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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I am a new poster to this forum but have been looking around on it for a while. I am from North Carolina and planning on coming out this November for an archery rut hunt. I am coming out there with a fellow bowhunter from North Carolina and we are looking for any advice on hunting the Rathbun Lake area. We have applied for a license past couple of years and didn't get drawn so it should be this year! I think we already have a place to stay right close to if not on Rathbun Lake (my friend is taking care of the place to stay). Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated, we are trying to do as much research as we can because unfortunately we are not going to get a scouting trip prior to being out there during hunting season. Thank you for your help, we really appreciate all tips and advise.
 

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Well, it is west of the Mississippi?
I have quail hunted Rathbun but that was a long time ago.
There is a bunch of land there to hunt and the deer population should be pretty good.
Just like any public land hunting, go in early, go in deep, use a climber.
Wish I could provide more info.
Hopefully someone that lives closer will chime in.
 

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What I ment by my post is the forum is more mountain orientated. Wasn't trying to be sarcastic.
Like I said you will get way more responses on the main forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reply, I really appreciate it! Any and all help is greatly appreciated. I agree with the west of the Mississippi comment as well, I just didn't really know where to post it to get the best response.
 

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Fat Jesus
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I've never hunted that area of Iowa so I won't be any help "normal with me" on specifics...When I was still in Iowa though most of the public land around me didn't get much use during bow season. Shotgun season it got hammered but during bow season not a ton of use. IMHO the trick for public land whitetails, other than the typical "get away from everyone else" advice is this....If you can hunt during the week you have it made. For the most part with whitetail hunting the majority of the guys will be weekend hunting. So if you can hunt Monday-Friday you shouldn't see a ton of pressure. Also, if the rut is kicking, pack some water & snacks and stay all day...Iowa deer are freaking crazy during the rut and run crazy 24/7....I grew up hunting in Kentucky, Iowa is a whole different world than down south...My first year I lived in Iowa I saw more rut activity in one week than I did in 20+ years combined in Kentucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info, we do have some rut activity here in NC on some days, but nothing like what I hear it is like out there. I am excited!
 

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Fat Jesus
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Thanks for the info, we do have some rut activity here in NC on some days, but nothing like what I hear it is like out there. I am excited!
I'm gonna venture to say that the deer hunting is better in KY than in NC "just like basketball"... Trust me, you've never seen the whitetail rut if NC is the only place you've hunted.
 

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I'm gonna venture to say that the deer hunting is better in KY than in NC "just like basketball"... Trust me, you've never seen the whitetail rut if NC is the only place you've hunted.
He tells it like it is. Even If it leaves others butthurt over the truth lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Come on now, Can't be hating on my heels!!!! KY has been pretty decent though, if they could keep a kid for longer than 1 season.
 

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Fat Jesus
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Come on now, Can't be hating on my heels!!!! KY has been pretty decent though, if they could keep a kid for longer than 1 season.
Yeah I mean UK is only the winningest program in history and has twice as many national championships as you... Yeah you could say they are decent. But hey atleast UNC has that whole giant Academic Scandal to fall back on.
 

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I'm from Illinois and have bowhunted public in the Rathbun area for almost 20 years. Have scouted way more than I can even hunt. The biggest problem is the increase in resident hunting pressure across the board. They don't need to draw, and they each get 2 buck tags. If you plan to hunt public my recommendation is to know where all the parking areas are, then hunt wherever you DON'T see other trucks parked, even if it's old fields. Don't spend a month on Google Earth locating funnels, and then expect nobody to be there when you go.

I truly wish the Iowa DNR would put an end to camping allowed in the parking areas! That totally sucks. It's bad enough when I run into these dopes that stake out public land and act like they own it, but doing so with entire parking lots is pathetic. One group by us even takes an ATV every year to haul out deer illegally. Me and several others called CO's when we viewed them trespassing and the CO's did nothing. Same with year round stands left on public.

In 2012 I found a 130" butt shot deer under my tree when it got light out. The shot came from directly behind. What a crew out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for the reply, guess there are all kinds of people out there and unfortunately some of them like to go hunting! I am going to send you a PM to ask some specific questions if that is ok?
 
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