Gun Season *sigh*

2 Dec

Just to let everyone know this is not a “gun hunter vs. bow hunter” article. Just a couple reasons and examples of why I am drawn to the bow. This isn’t my best article, just some random thoughts typed out. Enjoy!




Let’s get one thing straight, I don’t care if you hunt with a gun, bow, or hand grenade as long as you are following all of the rules and regulations in the state you are hunting. With that said, I dread the shotgun season that takes place every year in December. This year the magic date in Iowa is December 5th. Based on historical data, the opening week of shotgun season also brings on a huge shift in deer behavior. Just like a light switch, if there was any daylight post-rut activity it come comes to an abrupt end. From what my trail cameras have told me over the years, the deer go dark. I’m not talking about coming out 30 minutes to an hour after dark to feed, I mean my trail cameras go dead. Any and all daylight activity ends. If for some reason there are deer crossing in front of my trail cameras, it isn’t until midnight, and there isn’t enough info for me to determine a specific pattern. It’s tough when the orange army marches.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t take part in this shotgun season, for a couple reasons. The first, and maybe the biggest influence of my reasoning is… I don’t want to get shot. Iowa is a party hunting state, if you are not with the right group of organized hunters, it can get pretty crazy out there. I hear horror stories every year. About 9 years ago I was taking place in a deer drive with about 15 other guys. I was posting in a low pinch point where all the deer would funnel through as a result of the drivers. As the drivers began to appear off the tops of the ridges three does and a 160″ buck busted out of a thick portion of the timber. The does ran away from me and were shot by another hunter while the big buck tried to flank the outside driver and my position. It was explained before the drive that if the drivers reached the the end of the ridge they were not to shoot down at the position of the guys posting. It’s funny what a big buck can do to a guy. As I was lining up to take a shot on the buck, the outside flanker unloaded on the buck. Long story short, one of the slugs connected with a branch no more than 4 feet above my head. I dropped my gun and hit the deck. That day I came really close to getting shot and kicking some old mans ass. That was the last time I picked up the shotgun for deer hunting.

The second reason, I love bowhunting so much that shotgun hunting doesn’t interest me at this point in my life. I have always been a bowhunter, that’s where I started, that’s where I cut my teeth. But this doesn’t mean I will never gun hunt. As I get older I can see my self picking up the muzzleloader or a shotgun, but right now it’s just me and my bow. I also feel that bowhunting is more challenging, more of a chess match. That’s part of what I am looking for in this crazy sport we call hunting.

As we all know bowhunting tends to be a one man sport. One thing I do miss about the gun season and party hunting is the fellowship. Hanging out with the guys, eating chili, talking about old girlfriends, and drinking a lot of bourbon while playing cards.

Who knows what the future holds…

Thanks for reading,
Dan (DFW)






8 Responses to “Gun Season *sigh*”

  1. DJ December 3, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    I feel the same way. Just look on the bright side Dan at least your orange invasion doesn’t start until December. Us Wisconsinites have to deal with a 9 day rifle season starting the wkd before Thanksgiving followed up with 10 days of muzzle loading. If there’s any deer left that haven’t been shot or scared to death we have a 4 day antlerless hunt. Thank God the DNR did away with the “holiday hunt” at Christmas. I guess they thought they would give the deer a break. Sorry about the long whiny post but seemed the perfect place to vent?

    • Dan Johnson December 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

      No worries man. I’m a good listener. 🙂

  2. Michael LaMay December 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Florida has 3 straight months of muzzleloader/gun season /:
    …. Luckily though I got a few days off of work and school and went to Georgia last weekend and hit the rut perfectly tagging my first two mature bucks ever and my first bucks in 7 years since I was 12. This is my first year seriously hunting besides just one or two weekends a year though, and listening to all of the advice that you and Mark put out on your 3 podcasts and both websites has really payed off! By the way Dan this is off topic and I know your podcast is about gear, but your interview with Big George and listening to the stories he had and just talking like that was awesome! All the ones you’ve done are great, and they all make me want to buy more stuff, but in case you ever run out of gear to talk about, podcasts like that are a favorite for sure!

    • Dan Johnson December 7, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words. Good luck the rest of the season.

  3. Doug chapman December 9, 2015 at 2:25 am #

    Dude absolutely crazy story that would keep me out of the woods during gun season for sure. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience.

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  5. SG May 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    It’s sad to hear you had such a bad experience, well for me I didn’t go through what you experienced but I have noticed a dwindling of deer we can hunt once the gun enthusiasts come in and starts blasting. I think they all should use silencers or yet like you said to use a bow.

  6. Andrew Miller September 28, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    I also hunt with a bow once in a while and it is frustrating when you are just about to shoot your target, then a shotgun bang will just scare everything away.

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