Northeastern Iowa's Allamakee County leads the big-buck listings in the state record book. Located in the Mississippi River bluff country, Allamakee's fertile farmland and forested valleys grow big bucks. Last November, bowhunter Dave Gordon killed an Allamakee non-typical that scored 2404/8-a new Iowa archery record. Fertile soils, a temperate climate and good genetics allow deer throughout the state to grow impressive headgear. Serious trophy hunters should investigate the northeastern, southeastern and south-central portions of the state. Suburbanized Dallas County, west of Des Moines, is a sleeper for archers. Currently, the deer population is at a high, leading state biologist Ken Haring to speculate that the upcoming season may be especially good for big bucks. Last year, Iowa hunters harvested 127,000 whitetails. Additional antlerless-only licenses this year, intended to reduce farm depredation complaints, should result in a higher kill. Although Iowa is made up of mostly private land, hunters willing to seek out landowners prior to the deer season should find a place to hunt without much trouble.