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IFallsRon

Bo knows bucks?

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A sports legend stalks Iowa's legendary deer

By LOWELL WASHBURN, For The Globe Gazette

RICEVILLE — When fall hunting seasons roll around, sports legend Bo Jackson can go anywhere in the world.

Jackson’s greatest outdoor passion is hunting for big game with bow and arrow. From elk to bear, alligators to javelina, Bo and his bow have seen and done it all.

Although retired from professional sports, Jackson still refers to his playbook before hitting the field. But these days his strategies for success are focused on white-tailed deer rather than touchdowns or homeruns.

That’s why, when it came time for a three-day November deer hunt, Jackson considered all the possibilities and then chose North Iowa.

“I’d been hearing about Iowa’s giant white-tails for a long time,” said Jackson. “Although I’d had invitations and wanted to hunt deer in Iowa for more than 10 years, this was the very first opportunity I had to actually come here.

“When I learned that I’d been fortunate enough to receive a (nonresident) deer tag, I dropped everything and immediately rearranged my schedule,” he added.

After a decade of anticipation, Jackson’s first Iowa hunt took place last week on the Jennison Family Farm near Riceville. Accompanying him on the outing was friend and avid bow hunter Martin Bruder of Lakeville, Minn., and host Mark Elliott of Osage.

DNR conservation officer and deer hunting expert Ken Lonneman volunteered to serve as hunt coordinator.

As Jackson climbed into his tree stand during the first evening of the hunt, he immediately became aware that stories concerning the size of Iowa white-tails were no exaggeration. At the approach of sunset, large numbers of deer began moving along the maze of woodland trails surrounding his stand. After watching the animals for more than an hour Jackson picked his target, bent the bow and successfully harvested his first Iowa white-tail — a hefty mature doe.

Less than 200 yards down the trail, things were going even better for hunting buddy Bruder who carefully took aim to arrow an impressive buck during his first trip to the stand.

“It was incredible,” said Jackson. “Martin and I each harvested a deer at about the same time during the very first day of our hunt.

“These (Iowa) deer are giants. I started hunting deer in my home state of Alabama during the early 1980s. The doe I took here in Iowa this week was bigger than any buck I’ve seen in Alabama.”

But it was Bruder’s deer that really caught Jackson’s eye. A fully mature, 10-point typical, the buck green scored at 150 points (based on the Pope & Young measuring standard).

“That deer is the kind I’ve been hearing about,” said Jackson.

“I’d have to say that Martin shot the buck I came to Iowa for,” he said with a laugh.

In spite of his attraction to giant bucks, Jackson hunts as much for the table as he does for antlers. As proficient in the kitchen as in the woods, his home freezer is well stocked with wild game. In addition to ample stores of venison, the family larder includes duck, elk and oryx.

“When on a hunt, I like to do all my own work,” says Jackson. “I don’t really like to have people do things for me. If I am fortunate enough to harvest a deer, then I think it’s my job to drag it out of the woods and process myself.”

After skinning and butchering his deer, Jackson processes a portion of his venison into summer sausage, jerky, etc. Many of the cuts are shared with family and friends or with those less fortunate.

Although Jackson could have legally bagged two Iowa deer, that mature doe was the only animal he chose to take. He did, however, have several opportunities to shoot does and smaller bucks while spending three more “sits” in the stand. He declined, noting that he’d leave them for next time.

“I met some great people and had a lot of fun here. This was really a great first trip to Iowa,” said Jackson. “I am very satisfied with what I’ve seen here and hope to be back hunting deer in Iowa at this same time next year.”

More about Bo Jackson

Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson is one of a handful of athletes to achieve success in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

Officially retired since 1995, Jackson devotes much of his leisure time to hunting big game with bow and arrow. He also is engaged in speaking tours and private business.

“One of the things I’m very involved with is a company that supplies the military with food items like bacon, beef and chicken — mainly to our troops in the Middle East,” said Jackson.

Jackson has made two visits to U.S. troops in Kuwait, and during each of the past three years has spent Super Bowl week with U.S. troops in the Mideast.

“I try to visit at least a dozen or more bases during Super Bowl week,” said Jackson. “They are such great people and really appreciate anything you do for them. Spending time with them and looking at what’s going on over there really makes you sit back and think about all that we have at home and how much we take for granted,” he said.

Lowell Washburn of Clear Lake is a public information specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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What do I have to do to hunt private land with the help of a C/O???? confused.gifmad.gifgrin.gif

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You need to be Bo Jackson!!! tongue.gif

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This is a great story. Bo Jackson was one of the best athletes I've ever seen do anything, good grief the guy was just a stud and now he is not only doing things for our troops but he's a big time hunter and not some lame celebrity trophy hunter, he came and shot a doe, that's a sign of a REAL hunter.

Kudos to Bo!

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maybe after shooting a doe, he realized how hard it is to drag 200lbs of dead weight on soft ground laugh.gif

Quote:

he came and shot a doe, that's a sign of a REAL hunter.

Kudos to Bo!


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I agree, great story. I love the fact that he does it all himself, guts, drags, processes. Seems like a real class act.

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But then, don't we all do it ourselves??? I mean, the gut, drag and process.

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I agree, great story. I love the fact that he does it all himself, guts, drags, processes. Seems like a real class act.


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Yes, but a celeb?

Nice article. Seems like a down to earth guy.

Probably had the CO on hand so he could avoid any mistakes beforehand.

Not like the Gentry guy.

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There are plenty of people who don't know how to gut and are to out of shape to drag. Not "all" do it themselves and it doesn't make them bad hunters.

From what I have seen, Bo did something an awful lot of TV hunters won't do. More power to him.

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I saw a hunting show a few years back where Bo was taken on a grouse hunt. It was obvious he'd never done it before...he was with his guide on a trail when they walked up on a grouse sitting about 5ft away. Bo didn't shoot and the guide remarked "Bo's a real sportsman, he wouldn't shoot a bird on the ground" Next the bird flew up to the nearest tree branch, now about 10ft away. Bo stepped a little closer took aim at the motionless bird and blew it apart. Real sporting. Watching it was hillarious because of what his guide said.

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I saw a hunting show a few years back where Bo was taken on a grouse hunt. It was obvious he'd never done it before...he was with his guide on a trail when they walked up on a grouse sitting about 5ft away. Bo didn't shoot and the guide remarked "Bo's a real sportsman, he wouldn't shoot a bird on the ground" Next the bird flew up to the nearest tree branch, now about 10ft away. Bo stepped a little closer took aim at the motionless bird and blew it apart. Real sporting. Watching it was hillarious because of what his guide said.


Now that's funny!!!

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