Donnelly says the deer in this area are abundant, and he describes the trophy quality and the overall condition of the game as "excellent." He also rates all of Cooney's services as excellent, downgrading only the condition of the camp to "good." According to Donnelly, Cooney displays excellent land management practices and goes out of his way to make sure all of his hunters are happy with every aspect of the hunt.
If there's a downside to this hunt, it's the limited availability due to a drawing and the fact that it's limited to slug-loaded shotguns or muzzleloaders (all types are legal) and handguns shooting straight-wall cartridges only. First, however, you must draw a tag. For a 2010 application form go to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources web site at www.iowadnr. gov/wildlife/files/deerappl.html, or call 515-281-5918. The deadline is June 6. At press time, a DNR spokesperson said the numbers of permits given out in 2010 should remain the same as in 2009. Last year 1,280 any-deer licenses were issued for Zone 4. The number of 2009 applicants was not available, but 2,720 hunters applied in 2008. Iowa allows applicants to purchase a preference point, which Cooney's web site says virtually guarantees clients will draw a license in his area the following year.
Donnelly gives the all-in cost of his hunt as $4,745 ($3,500 for the hunt, $545 for licenses, $700 for tips/travel. In summing up this recommendable hunt, Donnelly tells us: "I have........(continued)