It’s Almost Time

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This summer has been as busy as ever.  As many of you know, the farm that I have harvested the majority of my whitetails on was sold this past June, which led me to aggressively start seeking out new farms to hunt for 2017.  One thing that you can never have enough of is options, and although I had other farms to hunt, I knew I needed to pick up a few more.  You never want to put yourself in a position where if you lose a farm that you have nowhere else to hunt and forced to be sitting on the sidelines.

As the months have gone by I have acquired access to some new farms, and I’ve spent much of my free time this past summer scouting, hanging new stands, and running my Muddy Pro Cams in an effort to see what caliber of bucks call these farms home.  So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what I would call a bumper crop of good bucks that remind me somewhat of the time period before EHD hit in 2012.  It’s still not as good as before then, but it’s much better than it’s been in recent years, at least in my area.  We are finally starting to get our age structure buck here in southern Iowa, which is what we were missing after EHD took its toll.

After gaining access to a new farm, this buck was the first to show up on my Muddy Pro Cam and gave me hope that this particular farm would produce. I’ve since named him the ‘Super 7’.  Recently, he’s been hammering my Wind Pro mock scrapes.

On the farms I’ve hunted for years, I’ve been busy with every day maintenance, running trail cameras, and planting Arrow Seed plots and green screen.  For as dry as it’s been I’m very happy with what our plots look like up to this point.  We’ve been fortunate to catch some good rains at just the right time and most of our plots are looking lush and should be a great attractant this season.  I’m looking forward to monitoring my trail cameras to see if I can find a big buck moving during daylight hours with the hopes of capitalizing early.

Due to swirling winds in this low spot, we’ve had a tough time hunting this location in previous years. The addition of this Muddy Bull box blind will now allow us to hunt this lush Arrow Seed Plot without getting busted.
This was the first year that I broadcasted turnips and radishes into my soybeans, and they are coming up great. Doubling the food per acre is always a good thing!

Speaking of big bucks, some familiar faces have shown up.  A few of these bucks made good jumps, a few stayed about the same, and one (Crossbeam) went downhill.  Regardless, when another year of history is added to the story it’s always an exciting, and a few of these bucks I have 3-4 years of history with.  One thing I’m looking forward to this year is sharing their stories with you, most likely as they outsmart me the majority of the time.

‘Crossbeam’ pictured above, is estimated to be 7+ years old, and although he lost approximately 20 inches this year, he’s still one of our top hit list bucks.

Lastly, my intent is to continue to bring you as many updates as possible in as timely of a manner as possible from mine and Alex’s season in the video and written formats.  With the season beginning in Iowa on Sunday, I’ll be in the field every chance I get when the weather and winds are right either in front or behind the camera, so be sure to follow along.

To end, I’ll share with you a handful of the bucks that we’ll be chasing this year, as well as one stud 4-year-old that we’ve put on the ‘Do Not Shoot List’.  I really hope he makes it one more year!

This is our 3rd year of history with ‘RJ’, and at 6.5, this is the biggest rack that he’s sported yet.
The story of ‘Mr. T’ started in the summer of 2014 when I filmed him in a lush bean field. I don’t believe I have any history with him in 2015, and a few pictures every now and then in 2016. This year, however, he’s been on the cameras on a regular basis and seems to be here to stay.
‘7-Mag’ is on a buck on one of my new farms. He fits the definition of mature to a ‘T’ and is high on the hit list.
We’ve had two years of history with ‘Moscow’, but this is the first year he’s been on our radar. His frame is impressive, but his brows are not. He’s buck that we hope to catch up to in 2017.
As mentioned, we do have a few bucks on the do not shoot list. Pictured here is Moscow in the back, and the buck we call ‘Gravel’ in the front right. Gravel grew about 40 inches from last year, and as a 4 year old we just feel he has the potential to be something really special next year. Hopefully the gamble pays off and he makes it! It will be fun to see what he does.

I plan on bringing another update soon and I’ll be sure to share with you a few more bucks from our hit list as well.

-Chris

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