Come and Hunt Iowa's Premier Trophy Whitetail Destination!!
This is Timberghost In 1998 Timberghost opened its doors to a few lucky whitetail enthusiasts for the beginning of what has grown into one of the premier trophy whitetail destinations in North America. Created by whitetail addicts, we understand the passion of serious trophy hunters for hunting monster whitetail bucks. Not just bucks with a giant score, but the thrill that comes from hunting hard for massive framed, huge bodied monarchs of the Midwest. Situated in the bluff country of Southeastern Iowa, it is no accident that Timberghost is located in the finest whitetail area in the country. Just thumb through the SCI, Boone and Crockett, or Pope and Young record books and you will see that Iowa produces some of the largest bucks in the world.
Our priority is to give each of our guests a hunting experience that exceeds their wildest expectations, regardless of whether you prefer to hunt in one of our intensively managed preserves or out on our incredible free range properties. Our skilled guide staff has proven themselves over the years to have both the knowledge and wisdom necessary to make sure our clients enjoy a truly unique and authentic hunt, chasing trophy whitetails in the heavily wooded hollows and impenetrable creek bottoms of southeast Iowa. From the quality of our game to the quality of your hunt, everyone involved at Timberghost has but one goal, to make sure you enjoy the hunting experience of a lifetime. We have brought all of our knowledge, skills, and experience together to create a trophy whitetail hunting environment without equal. We invite you to join us and enjoy the ultimate whitetail hunting adventure.
Free Range Hunts: We have exclusive hunting rights on over 6 square miles of incredible whitetail habitat located right in the middle of some of the most productive trophy ground in North America. Our properties range from 80 to 600 acres and are spread out in a 40 mile radius from the lodge. We spend many hours planting and caring for food plots, watching deer trails, studying trail camera photos, and preparing stand locations to create the perfect scenario to harvest your mature Iowa whitetail. We use Lone Wolf lock on stands, Rhino ground blinds, Millennium ladder stands, and Shadow hunter box blinds to give us over 130 exciting stand locations throughout our properties. We use over 60 Cuddeback trail cameras to scout our properties each year so we know what deer are in the area and where the most active areas are.
All of these numbers change each year as we add new properties and stand locations in an effort to provide more and better hunting opportunities. In any given week hunters can expect to hunt a number of different stands based on wind direction and current activity so that we do not burn out any one stand location. With hunting pressure limited to 1 hunter per 100 acres per year we work hard to make sure every hunter has the opportunity to hunt for mature Iowa trophies and that every property has the potential to have world class deer on it at any given time. Free Range hunts are semi-guided 5 day hunts. All Free Range hunts include lodging, meals, guide, and tax. Not included are preference points/license/tags and shipping of cape, antlers, or meat. Gratuities are optional. In order to book a spot, a $500 deposit is required each year you apply and will be applied to the cost of the hunt once a tag is drawn.
Application Process: Gun hunters typically take 2 years to draw a license while archery hunters normally require 3 years to draw a tag. Upon booking, we will send you an application that we submit to the Iowa DNR for a preference point or license/tag depending on the year of your scheduled hunt. Each year you apply we will bill out a $500 deposit to keep your dates secure and submit your application. The deposit does not cover license fees that will be charged by the state of Iowa. Fees can vary, but in the past few years preference points have cost close to$60 and the license/tags approximately $570. All deposits received will be applied to your hunt cost the year you successfully draw a tag. Successful applicants will be required to pay half of the remaining balance of their hunt cost in July with the balance due 60 days prior to your hunt dates. All deposits are non refundable. **If you were born after January 1, 1972 and I do not have a hunter safety certificate on file we will need a copy sent in with your application in order to process your application**
Archery Hunts: We typically start our archery hunts around the last 10 days of October and run through the week before Thanksgiving. This allows all of our hunters the opportunity to hunt during the most exciting and productive times of season. While it is an option, we typically do not book early October or late November as they are typically slower times of year for deer movement, but will try to accommodate you if requested.
These hunts include 5 full days of hunting. We normally have 2-3 hunters per guide with only 4-6 free range hunters in camp each week. Over the last 7 years we have averaged 72% shot opportunity for our hunters and the bucks brought into camp have averaged 142 with the past two years averaging closer to 145. We have taken deer up to 189 typical gross P&Y and have missed opportunities at larger. Weather is a key factor during the archery season and nothing beats a late October or November cold front for getting the bucks moving. By concentrating our efforts in and around the rut we normally have the odds tipped in our favor regardless of other factors. There is no draw length or draw weight limit on archery equipment as long as you are shooting an arrow at least 18 inches in length with a broadhead.Crossbows are allowed with a note from your doctor and approval of the Iowa DNR.
Shotgun and Muzzleloader Hunts: These hunts take place the first two weeks of December and include 5 full days of hunting. Bring the warm stuff as these hunts can have temperatures down to zero. The good news is the deer are done with the love struck wandering and are focused on food to build up their condition to make the long winter more bearable. We plant lots of winter food plots to stand hunt and typically spend the mornings on bottle necks and travel corridors to and from food. We normally have 2-3 hunters per guide and will have up to 8 gun hunters in camp for each season. Over the years we have had success rates as low as 50% and as high as 100% with the average year being about 78%. The average buck brought into camp has scored 144 over the years with our largest buck scoring 206 gross B&C. These are muzzleloader or shotgun only.
Hunt Costs: These are 5 day semi-guided hunts on our unfenced properties. If season and lodge availability allow, hunters may continue hunting for an additional $500 per day. To be eligible for these hunts you must successfully draw an Iowa hunting license.
Archery Packages: * Dates prior to Oct 23rd $4,800 *Oct 23rd-Nov 15th $5,300 *After Nov 20th $4,800
Gun Packages: * Gun-1 and Gun-2* $ 5,800 * Shotgun or muzzleloaders are during the first two weeks of December If a hunter harvests a buck scoring over 145 we will refund $1,000. If a hunter does not harvest or wound a buck we will refund $1,500. Not included: application and license fees and staff gratuities.
Timberghost Adventure Hunts:$5,000-$10,000 hunt cost A cross between our free range archery hunts and our preserve trophy hunts, Timberghost Adventure hunts are designed for the serious archery hunter that wants a real opportunity at world class bucks with better odds than free range hunts can provide, but without a guide leading the way. We have over 500 acres of the most productive whitetail habitat in Southeast Iowa that has been fenced and intensively managed for over a decade that is now dedicated to semi-guided archery only hunting. With deer taken over 225 typical and over 250 non-typical from this property in the past, the genetics are second to none and the possibilities are limitless with the genetic pool on this property.
These are 4 day/5 night hunts for mature bucks. The cost is simply determined by the week booked with the first week being the most expensive and the last week the least. There are NO TROPHY FEES or additional costs!! If a hunter does not harvest a buck we will refund 50% of the hunt cost. If a hunter harvests a buck under 150 we will refund 25% of the hunt cost. A $1,000 deposit is required to hold dates.
September Super Hunts: $18,000 for bucks up to 250 SCI: This package was developed for the trophy hunter looking to put his name at the top of the record book while enjoying an authentic hunting experience. With over a decade of breeding some of the largest framed bucks in the country, the sky is the limit on these early trophy hunts. We are regularly seeing hunters get the opportunity to harvest 300-400”+ bucks every year and are always surprised at what kind of bucks get taken during these hunts. This is not only an opportunity at some of the largest bucks in the country, but the opportunity to truly enjoy the adventure of the hunt, while you explore 1000 acres of Iowa’s bluff country on your quest for that once in a lifetime whitetail. A $2000 deposit is required to book these spots. Base Price: *$18,000 for bucks scoring up to 250 *$1,000 for every 10 inches up to 350 *$1,500 for every 10 inches after 350
Preserve Hunts: We have 2 incredible properties under high fence that are intensely managed to produce exceptional trophy quality. These properties are a maze of heavily wooded draws and deep creek bottoms spreading like fingers through areas of native prairie grasses and lush food plots. We have enclosed blinds on many of our primary food plots and ground blinds and ladder stands scattered throughout the timber. If you are on a fully guided hunt you may find yourself still hunting the ridges and creek bottoms or even banging some horns together during the rut trying to rattle a monster Iowa buck out of the thickets.
This incredible habitat and terrain not only creates the perfect whitetail paradise for mature trophy bucks, but also helps ensure a challenging hunting experience for the most seasoned whitetail hunter throughout the entire hunting season. With the exception of the Adventure hunts, all preserve hunters can use rifle, bow, crossbow, muzzleloader or pistol. All Preserve hunts include lodging, meals, guide, license/tag, and tax. Shipping of the cape, antlers, or meat are not included in the cost of the hunt and gratuities are optional.
Timberghost Trophy Hunts:$10,000 - $16,500: These are 4 day/5 night hunts for mature bucks scoring over 200 SCI. The pricing is not based on the size of the animal during these hunts as we would rather you enjoy hunting for giant bucks and not worry about how much that monster buck is going to cost at the end of the week. The reason the price varies is that we do feel the earlier hunters have more opportunities due to the fact there have been less animals harvested. It does not mean all of the larger bucks have been harvested, which is evident by guests harvesting deer well over 200 SCI at the end of the year as well as our 200+ SCI average on trophy bucks.
If a hunter does not harvest a buck we will refund 75% of the hunt cost. If a hunter harvests a buck under 200 we will refund $2,000 of the hunt cost. We require a $2,000 deposit to hold dates and are typically booking two years in advance although we sometimes get late notice cancellations just prior to season.
Management Hunts: $3,800 These are 3 day/ 4 night hunts for bucks scoring up to 150 SCI. Hunters can upgrade to harvest larger bucks for an additional cost. The guides price upgrades in the field based on age and score, but they will generally be an additional $500-$4,000. These hunts can be booked as either a 2x1 or 1x1 and we require a $1,000 deposit to hold dates.
Lodge & Ammenities: The lodging and staff are not the reason you book your hunt, but they certainly help determine the success and enjoyment of your trip. Our repeat clients are proof that we aim to offer everything you would want in a hunting retreat. Situated on the hills overlooking the ranch, our spacious, rustic log lodge offers a relaxing, secluded, family style environment after a hard day in the woods. With 11 private rooms, each with its own private bath, a 4000 sq ft trophy room, and a 4000 sq ft game room, our guests have plenty of room to unwind. Of course, we also have a private business office and wi-fi throughout the lodge for those people who just can’t seem to leave work behind. Additionally, we have a two bedroom cabin adjacent to the lodge to accommodate small groups or families during their stay that want a little extra privacy.
In addition to your hunt, you can relax on the deck overlooking the valley or enjoy drinks and appetizers around the fire pit. We also encourage our guests to take advantage of our fully stocked bar, one of our big screen T.V.’s for your favorite sports games and outdoor shows, or for a little competitive entertainment our game area offers a pool table and a state of the art Laser Shot game for a little friendly competition. There is plenty of opportunity to relax as our lodge staff looks to your every need, and our Chef ensures no one goes hungry by preparing old fashion, home-style meals with an elegant twist.
Outside, we also have a dedicated archery area and shooting range to make sure you are on target before heading to the woods or if you simply want to take some practice time during the day. Whether hunting alone, with a business party, or with family you will appreciate the sincere hospitality and personal care you receive while staying with us. After your first trip you will see why most clients rebook for life and understand why they feel their annual trip to Timberghost is more like returning home rather than leaving it.