Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
The annual fall rut is picking up steam across the state and with mild weather and colorful fall foliage living on borrowed time, there’s no better time to begin hunting Iowa white-tails. But although bow hunters will be seeing a good number of deer when they take to the early woodlands, most will be reluctant to fill their tags as they wait out the ‘Big One’. For now, archers will be content to hone their skills by shooting one or two field points before leaving the stand. But there is a way for bow hunters to “have their cake and eat it too”. Regardless of where you hunt, most timbers a chock full of gray and fox squirrels. After a couple of months of feeding on walnut, acorns, and hickory nuts, local populations are as fat and tasty as they are abundant. By simply adding a couple of Judo-type small game heads to their quivers, hunters can actually be actively hunting every single time they take to the woods. The end result is a wide variety of shots at game [with minimal disturbance] every time you climb into the tree. In addition to improving your accuracy and woodsman skills, you might also leave the woods with a prime bushy tail or two. Whether they end up in the crock pot or frying pan, a mess of fresh squirrels never fails to provide a delightful entrée. The slower you cook ‘em; the better they are.