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Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:38 pm
by Elusive78
Will be drawing a Iowa Archery Bow tag this year. Any suggestions out there on what are the best public lands to hunt in Iowa.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:10 am
by JoeRE
I would suggest you do some cyber scouting of decent looking spots in the zone of your choice, take a week of vacation or a couple long weekends and come here and scout your butt off this spring, and those efforts will be rewarded. The principles of beast hunting apply and if you walk a bit and/or put some obstructions like water or big hills between you and the truck you can find some great hunting. Hunters that try to do it cold turkey without prep work usually struggle just like most other situations.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 am
by mike_mc

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:28 am
by SamPotter
Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:48 am
by Jonny
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:11 am
by SamPotter
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.


Onx has me a little gun shy after watching the last Whitetail Adrenaline DVD.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:25 am
by Jonny
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.


Onx has me a little gun shy after watching the last Whitetail Adrenaline DVD.


I always double check it with another source (GIS specifically). But care to elaborate on what happened in the DVD?

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:30 am
by BassBoysLLP
I'm a guaranteed draw this year after passing up last year. I am planning on a Zone 4 or 5 hunt.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:46 am
by Jonny
BassBoysLLP wrote:I'm a guaranteed draw this year after passing up last year. I am planning on a Zone 4 or 5 hunt.


Hopefully you don't get deported for work again :lol:

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:25 pm
by SamPotter
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.


Onx has me a little gun shy after watching the last Whitetail Adrenaline DVD.


I always double check it with another source (GIS specifically). But care to elaborate on what happened in the DVD?


There was something about hunting on land that Onx said was public and turned out not to be. Happened in two different states.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:40 am
by BassBoysLLP
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.


Onx has me a little gun shy after watching the last Whitetail Adrenaline DVD.


I always double check it with another source (GIS specifically). But care to elaborate on what happened in the DVD?


There was something about hunting on land that Onx said was public and turned out not to be. Happened in two different states.


I've encountered that in WI as well. It was easy to ask for forgiveness though.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:23 am
by SamPotter

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:00 am
by RidgeGhost
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:
Jonny wrote:
SamPotter wrote:Iowa DNR has a link that allows you to upload the GPS data into Google Earth. I've been able to then transfer this information into the GPS app I have in my phone. Very useful. I'm not convinced that the DNR's website has 100% of the available public land in there though. Someone else could chime in if they know more about this.


I know wisconsin dnr does not have all the available public land. I'd guess its about 75% or so depending on the area. I'd look at a GIS map and see who owns what. Lots of times large companies own land and list it on their website as being open, but the DNR mapping won't have it.

Onx is the best I have found. Has 99% of the land I know is public on there. Maybe 1-2 pieces off the top of my head that I can think of that aren't on there. But they have private land companies open up and everything.


Onx has me a little gun shy after watching the last Whitetail Adrenaline DVD.


I always double check it with another source (GIS specifically). But care to elaborate on what happened in the DVD?


There was something about hunting on land that Onx said was public and turned out not to be. Happened in two different states.


Definitely have to be careful about that. I know of a few places that onX says are public that are not

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:09 am
by Octoberjohn
The Iowa DNR page has a wealth of info available. The maps they provide on the "Places to hunt and shoot" page are great. They include aerials, topos, etc. Just be sure once you decide on an area to call the local DNR officer to confirm that the maps are accurate. If the opportunity is available obviously get out here early and get some boots on the ground.

Re: Iowa Public Land Hunt

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:26 am
by WV Bowhunter
A buddy and myself drove out there last year to scout public, it looked better than any public I’ve ever been on and most private that I’ve been on around here. It’s a 14 hr drive each way but we felt it was well worth it. We are going to go back out in a couple months to try to add on the scouting we did last year. I think we walked 28 miles last year scouting out there.

We should draw this fall and will probably try to make two trips out to bow hunt. So with two scouting trips and two trips out to hunt we will have over 100 hrs of driving time, somewhere around 20 nights in cheap motels, a bunch of spent vacation time from work, plus all the money in points and tags but hopefully it will all be worth it. I’ve really enjoyed the cyber scouting and planning, and the boots on the ground to this point. I’ve enjoyed it even if I don’t end up tagging a an Iowa stud.