Where to Hunt in Iowa

Wade from Iowa asks,

Hi Bill. I am a previous Iowa native now living in FL. I enjoyed Midwest Whitetail for many years, especially while I was living and hunting in Iowa. It was, and still remains, a truly novel type of hunting show that was both educational and entertaining. Myself and three other bowhunters from FL have purchased enough pref points to go back to IA to hunt. I previously hunted family farms around Iowa City and that is still an option but I don't have any time to come scout, set stands, etc.. for three other hunters. I would like to find an outfitter for the 2023 season. I really love NE Iowa, I previously frequented there to fish for trout and some hunting around Yellow River SF. The beauty of the driftless region is hard to beat and it doesn't hurt that big bucks like it too. Almost all of the outfitters I find are in Southern Iowa, which I know is an excellent choice for hunting. Can you make any recommendations? I appreciate your advice

Bill responds,

Topic: Where to Hunt in Iowa:

Where to Hunt in Iowa

My friends and I shot many really good bucks over the years in Southern Iowa. I hunted there for 26 seasons for a reason. I now own land in NE Iowa to be closer to family, but I still feel that southern Iowa offers the better deer hunting. This is a buck my friend, Mike Sawyer, shot on my farm back in 2008. We killed tons of bucks that looked like this – and bigger – over the years.


I know both areas well. I grew up in NE Iowa and own land there now. But I hunted southern Iowa from 1995 through 2019.

My friends and I killed a lot of big bucks in southern Iowa.  While the NE part is pretty, for sure, the southern part isn’t ugly by any means and has better deer hunting.  I know that for a fact. 

There are good neighborhoods in NE Iowa, but nearly all of southern Iowa is good.  

There are more properties managed for whitetails (as a percentage of total acres) in southern Iowa than any other part of the state.  

I have not hunted with any of the outfitters in southern Iowa, so without firsthand experience I don’t want to make recommendations. There is a lot of really good public land there too, that might present an option for anyone who can’t afford an outfitter. 

If I had to bet my life on shooting a big deer, I would be more comfortable doing it in southern Iowa than NE Iowa. 

Good luck. (6/28/22) 


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