Standing Corn? It's been that kind of year!


New member
:laugh:Spent this sunny and windless day in the Emmetsburg and Spencer area. Love the numerous and smaller public areas that are suitable for upland hunting. My first parcel was occupied by some second season deer hunters so I decided to "scout" on my way to the second parcel. I never made it!:)

Came across Ed's standing corn with some adjacent CRP grasses on the way. After some conversation and the promise to go easy on the corn Sophie and I began our hunt.

This was only the second time I have hunted standing corn this late in the season. As you can see from the photo the tops are gone and it makes for some chest high shooting.

I started in Ed's other field with a few rows left standing due to earlier snow that had drifted in. Sophie and I pointed/flushed 12 hens and a lone rooster from this. He is the far left bird in the photo and was this year's bird.

Next we focused on the standing corn. This corn was loaded with birds. I gave up on the exact tally for the hunt but many hens and roosters were observed. I quit with 12 on the cocks. I shot the wild flushed bird on the far right as he jumped from the row next to me. I couldn't resist. Sophie was funneling birds to the corners and into the adjacent crp grass. I did not shoot another bird from the corn. We circled back and began hunting the crp. I wanted some pointing work now and Sophie was in the mood.

We had numerous points in the crp grasses. Our first four were hens and they held fairly well. I could see birds working back into the corn ahead of us. The next point was perfect. A slower approach and the redirect into the wind. The guy in the middle decided on a straight up and away strategy unaware that I practice this one often with trap. The key is to wait until they "level off". We worked the crp for four more points before heading back to Ed's house.

I offered a dressed bird to Ed. He shared that some hunters had been in the crp the first or second weekend of the season. Some mechanical issues and a family funeral were the root causes to the harvest delay. He plans to harvest these fields after Xmas. I will be back. This has been an interesting season with the "late birds" and crop conditions. A quick check of my journal confirms that I have hunted standing corn only one other time this late in the season.
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New member
i've always looked at standing corn as a negative. i can see how it could be a gold mine late in the year when all the corn around it has been shelled. good food for thought.

roughly how many acres of standing corn was there?

congrats on the hunt. great pics!


New member
Hey GSP,

In Iowa if you find standing corn now it usually has birds in it. The piece I was in was a total of 5 acres. I could see but more often hear Sophie as she worked the cover. On the other side of the picked section was an additional 6 or 7 acres. I did not walk this piece.

I also do not hunt standing corn in the early season. With the tops now gone due to wind and the occasional snow, the corn stands at 4 and 1/2 to 5 feet. It is perfect to shoot over!:)

You are correct that the corn acts like a "sieve" for surrounding pheasants. I am sure any bird in a several mile area was in that field yesterday.

Hoosier Gsp

New member
Awesome hunt KBell. I hunted the Emmetsburg / Spencer area the second week of November we had a lot of wind and cold temps but we saw a lot of birds but they had their track shoes on and were flushing out of range. I love hunting that area for the people are great and the hunting has been good. I wish I could come back out for a another hunt this year but it looks like it's not going to happen until next season. Good luck on the rest of the season and keep the stories coming.


New member
Nice hunt KBell. We might have to meet up. I want to hunt further west, but never seem to make it that way. I work in Algona, so I should just leave work early and hunt the afternoon in Emmetsburg.