Stories about my Neighbor Roger Rothhaar

Tim from IN asks,

Hi Bill, I heard that the late Roger Rothhaar was a neighbor at your old farm. Any interesting stories you care to share? He was way ahead of his time for killing big bucks.

Bill responds,

Topic: Stories about my Neighbor Roger Rothhaar:

Roger Rothhaar

The late Roger Rothhaar was my neighbor for about 14 years with the farms we owned in southern Iowa. Here he is checking one of his many superb food plots. Roger’s food plots always put mine to shame.


Yes, we bordered each other on my east side.  I have a few Roger stories but maybe not many that I can share publicly!  Roger was a crusty old fart, but I got along with him fine.  He was always a good neighbor to me. Neither of us ever hunted the fence or set up food plots specifically designed to pull the other guy’s deer so we didn’t have conflicts of any kind.   He came off all blustery but that was just for show. Underneath he had a big heart.  However, he had a few run-ins with the locals and some of his other neighbors – especially when he first moved there.  Those are the stories I can’t tell!

I was actually trying to buy that farm when Roger bought it.  I was close to getting it done, but Roger came along and made an offer that was higher.  The landowners said they would sell it to me at Roger’s price if I still wanted it, but I had hit my financial limit (even though it was just $400 per acre!).  That was back in 1998, I think.  I didn’t have much money.  I told the realtor to tell Roger I was going to take their deal just to see what he would do.  Roger immediately raised his offer another $50, so I cost him nearly $40k. I got a chuckle out of that.  

Pam and I then moved to Michigan and when we came back to southern Iowa three years later I ended up putting together a farm that ultimately bordered Roger’s.  Small world. I could have bought Roger’s after he passed away, but decided I had enough land.

Another funny Roger story: he always beat me down because I talked about gross score instead of net score.  I never actually scored any of my deer.  Roger was all about net score until one year he shot a really big buck with a fairly weak typical frame but a giant frame with lots of cool stickers and character.  Right then Roger became a big believer in gross score!  He never told me what it netted, only what it grossed!  

Ironically, I had read all of Roger’s books and many of his articles in Bowhunter long before I ever met him.  I asked him later if he still believed everything he had written and he confided that his thoughts about Primary and Secondary Scrapes had not proven true in all cases.  That was my conclusion too.

He and Jane kept very much to themselves and spent most of their time out on their farm.  Roger had awesome food plots and took great care of his property. His chunk was around 750 acres.  He killed some really good bucks there.  Good memories.  Have a great day. (6/28/21)


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