt several farms.
2013 Iowa Deer Hunting Lease Land Locations
Our Iowa deer hunting land is within the Grand River Watershed that rises up out of Missouri and creates the many wet and dry wooded drainages that cut through this 45% agricultural land use region making for a combination of deer cover and food.
Our do it yourself deer hunters appear to be some of the more dedicated trophy whitetail hunters in terms of their willingness to participate in the draw tag system and with their deer hunts. Amongst all, it is the archery hunter that has had the highest ratio of success hunting this area surpassing the shotgun and muzzleloader hunter.
The Iowa draw tag system has had the past performance of everyone that applies for a tag gets a deer tag at some point.
As a business and not a "hunting club" we have a customer service orientation that is oriented to the single minded focus of good hunts. That is what brings the hunter back for years of hunts to come. That returning hunter is much better one to work with as he has the understanding that land must be worked for several seasons in order to find those golden nugget spots seemingly so hard to see the first scouting or hunt trip or two.
Typical Iowa whitetail habitat within the agricultural zone where row crop farming is king. There will always be more acreage actively farmed than left to hunting. This recognition of whitetail habitat requirement ordering has been made adamantly clear by all those experts on food plots. First comes food and then the whitetail's will make use of any available cover. In this region there is plenty of large grain crop food. The other aspect of this aerial is how the wooded area is isolated from the road. Not only do we seek to limit boots on the ground hunter pressure we also seek those leases that limit casual non-hunter pressure. It is those seemingly small out of the way spots isolated from farm yard, road and house that have the better loafing spots.
While some seem to have more luck than others rarely does any one Iowa deer hunter go beyond two non-draw year preference points before successfully drawing an Iowa deer tag regardless of type. This alone seems to separate the more from the less dedicated whitetail deer hunter. Those willing to spend the time from non successful draw years to keep applying seem to also put in above average pre season scouting and during season hunting time as well that all leads to a higher trophy success rate.
As a self guided hunter organization we, the two MAHA field staff, are not at the point of harvest with camera. Each and every picture on this entire web site is at the very welcomed courtesy of the Association hunter. To each we are grateful for their support and testimony of the hard work we do to do the best we can to give them the very best hunt possible.
A photo that was sent from a member that has been in the association since 1984. Jerry is a deer only hunter that only hunts deer a couple weekends out of the year but has renewed his dues year after year knowing the opportunity is there but it takes patience and hard work. Note the vehicle he uses to haul out his deer.
Every archery hunters goal is to harvest a P&Y buck. Many hunters consistently achieve this goal year after year, but the majority never accomplish this goal in a lifetime.
With no pressure on his back, he scouted a handful of farms that were under utilized not to step on anyone's toes. Jake put in his time both scouting and in the stand and his efforts paid of with 2 nice bucks in the 150 and 140 class.
A season like this is what it's all about for an avid archery hunter that enjoys the outdoors for all that it is worth.
Congratulations Jake! We enjoy your congenial attitude with reservations and respect for other deer hunters while on the land. Good luck for many years to come. We look forward to your son following your foot steps.
The Iowa deer tag draw system further illustrates the successful recipient deer hunter dedication through actual deer hunting our Iowa leases and the trophies seen, shot at or harvested each season.
Typically, those surviving the tag system are hunters that have excelled beyond the 140 class and go years between adding a wallhanger to their collection passing on many lesser bucks in the process.
Tags have been increased in numbers along the southern region adjoining Missouri. This area is well known for its good hunts due to the whitetail density crossing over from Missouri.
So dense is this regions that the first state tag increase was for antlerless tags. Later followed an increase in buck tags. The objective seemed more to gain advantage from non-resident hunter dollars in this economically stagnant region than actual whitetail management. This may be the case in spite of this region's widely held belief that more deer hunters will not impact the whitetail numbers that are boosted by the larger numbers and more prevalent habitat just south of the state line.
Whatever the motivation, more Iowa deer licenses will be issued than in the past and as the tag price is a bit high it will continue to be a filtering between the more and the less dedicate whitetail hunter. The bottom line analysis is that Iowa deer hunting will retain its trophy whitetail status for years to come.
For those that do go Iowa deer hunting we have the acreage with the habitat that produces some very nice bucks. While we do not identify the state of harvest for the deer in our trophy gallery suffice it to be believed that we do have a good number from Iowa.
For those that have Iowa deer tags a quick telephone call to either Jon or John (Association land staff) will gain a listing of property numbers where we have had eyes on quality racked bucks or the physical deer sign is simply too good to ignore. The goal is more of our hunters on better bucks or at the very lease a good hunt.
Traveling Deer Hunters
We have a few more pictures for you. [We] managed to fill all our bow tags. [The] highlight of the trip was an amazing near 160" 9 point. [The rest of us] were happy as well, with each a nice buck. I even managed to take turkey for the thanksgiving table. [We] still had a few days off so we jumped the state line and continued our hunt. I scored with a nice 8 pointer and a doe. Thanks once again for all that you do to give us the opportunity to hunt such a wonderful part of the country. We will be back in April for turkey season. Hopefully that will be the start of my 5th successful season with MAHA.
This is a case where all we can say is, WOW! Success like this is very rare and all the more exceptional considering the travel distance. Congratulations guys and thank you very much for sharing your pictures.
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