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BuckTracker: Classic Iowa

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March 26, 2008

BuckTracker: Classic Iowa

By Scott Bestul

Are deer “classics” as big in other regions as they are in the Midwest? For those of you who’ve never been to one, a deer classic is basically a hunting show devoted solely (well, almost) to whitetail deer and the folks who hunt them. Like other sportsman’s shows, classics can host some decidedly non-hunting vendors, though most don’t dip into the realm of the “booth babe” (see Petzal’s SHOT show reports). Classics give whitetail nerds a mid-winter chance to rendezvous, gawk at big deer mounts and maintain sanity until the weather breaks and shed hunting begins.

I suppose I have been going to Deer Classics for twenty years now, and two stand out. One is the annual Wisconsin Deer & Turkey Expo (which I hope to cover in a couple weeks) one of the longest-running and well-attended deer shows around. The other is the Iowa Deer Classic, which is decidedly newer, but surely worth the trip.. There are dozens of vendors with quality gear, good seminars from respected whitetail hunters (on my first trip I sat in a session which featured four men who had shot world record whitetails in some category; Mel Johnson, Del Austin, Milo Hansen and Mike Beatty). And there are always friends to reunite with.

Oh, and the antlers. My goodness, the antlers. Now don’t get me wrong; trophy bucks are not the only measure of a healthy deer herd. But they are certainly one barometer. And if the crop of monsters at the Hawkeye Deer Classic is any indicator, the hunting forecast there is as good as it gets. And the thing that stood out to me among all those huge deer; towering typicals, massive non-typs, gun, bow and muzzleloader kills? The distribution. Sure there are hotspots in the Hawkeye State. Every place has ‘em. But from what I saw, hunt about any county there and you stand at least a chance of shooting a whitetail of which dreams are made. And that, my friends, is an indicator of a well-managed deer herd.

Comments (1)

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from John D wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

No secret here, but I'm easily lost. Can't seem to track down those dad gum photo galleries on the main page.

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from Scott Bestul wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

John D: Go back to the main page and scroll down the middle section in the photo galleries area. You'll see a title that reads "50 best photos from our shed hunting contest" (or something like that). Some cool pics in there, so check it out.And thanks for letting me indulge my "Iowa fetish"...never heard it called that before, but it works!

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from Joe wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

I went to the Sportsman Show in Milwaukee, which was great. I also hope to get to the Deer and Turkey expo, which I have heard is excellent.

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from John D wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Anything more interesting to hear about? Your Iowa fetish has grown tired in only a couple weeks.How about some of those pictures from the shed contest? When are they gonna be posted?

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from joshd wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I don't think it hurts any that they have more 'mature' deer in Iowa. They limit nonresidents and charge them up the u know what, wait until december for their firearms season, and have an excellent blend of habitat and agriculture in many areas.

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from Chip Hunnicutt wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I attended the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, NC a few weeks ago (click my name for my blog review) and it continues to be a fantastic show. These are great events for reflecting on the past season and planning for the next.

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from jstreet wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

In Iowa, the deer are the benefactors of the wonderful soil in that state and the crops that grow from it.It's very common for a 2 1/2 year old Iowa buck to have 130 inches of bone on their head.Jim

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from John D wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

No secret here, but I'm easily lost. Can't seem to track down those dad gum photo galleries on the main page.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Bestul wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

John D: Go back to the main page and scroll down the middle section in the photo galleries area. You'll see a title that reads "50 best photos from our shed hunting contest" (or something like that). Some cool pics in there, so check it out.And thanks for letting me indulge my "Iowa fetish"...never heard it called that before, but it works!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

I went to the Sportsman Show in Milwaukee, which was great. I also hope to get to the Deer and Turkey expo, which I have heard is excellent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from John D wrote 6 years 2 weeks ago

Anything more interesting to hear about? Your Iowa fetish has grown tired in only a couple weeks.How about some of those pictures from the shed contest? When are they gonna be posted?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joshd wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I don't think it hurts any that they have more 'mature' deer in Iowa. They limit nonresidents and charge them up the u know what, wait until december for their firearms season, and have an excellent blend of habitat and agriculture in many areas.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chip Hunnicutt wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

I attended the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, NC a few weeks ago (click my name for my blog review) and it continues to be a fantastic show. These are great events for reflecting on the past season and planning for the next.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jstreet wrote 6 years 3 weeks ago

In Iowa, the deer are the benefactors of the wonderful soil in that state and the crops that grow from it.It's very common for a 2 1/2 year old Iowa buck to have 130 inches of bone on their head.Jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment