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The first of Iowa’s shotgun deer seasons begin December 3 giving hunters ample time to get their gun, cleaned, oiled and patterned before heading to the timber.
“Most hunters want their guns sighted in for deer season. We suggest they come to a shooting range and begin at 25 yards and work out distances where they feel comfortable taking a shot in the field,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Practicing and knowing how the gun will perform before opening day is a good way to prepare for a successful hunt.”
Ranges managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources can be found at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/PlacesToHuntShoot/IowaShootingRanges.aspx
Sighting in the gun one part of a pre-hunt checklist hunters should have that includes visiting with the landowner or landowners where they plan to hunt to confirm they have access, go through their equipment including the blaze orange to make sure it is in working order and the blaze orange hasn’t faded to noncompliance.
“Hunters want to be seen by other hunters so we encourage them to wear more than the minimum amount of blaze orange required by law. Blaze orange can fade after years of wear so be sure that vest, hat or jacket is still bright and in good shape, or replace it before the season begins,” Wisecup said.
Hunters in Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons often use a technique of hunters pushing the timber forcing deer toward other hunters who are blocking their exit. While this is a popular technique, it is not the only way to participate.
Individual hunters or those in groups of two or three can approach the hunt by focusing on deer travel lanes, bedding areas or food sources similar to the approaches taken by muzzleloader or bow hunters.