By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist
With my mind on the relentless Oklahoma sun bearing down and the summer heat, many deer hunters thoughts (mine included) are yearning for fall, the changing of leaves, and cooler temperatures.
Then, as if on cue, the phone rings and it’s my Iowa deer hunting connection, Bo Greene of Afton, Iowa, quizzing me to see if I’ve drawn a non-resident deer tag for the state.
I told him unless I had missed something the draw wasn’t for a few weeks or sometime mid-July. He laughed and said he wanted to see if I was on my toes.
Greene owns and operates Big Hunts Iowa with his brother, Josh. Having hunted with both, I’ll just say don’t let Bo being in his early 20s fool you. He is wise beyond his years when it comes to deer hunting. Having been a number of guided hunts around the country, he is definitely hard to beat.
The state of Iowa is on a draw basis for deer hunting. If you are archery hunting, the odds are you will get drawn once every three years. For muzzleloader or shotgun hunting, the odds for being drawn are a little better, usually every other year.
Greene’s family owns and also leases quite a bit of prime hunting land and his father is a local veterinarian. The nicest people you’d ever want to meet.
In talking with Greene, I understand that some areas of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and one state I would never have suspected, Montana (specifically a 100-mile stretch along the Milk River Valley which continues into adjacent states) had reports of Hemorrhagic Disease among deer in 2011-2012.
According to Dr. James C. Kroll, writing for North American Whitetail magazine, within that 100-mile parcel of land was a loss of as much as 90 pecent of its deer herd.
“This region has experienced similar die-offs in the past, again on a cyclical pattern,” writes Kroll.
“A fly ( a gnat or midge) carries the disease and is aided by drought conditions.
“Midges develop in mud. Deer concentrating around the few water sources fall victim in the late afternoon to midge bites.:
Before investing in a out-of-state hunt, be sure to check with your outfitter or someone locally about the health of the deer herd in the area. Greene assured me that to the best of his knowledge the area hasn’t been impacted with any reports of sick deer.
And, he is fired up about the upcoming season.
You may contact Bo Greene via his website, www.bighuntsiowa.com.
John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at email@example.com.There’s nice off-season hunting opportunities up north