No Sure Thing

Co-produced by Joe Sir and J.D. Huitt, Hallowed Ground Outdoor is an exploration into the depths of who we are as hunters. In “Production Notes”, they’ll take you behind the scenes to look at what drives both the team and the show

In the fall of 2012, I was fortunate enough to have drawn a muzzleloader tag in southern Iowa, which is well known as one of the best trophy producing regions for whitetails in the United States. The year before, I had been up there to film Joe Sir after Christmas on a muzzleloader hunt. On that hunt, we saw more deer in one field than I had ever seen in my life (at least while hunting) and on the last morning of our hunt, Joe managed to tag a nice buck. So when I found out that I had drawn a tag and would be returning to the same area, I was thrilled. While I was hunting in southern Iowa, Joe would be hunting his home ground in the northern part of the state.

A giant Iowa buck.

Upon arriving in Iowa, I set up in the same crop field where Joe and I had seen the massive numbers of deer and where he had eventually filled my tag. Reality soon set in and replaced my southern Iowa fantasy as we got completely skunked that first evening. That became the story of my hunt in southern Iowa. On a few sits, we would see a few does and on one occasion, saw a marginal buck at a distance but for the most part, we were getting humbled by the circumstances that were being thrown at us.

JD Huitt of Hallowed Ground Outdoors waiting patiently for a buck to present a shot.

To make matters worse, Joe was experiencing similar struggles in his neck of the woods. The pinnacle of our misfortune came when a bona fide giant came within shooting range of his set up, but made a quick exit after being spooked by a car that had stopped on the road. From the standpoint of two guys who not only want to fill a tag, but also need to produce a show, things were getting stressful.

Hours in the stand paid off for Joe Sir

In the end, I never had a buck come within range, but did harvest a few does and Joe managed to kill a buck on the very last day. For guys who don’t live in some of these regions that are considered “prime”, it’s easy to let your imagination outrun reality and think that going there will guarantee you a buck. The truth is that there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Granted, areas like southern Iowa do hold more trophy producing potential, but just like anywhere, it’s still hunting. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t wrap a tag around a set of antlers, I still had fun and still value the trips that I took to southern Iowa. However, I do look forward to the day when I can get back up there and give it another whirl.

Hallowed Ground Outdoors Airs Wednesday’s at 730AM ET, Friday’s at 6PM ET, and Saturday’s at 6PM ET.

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