Fall Happenings and Events

Based on the announcement from John, I have had three outstanding days of duck hunting.  The birds are coming down from the Dakotas, and tomorrow I hunt again for a total of four straight days.  Read about it next week.  The shooting is excellent and will get better.

Important Announcement: My friend John just called and said the lake was full of Canadas this AM.  Only 2 guys showed up, and had their limit by 7:30 AM.  The lake is 40 acres so this gives you an idea of how many geese migrated in.  I am going tomorrow.

I belong to a duck hunting club with blinds northeast of Tekamah along the Missouri River.  The season has started off rather slow, but when the weather starts to turn in the Dakotas, the birds will be down.  I have gone twice, shot twice, and hit nothing.  Club members that showed up when we had a north wind had some good shooting on teal, pintails, and other small ducks.  During one of those windy days, if you went, you would be rewarded. 

The farm where I hunt turkeys still has cattle on it.  While the owner said to come up and hunt the woods, the owner of the cattle may be unpset with someone hunting while he has cattle on the ground.  They should be moved off in the next week or so, and I will have to re-scout the area.  It is like a grocery store on that farm.

I read through the DNR website for Iowa and South Dakota and will now pass on some interesting information.

GUTHRIE CENTER – The Iowa DNR along with many sponsoring organizations has created a mentored deer hunt that has been introducing people to Iowa deer hunting since 2004.

This mentored hunt is scheduled from Nov. 19 – 21, 2010, at the Springbrook Conservation Education Center. Participants will attend educational sessions on all aspects of deer hunting including the equipment, photography, biology, management, field care, deer processing, gun handling, safety, hunting methods, shot selection/placement and regulations.

Participants will be accompanied with their mentor to hunt deer in the park.

“If participants do not feel comfortable with any aspect of deer hunting, there will be people available to assist them in a positive, supportive environment,” said A Jay Winter, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources who is coordinating the hunt.

The program is designed for adults and youth 12 years old and older. There is a $123 fee for the hunter to cover food, lodging and program costs, plus a $27 license. There are scholarships available to cover the registration fee.

Registration is required. To find out more information or to register, contact A Jay Winter at the Springbrook Conservation Education Center, 641-747-8383 ext 11 or e-mail ajay.winter@dnr.iowa.gov.  You can read additional articles on the Iowa DNR website. (www.iowadnr.gov/).

The pheasant season is in full swing in South Dakota.  I have friends that make an annual pilgrimage up to Winner.  They have a great time and come back with a limit of birds.  They have hunted the same farm for the last ten years and it has paid off getting to know the farmer.  The farm is held for them every year and they are the first ones to hunt it. 

From the South Dakota DNR website this piece of information. (http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/pheasants.aspx) To gauge how good pheasant hunting can be in South Dakota, you need to consider a bad year. The last time hunters harvested fewer than 1 million roosters during a South Dakota season was in 1992, and that was almost 970,000. Since 1926 the state’s harvest total has been under 1 million birds only 21 times, and only four times under a half-million.

It is no coincidence that almost all of those occurred in a stretch from 1965 through 1990, the timeframe between the Soil Bank and Conservation Reserve Program agriculture set-aside programs. These government programs resulted in prime pheasant habitat. Prime habitat breeds prime pheasant numbers.

The next item I saw of interest was in the local newspaper in Council Bluffs.  The Iowa DNR has stocked 8,000 walleye in Lake Manawa.  Now that is good news. They did not tell what size they had stocked, but I heard at a local sporting good store, they were not fingerlings. The walleye in Manawa do not re-produce and the lake has to be re-stocked.  I have had mediocre success there, but most of the time when fishing this lake for walleye, I get skunked. 

I under stand the lake may be dredged to a deeper level, which would improve the fishing, and hopefully the lake would clear up.

It is time for the Mallards to come south.  We just need some blizzard conditions in the Dakotas to push them out. 

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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