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Proposed bow hunt long time in coming

met Bart several years ago while on a duck hunt in Southern Louisiana.

He owns and guides the Chein Noir Farms Guide Service. Bart is the kind of guy a person feels has been a friend for years after only knowing him a few hours.

We had a great hunt, great food and time to visit around camp. I told him at that time, he needed to come to Iowa and go deer hunting with me. I was starting a limited guided bow hunting service and he could teach me the ropes as well as be one of the first customers. He started applying for a non-resident deer tag the next year.

Iowa has a rather strange system for getting a hunting license if a person is not a resident of the state. We have some of the best quality of deer in the world. The deer population in the southern part of the state is dense enough to insure hunter success.

The southern part of Iowa is also one of the poorest parts of the country. The tourism dollars brought on by making licenses more easily obtained by non-resident hunters would bring in millions of dollars to an area that could really use it. For some reason, State Representatives and the Department of Natural Resources do not want to hear such suggestions.

Before Bart was selected for a tag, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He did not apply one year, not knowing what the future would hold. When the disease went into remission, he started the application process again. His name was finally drawn this year.

When Bart and his brother, Kent, pulled into the driveway, they did not want to rest from their long drive, they wanted to go hunting. I briefly showed them around the farm and turned them loose. I figure anybody that can navigate a swamp in the rain and darkness would not have a problem with a few hills and timber. They saw a few deer that evening but were waiting for just the right one.

Sunday, the wind was blowing with gusts up to 60 miles-per-hour. It was not a good day to be high in a tree, or even in the timber. They each found where they wanted their stands and hunted a few hours, seeing even more deer.

Monday morning was clear and cold. For a couple of Louisiana boys, venturing out in the pre-dawn darkness with below-freezing temperatures was brutal. They were in their stands by 6 a.m. and spent the entire day perched high in their trees. Bart said by one o'clock, his legs were numb from the knees down. By five, his hands were so stiff and cold, he was not sure he could knock an arrow or climb down from the tree stand. About five-thirty, a beautiful buck walked within a few feet of the base of his tree. The sudden adrenaline rush immediately warmed his whole body. He knocked, drew and sent the arrow on a true flight. The trophy of a lifetime dropped a few yards away.

Kent spent thirteen hours in his tree. He saw 21 deer, 10 of them being bucks eight points or larger. He let them all pass, still waiting for just the right one. When people have spent the amount of time waiting for this opportunity, they want to make it good.

It has been a long time coming to this point. Bart is happy with his trophy buck and Kent is just as happy still hunting.

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.