Monday morning we sat in the blind and just like clockwork, the does came filing onto the hillside on their way to the bedding area as they did on the past mornings. The does had not been on the hill 3 or 4 minutes when 3 bucks came out of the bottom walking up toward them. One of the bucks was definitely a shooter in size but still looked to be young. We discussed if I should shoot him or wait on another buck. Taking into consideration the state and area we were hunting in, I decided to wait. This was the second shooter buck that we had seen in the past two days so there was a good possibility that there would be others and possibly bigger, more mature bucks. Had this been my home state, and with a little luck, that buck would have been in the back truck on his way to my freezer and wall.

Does on the hillside. These does came in like clockwork every morning.

Two of the three bucks that came across the adjacent hill we were watching over.

One of the bucks that we had come across the adjacent hill. We opted to hold out.

We watched as the bucks followed the does into the bedding area and out of sight. We started talking about how we could get down in an area where we could see the bucks coming into the bottom. We left the blind a little early because we were going to a different area and were going to do a drive through a head of woods around some agricultural fields. This was my first drive and although it was unsuccessful, it was still exciting because you never knew if something was going to come busting over the switch grass covered hillside 60-80 yards in front of us.

We left the field and drove into the small town to eat lunch at the famous Home Town Cafe. I ordered a pork tenderloin sandwich. HOLY SMOKES…this sandwich was HUGE. It was a pork tenderloin that had been cubed, breaded in seasoned coating and deep fried. Very tasty.

We ate lunch at the Famous Home Town Cafe

THIS is an IOWA Pork Tenderloin Sandwich...just so you know before you ever order one.

While sitting at the table waiting for our food, the guys starting planning on how we could get closer to the area where the bucks were coming out or where they were crossing at the top of the hill. They were actually using a pack of coffee creamer and three stick-tights…LOL!! These guys were serious about getting a plan together.

The guys strategizing for the afternoon hunt...with a creamer pack and 3 stick-tights...LOL!!

For the afternoon hunt we were going down to the edge of the field to sit in some brush close to where the bucks were coming into the hillside. This was a great pinch point and corridor but I was going to have to be ready as soon as they came over the hill so I sat on full alert the entire time. This hunt was exhausting for me but I knew it was our best bet to get on a good buck…perseverance was my mantra for that hunt. Seeing the tracks we had seen in this area, it was not hard to keep up the pace and wake up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to head for the field.

Big tracks...this will get you out of bed at 4:30 a.m. EVERY morning.

We were picked up shortly after dark and tonight we were dining on some good cold weather food. Billinda cooked two pot of pinto beans with ham and onions, and some sweet cornbread muffins. The second pot was seasoned with jalapeño; which was the pot I dipped the ladle in. She made a beautiful salad with all the fixings and made some good sweet tea…real sweet tea, like we drink in the South. For dessert we had apple pie and vanilla ice cream. What a fantastic meal!!

Tuesday morning we were back sitting on the edge of the field. The wind was blowing straight through the saddle between these two hills and right into our face. Ice crystals formed on my eyelashes and I looked over at Richard and he had ice covering his entire facemask. He said his mustache was frozen.

I actually had ice crystals that formed on my eyelashes and from the nap of my wool cap.

Frost on Richard's Mask.

This hunt only produced one doe early in the afternoon. We were pretty sure that the bucks were skirting the top of the hill which would now be where we could not see them. It was time to move up to the top of the hill. When we were picked up, we headed back to camp so the guys could take a nap before our afternoon hunt. Billinda and I headed into Amana to take some pictures. We stopped at Ronneburg Restaurant to grab some lunch. We both had “The Builder”; an open faced roast beef with cottage fries in between the two pieces of oven bread and brown gravy over the entire plate. Whew, that was definitely some fine eating. Needless to say, we spent our entire time talking and eating–pictures were no longer important, we were having too much fun.

The Ronneburg Restaurant serves an awesome open-face roast beef called "The Builder"

I had to be back at camp so that Richard could eat his hamburger we picked up for him and in plenty of time to leave by 1:15-1:30 p.m. We were back at 1:00 p.m. so Richard ate quickly. We were back in the field at 2:00 p.m. Richard had to put up the additional lock-on which didn’t take but a few minutes and before 2:30 p.m. we where in place stand hung, camera arm on tree, all our gear set up and ready for a nice buck to come into our set up. We didn’t see anything on the afternoon hunt, but we felt good about the morning hunt since all the movement we had seen in the morning eventually came through this corridor.

The scenery from this stand was absolutely beautiful and we had an eagle flying above us for about 5-10 minutes. I could spend many hours on this hill sitting in this stand.

Beautiful landscape with rolling hills and farmland.

We were fortunate enough to see several Eagles. One of them flew over our stand on our last morning hunt.