Home Forums Hunting Deer Hunting Clayton County Public Land

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  • Avatarjrbert
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    Post count: 75

    I’m new to the Cedar Rapids area and I’m considering hunting up in Clayton Co. Any tips for public land? There doesn’t seem to be much public land up there besides the River Valley.

    Are landowners up there willing to let you hunt their land?

    Thanks!
    Jerry

    Avatarbwhntr33
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    Post count: 88

    Are you hunting 2nd shotgun, late bow or muzzle? There is public land up there more county owned than state. Unless you have friends or family up there you won’t get on private, a lot of leased land.

    Avatarcopperyj
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    Post count: 119

    Also the further north you go the better. The rougher the land the better

    Avatarjrbert
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    Post count: 75

    Where can I find out the state public hunting land? I looked at the DNR atlas and it shows a handful of public state-owned land, but not too much.

    I’m hunting late muzzleloader. Hunting solo.

    Any suggestions for public land or methods of hunting (e.g. still hunting, treestand, ground cover, etc…)?

    This is my first year ever hunting in Iowa. Used to hunt in South Dakota. I’ve never hunted timber before.

    Thank you,
    Jerry

    Avatarspeng5
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    Post count: 2928

    Are you using this?

    https://programs.iowadnr.gov/maps/huntingatlas/default.html

    If so you should be able to see all public lands available for hunting, not just state managed. County areas show up on there.

    On that atlas program the state, county, Ihap, and other are color coded. Honestly though land is land, there really aren’t any huge benefits to hunting a state managed area. Sure some of them have “food plots” but this year a lot of them suck anyway at least in my neck of the woods. I don’t pay attention to such things but I’d have to think conditions during planting or shortly thereafter must’ve been pretty poor. They don’t always do a great job of timing or actual planting practices, but it’s public nonetheless, and you get what you pay for.

    If you want to try Clayton Co for the first time, You’d probably be best served setting up on a smaller public county spot that borders a lot of private ag fields and try to intercept the deer on their way to feed. As always play the wind and look at some topo maps (Google maps has the option to use a “terrain” overlay) to get ideas of travel routes.

    Avatarjrbert
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    Post count: 75

    Thank you for the tips.

    Are the public lands in Clayton Co. (in your opinion) high pressure hunted or pretty much a hunter has the land to himself?

    When you’re talking about lack of food supply are there not many corn / soybean fields in Clayton Co.?

    Thanks,
    Jerry

    Avatarspeng5
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    Post count: 2928

    I was mainly talking about here (Johnson/Linn/Henry Counties) how what few food sources there are seem crappy this year. Clayton I couldnt tell you as the places.ai hunt there dont have them. Thats why I suggest finding an area of public that buts up to a farm field and intercepting them.going to feed.

    Avatarm sauer
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    Post count: 1285

    Quote by: jrbert

    Thank you for the tips.

    Are the public lands in Clayton Co. (in your opinion) high pressure hunted or pretty much a hunter has the land to himself?

    When you’re talking about lack of food supply are there not many corn / soybean fields in Clayton Co.?

    Thanks,
    Jerry

    I would imagine the shotgun seasons are really busy. It might slow down for late muzzy….it usually does in most places. You may have an occasional muzzy group that pushes the timber though. You definitely won’t have it to yourself. Look at aerial maps and see if you can find public that either has food plots on it or better yet butts up to ag fields. You could do some scouting and sit up in a staging area to catch deer heading to the ag in the evening.

    Avatarcopperyj
    Participant
    Post count: 119

    There are a ton of crop fields, but not many on public ground. If you want good chance at success in late muzzy you will have to find a food source and hunt close to it if not over it.

    Avatarjrbert
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    Post count: 75

    I have yet to scout the area, but with the hills are is there corn/soybeans there, or other types of food sources?

    Avatarspeng5
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    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: jrbert

    I have yet to scout the area, but with the hills are is there corn/soybeans there, or other types of food sources?

    If youre looking at areas that contain a camping area or trout stream, note that those areas are primarily managed for those purposes. While hunting is allowed, some of the small county areas are trout streams and camping areas first, and hunting areas second, so it would be a pretty rare find to see any food areas or standing crops left for that purpose. I’d spend some time looking at Google maps if it were me and finding access points and routes from the public leading to an edge bordered by private fields.

    Avatarjrbert
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    Post count: 75

    Thank you for the note. I’m not used to hunting timber, so this will be a whole new experience. I thought about the hunting the Mississippi River, but from what I’ve read it’s a bit too hilly.

    And I wonder what the odds are for shooting a deer with CHD in Clayto Co.

    Avatardrmac22
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    Post count: 1908

    Used to hunt the big sand bars on the mississippi and did fine. You can find good public hunting in clayton you just have to look around. Try Fayette too. Volga has public.

    Avatarjrbert
    Participant
    Post count: 75

    Quote by: drmac22

    Used to hunt the big sand bars on the mississippi and did fine. You can find good public hunting in clayton you just have to look around. Try Fayette too. Volga has public.

    I appreciate that. I have two doe tags for Clayton Co. (in addition to any deer), so, I’m not too worried about shooting a buck in Clayton Co. I’ve never hunted sandbars, either. Is it more stalk hunting or sittin’ still?

    JB

    Avatarbankrunner
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    Post count: 337

    Quote by: jrbert

    Thank you for the note. I’m not used to hunting timber, so this will be a whole new experience. I thought about the hunting the Mississippi River, but from what I’ve read it’s a bit too hilly.

    And I wonder what the odds are for shooting a deer with CHD in Clayto Co.

    Heard DNR has collected a couple deer( bucks) that were shot 1st season both acting strange, running around, laying down in open field, doing weird stuff. 2 separate properties but border, different deer parties and each were isolated reported to the DNR. Hopefully not CWD.

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