Great Outdoors: A Cold First Day of Deer Season

By John Campbell, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

"I started hunting when I was twelve," Jim Cuddeback said. "Got my first Iowa deer in 1977. I got hooked and I have hunted every season since."

Cuddeback, a hunting safety instructor from Washington County, went out on a hunt with 12-year old Cody Jones of Wellman. It was his first deer hunt.

"My dad said it was fun when he was a kid," Cody said.

"I've found that it's a lot of fun to start a new deer-hunter each year," said Cuddeback.

The pair's shed heated up nicely, but the hunting didn't. They spotted a couple of white tails several hundred yards out, going the wrong direction. Jim is among those who agree that the deer herd is down, due in part to disease.

He also remembers when the Iowa deer population exploded in the '80s due to CRP land.

"I think what helped the most was to get the hogs and cattle out of the field," he said.

After four hours, they had seen no deer -- and neither had any other members of their party.

"We haven't even heard any shooting out here," Jim said.

And Cody had learned the first rule of deer hunting.

"You have to wait a while," he said. "You have to be patient."

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