Have you ever wanted to hunt Iowa but as a non-resident you can’t get tags? Well this 790 +/-acres is in Illinois but right on the Iowa boarder and tags are guaranteed in IL!
The seller gave me permission to hunt the island and to capture video to show potential clients. I knew the property would be a great place to hunt but I didn’t realize how good. I have hunted whitetails in a lot of places and killed some great bucks. 1 buck 186″, 4 bucks in the 170s and 3 bucks over 160 and I have never seen anything like this. It will be hard for me to describe it but I’m going to try I’ll just tell my story.
Day 1 – I took a short boat ride to the spot I picked out, tied up the boat and headed in. The first 50 yards was thick grass and weeds as tall as my head with deer trails everywhere, then it opened up a bit into some timber where I found scrapes and rubs everywhere. I finally got to the back slough where I wanted to hunt and got my stand up. Climbing down to get my bow I didn’t see a doe sneak in, she spooked but only ran out to 20 yards and when I looked behind her she had a 160″, 10 pt. buck with her. Could you imagine, I could have killed a 160” buck in only 30 min on the place wish I was 30 mins early.
Day 2 – The next day the wind was wrong for my 1st spot so I drove the boat around to check out some more spots and hung more stands. I hunted the evening and saw 9 does.
Day 3 – The wind was right for my first stand where the 160 was so I snuck back in there and as soon as I got situated a doe came out of the brush with a beautiful 150″ 10 pt. right behind her. I was running a camera and hunting at the same time so my first shot I must have punched the trigger and I missed. The doe only ran out to 40 yards and stopped and I thought the buck ran into the brush, but 10 min later he came back and followed her to another opening and I put a shot right behind his shoulder! I stayed put and saw 6 different bucks and 7 does that morning before getting him out!
Day 3 (evening hunt) – I picked another spot on the island a little farther south because the wind changed. I parked the boat, hopped out, and only went in about 50 yards because I was told the bucks like to run the edge. Walking in I had a stud 2 year old 8 pt. walk up to 10 yards and stare at me for about 30 sec wondering what I was. With the wind blowing to the river I picked a tree for my climber and got settled in. 15 min later I heard something to my left and a 5 year old 9 pt. walked by at 40 yards. He went into a thicket and later ran a 140″, 3 year old, 10 pt. out and then chased a doe around until he had to run the 10 pt. off snort wheezing and standing his ground!
I had to run home for a few days for family events and would return a week later with my good friend Dave, he would run camera and hunt with me.
Day 4 – Dave and I picked a different spot and took our climbers in. Once again we were around 30 yards from the river with the wind blowing from the trails in front of us to the river you couldn’t ask for a better set up. Before we could even get settled in a small buck walked right under our set up. We sat there the rest of the morning thinking maybe we wouldn’t see anything else. We contemplated getting down and moving to a different location around 11 o’clock then I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and when I got turned around there was a 5-6 year old 10 pt. sneaking in and already moved through our shooting lanes. I grunted at him and he came unglued! I told Dave, I knew there was a bigger buck in here for sure!
Day 4 (evening hunt) – Dave and I decided to move up the river about 1/4 mile and picked another location. We parked the boat by a bunch of willows and there were around 50 rubs, big and small, on the willows; it was crazy! When you walked into the woods there was an opening that had scrapes everywhere and then big timber. We set up 40 yards from the boat with the wind blowing to the river again. Dave saw a buck out about 100 yards making a rub but we didn’t get a good look at him and about 30 min later I heard a deer walking from the willows. I told Dave to grab his bow (Dave has only shot 1 deer before then). I turned to get the camera and the 8 pt. was already at 30 yards. He stopped at a scrape and broke the branch off, then walked right under us almost touching our tree. When he got out to 20 yards Dave stopped him and made a great shot quartering away. Dave killed his first mature deer!
Day 5 (evening hunt) – We didn’t hunt the morning; we had some work to do, but we went in around 1pm and hung a lock on in the spot we saw the 5 year old, 10 pt. the day before. With the wind blowing to the river again and trails criss crossing everywhere below us I knew it was going to be a good sit but not as good as it turned out. About an hour before dark Dave said he saw a small buck 80 yards out so I stood up to check it out and Dave didn’t notice the big buck only 50 yards headed our way. When I put the binoculars on him I immediately knew he was a shooter. He started to walk behind us but I didn’t know Dave had put out some doe in estrus urine when I was hanging the stands. The buck turned and walked right to the urine and right in front of us. With a 10-15 yard shot straight down I put my top pin low behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The rocket 3 blade 2″ hammerhead zipped straight through him he ran out just a bit, wobbled, then took off! We caught it all on camera!!!
We finished up some cut-aways and couldn’t get out of the stand fast enough.The blood trail was like someone had dumped red paint everywhere. Finding the buck only 100 yards away I didn’t realize how big he really was. With almost 28″ main beams and a 20″ inside spread and 13 pts. and score of 174″ this buck is my biggest to date with a bow!
This property is a very very special place, I have never seen anything like it. There are so many mature bucks on this place that there are rubs and scrapes everywhere and I think the buck to doe ratio is like 2 to 1 or 3 to 1!!
I personally would take a bob cat out to the island and create some trails. I would push up some trees to create a natural fencing for more pinch points and I would also make a bunch 1-5 acre food plots. This property is 960 acres and I probably hunted 40-50 acres of it. My imagination runs wild wondering what’s on the other 960 acres!
Oh…and I had ducks and geese flying all around me while in the stand. I would also push up some areas around the hidden lakes and sloughs and plant corn and millet for the waterfowl and you could have some unreal waterfowl hunts. You could possibly build a cabin on the island or there are cabins on the IL side that are for sale that could be purchased and used as a camp.
This would be a great property for a group to go together and buy. Possibly THE BEST WHITETAIL HUNTING there is! Killer waterfowl hunting and fishing and boating in the summer! You have to walk it to understand how amazing this place really is!
For more information or to schedule a showing, call or text Shane Yearian (618) 830-2825
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