- Chris Dunkin was born in the rolling hills of southern Iowa where he was blessed with an ample amount of opportunities to bow hunt monster whitetails and other game. Chris began hunting alongside friends and family, and continues to do so today. Some of his earliest memories afield are when his father would literally carry him while pheasant hunting. Now, Chris puts in a large amount of time preparing for each deer season by running trail cameras, picking stand locations, and knocking on doors to obtain permission in the areas big whitetails call home. Chris thoroughly enjoys building histories with specific bucks on the properties that he hunts through trail cameras and velvet footage, then pursuing them with a stick and string. Because of this, Chris has had histories with 8 out of the last 9 bucks that he has harvested. His passion does not stop with big mature whitetails, but also encompasses hunting turkeys, waterfowl, small game, shed hunting, running trail cameras, as well as introducing beginners to the sport. To Chris, sharing the stories of his 365 day a year pursuit is just as fun as pulling the trigger.Chris’ passion for the outdoors led him to pursue a career in the natural resource field, where he is now a park ranger and gets to work in the outdoors on a daily basis. When Chris isn’t at work, you’ll find him somewhere in the southern half of Iowa enjoying time with family and friends in the outdoors.
- Growing up in southern Iowa, Blake Lefler obtained his passion for bow hunting from his father. An avid hunter, Blake’s father taught him the basics of hunting giant whitetails and since, Blake has made it a passion. Throughout the years, Blake has been blessed with the opportunity to pursue not only whitetails but wild turkey, elk, antelope, and exotic game species. In recent years, Blake, along with a few good friends, has dedicated himself to capturing his bow hunting season on film. Although Blake’s roots lie in the challenge of chasing giant whitetails, he has also made a career shooting target archery tournaments sanctioned by the NFAA, IBO, and USAA. A multiple time Iowa State Archery champion, when not in the deer stand, Blake spends much of his time training and traveling to professional archery tournaments.
- Jesse Richard cut his teeth hunting upland birds and waterfowl in northern Iowa. Growing up in that part of the state his choice of outdoor adventures included fishing and trapping the Des Moines river, shooting ducks and geese in the many pot holes and corn fields, and bow hunting the hardwood river bottoms. After moving to South East Iowa for college, Jesse found him self chasing after the giant whitetails that called that part of the state home. Now living in central Iowa he makes growing and monitoring trophy class whitetails a full time hobby. Jesse has been filming his hunting adventures for many years. Along with running trail cameras, Jesse spends his time chasing turkeys, predators, waterfowl, and upland birds. He also spends his time going to 3D archery shoots, bow fishing, and camping with his family. Hanging stands, planting food plots, shed hunting, and running cameras is a 365 day a year pursuit for buck of a lifetime.
Jesse juggles family life, work, and his passion for the outdoors and blends them together when it is possible. With being a new husband and father Jesse has brought his passion and drive for the outdoors and focused them on being a good husband and father.
- Growing up in Iowa, Derek Wilkerson was fortunate to be introduced to hunting and the outdoors at a very young age. With farmers and hunters stretching both sides of his family tree, Derek has spent his life immersed in what Iowa’s outdoors have to offer. If asked, he’ll tell you that hunting is in his blood, and someday they’ll find genetic ties to his ‘illness’. Like many hunters, Derek grew up chasing small game, building a foundation of skills and moving on to bigger and more challenging pursuits. Jumping into the bowhunting world as soon as possible, he shot his first ‘book’ buck when he was 15, and you could say it was all downhill from there. While Derek relishes any opportunity to spend time in the field with friends and family, he has developed a true passion for chasing the big whitetails and turkeys that call Iowa home, making it a yearlong quest to grow, hold, and kill those elusive old bucks and longbeards. Derek also loves the management side of hunting, and spends a good portion of his time working around and improving wildlife habitat across the state.
Derek has a degree in Forest Management and Wildlife and has focused his career in land sales and habitat management, acting as a resource for people looking to get the most out of Iowa’s outdoors. Follow Derek as he brings up-to-date stories and information on hunting and habitat management in his home state.