Its a little out of my area but I can't see it having a huge trophy potential. I'm assuming its a gun season tag? Archery could be ok. Iowa whitetail is like Wyoming pronghorn. Some areas are known for trophy potential but great ones get taken just about in every county at some point in time just not on a regular basis. I believe they came out with a new Iowa sportsman atlas that could be a big help in finding the tracts of public land. I think the DNR website may have gotten better with showing public lands but I have not checked it out lately. If you got any more questions feel free to ask.
I think you can choose between gun 1 gun 2 or late muzzleloader. Most people in iowa hunt in groups and do deer drives during gun 1 and 2. If you are wanting to pattern a whitetail and stand hunt I recommend late muzzleloader season which would be December 20-January 10.
It all depends. It's not the best zone, the public ground probably gets hit hard. Are there good bucks there? Probably, but not behind every tree. Just like all out of state hunts, you will have to work for it and get lucky.
Honestly, I'd wait and apply for a better zone. Especially if you want a gun tag. They are rather easy to draw.
Most of the areas are quite small and likely get hit hard by the locals like they do up in unit 1 by me. You could find places to hunt and like Vman said, you may get lucky, but it won't be anything like MT in that you will run into fences and no trespass signs in a hurry.
If you can get on some private land with some contacts there are some good areas along the river systems.
Iowa is really biased towards archery hunting if you are looking for a good deer and experience and are willing to wait 3-5 years. The firearm seasons don't really start until after the rut so it helps protect the age structure relatively well. To me the state is kind of a 180 of really dedicated archery guys followed by an army of guys doing deer drives during the shotgun seasons.
One thing to keep in mind is that Iowa has seen the largest deer heard decline by percentage and loss of CRP land of any of the midwestern states over the last 5-7 years. Its still one of the best states but the peak for whitetails was really 2005-2010.
Iowa does have fairly cheap leases compared to other whitetail mecca's because you can't get a tag year after year in a lot of places. The best hunting is typically in the South part of the state in more broken country. Area 2 is a lot of continuous corn fields.
Save for Randy's show I don't think I've ever seen anyone film a deer hunt on public land in the midwest where a vast majority of the whitetail outdoor media is filmed. This isn't a coincidence.
Southern Iowa archery would be the only deer tag worth buying to me, but even then I would look harder at options like western KS early muzzleloader as a better way to spend my money.
remember,here in iowa we charge you the non-res the most of any state for hunting our precious whitetails.you have to get a non-res huntiNG LICENCE ALSO. we are competing w/montana for biggest ripoff for hunters. good luck