Iowa Whitetail Outfitters Gets Thumbs Up Review For Deer Hunts


Published: May - 2010

Subscriber Vincent Donnelly is so pleased with his December whitetail hunt in Iowa that he sees no need to travel to Canada ever again. Donnelly hunted in southwest Iowa's Zone 4 with former-outdoor-writer-turned-outfitter Judd Cooney in early December, taking an 11-point buck that field scored 135 6/8. Donnelly also tried for but failed to take a doe on this hunt, noting that he passed up an uncertain shot in a howling blizzard that descended upon them for the last two days. "Bring layers of good, warm clothing. It never got above 10 degrees Fahrenheit in five days I hunted," he warns.

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)

 
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