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07/02/2015 @ 11:33 AM
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Site Updates

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Over the course of the next week, there will be some changes to the Iowa Sportsman website. We will be updating our website software to the most current version in order to improve security and, hopefully, performance. With this update there will likely come some interface changes, so we wanted to give you some warning before they take place. The most common features will not change much, however we will be sure to post information and/or guides on some of the more major changes as needed. Feel free to send any questions or concerns you may have to me or another admin, and we'll do our best to help.

We appreciate your patience throughout this process and hope it will make your experience on IowaSportsman.com even better.

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Free bed frame

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Top dollar frame. Six wheel frame. Like brand new. You come get it. Lake Park. Email or pm.

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Southern Crossbows

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Southern Crossbow™, a Texas-based tactical crossbow manufacturer quickly climbing the archery ranks, is pleased to announce its fastest and most powerful addition to the line, the Risen XLT™ 385. Built for unparalleled agility and precision accuracy, this crossbow delivers 385 fps speed for a quick and stealthy kill every time. Its rock-solid split limb design and swift, quiet cams shoots 350gr and above crossbow bolts effortlessly.

The Risen XLT’s tactical design features a picatinny rail on the bottom and weaver rail on top, allowing shooters to apply a variety of accessories and night vision devices, making it the ideal weapon to track down prey day or night. The bow also features an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent damage to the crossbow limbs. If the shooter forgets to place an arrow on the flight deck, the bow will not fire.

The Risen XLT 385 includes: a 4x32 crossbow scope, a foot stirrup, four field tip arrows, a quick detach quiver, string wax and safety glasses—everything needed for the ultimate crossbow experience.


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Solar Power Arrives in Iowa!

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An Iowa born and raised renewable energy firm is challenging the status quo by making it their mission to bring affordable and reliable solar power to every business, farm, and home. Iowa Wind and Solar was founded in 2008 with one goal: Make saving money with solar simple. They have accomplished this goal through a turn-key solution that simplifies the planning, financing, and installation process. To make the installation of solar even simpler, Iowa Wind and Solar offers zero money down financing that saves businesses, farms, and homeowners money from the first day the solar array is installed. Plus, with federal, state, and local incentives that combine for a savings of up to 80%, there has never been a better time for businesses, farms, and homeowners to start saving money on their electric bill. Tyler Anderson, the President and Founder of Iowa Wind and Solar, recently shared his vision with the press, "Imagine a world where, instead of paying the electric utility and taxes, you could instead save that money and invest it in an asset that YOU own. An asset that will produce free power for decades to come, and won't cost you a dime more than you're already spending today. I don't know about you, but I like that world."Businesses, farms, and homeowners are encouraged to find out how much they can save on their electric bill by visiting: www.iowawindandsolar.com/save.

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MobileStrong - Press Release

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MobileStrong HDP: A Custom Vehicle Solution to Organize Sporting Gear
System offers lightweight, durable and secure storage at an affordable price point

CENTURIA, WIS. (Mar. 31, 2015) –
MobileStrong would like to thank the thousands of people that showed up at our booth, recently, for the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Des Moines, IA. We would like to extend our offer of FREE SHIPPING through May 31, 2015 on any storage drawer shipping to Iowa.

From camping gear to fishing and hunting equipment, MobileStrong HDP is a customizable storage solution for vehicles that keeps sporting accessories secure and organized.

MobileStrong HDP is a system of drawers and compartments that slide into the back of any truck or SUV for easy storage on the go. The system is made of high-density polyethylene (HDP), a hard, opaque and strong thermoplastic that stands up to the bumps and bruises brought on by equipment.

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MISSOULA, MT - March 23, 2015 - Available today on both the Google Play Store and App Store, HUNT by onXmaps offers a Hunting App that turns your phone or tablet into a GPS device. This functionality allows hunters to always know their location relative to land ownership, geographical features, and much more! The onX HUNT App comes loaded with map features every hunter needs while out in the field such as Hunting Areas, Roads and Trails, Private and Public Land Ownership and Property Boundaries, and Points of Interest is just the start. The maps update yearly and it happens automatically on any mobile phone or tablet. Available for all 50 states, check it out today!
Unlike other Hunting Apps, the onX HUNT App allows the users to completely customize their maps. No matter what hunting or scouting style they have, they can customize the HUNT App to fit their needs. There is also no need to worry about losing valuable map data when out of cellular or data coverage. Simply save (cache) the HUNT Map Layers and Basemaps up to two mobile device(s) before going out in the field. Making any mobile phone or tablet act just like a GPS!
www.HuntingGPSmaps.com |

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Nebraska Youth Hunts

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I wanted to share this with all who would like to take their youngsters on a Big Game hunt for Deer or Turkey. The cost is nominal for the youth at just $5.00 (hunter education required).

An adult must accompany the youth and have a valid hunting permit. (unless the youth meets a certain age). Adult permits can be purchased as a 2 day general hunt permit for $56.00 or a annual hunt permit for $85.00.

Check with the Nebraska Games and Parks on all rules before you head out

Either way, when one considers prices I consider this to be a bargain to allow a youth to hunt in another state.

Check out http://www.fivedollaryouth.org/ or http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/ for more information.

Nebraska has more then 200,000 public acres acres to hunt, so land access for deer or turkey is not an issue.

Larry "The Duckmaster" Sills

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Antler Shed Hunting With Your Dog

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Antler Shed Hunting With Your Dog
By Chris Wise

We are little over a month away from one of Iowa's greatest hunting seasons. Yes it's antler shed hunting! Outside of trail cameras, which many hunters don't leave up year around, there's no better or earlier way to get an idea of the caliber of bucks that made it through the previous season. In this way I think it's actually important and strategic to go hunt for sheds.

I remember the first sheds I ever found. I was on my ATV checking fences and honestly hoping to see a coyote dumb enough to stand still for a few seconds. I had just come out the woods into a secluded field in the northern most section of my property and I look over to see a very nice matched set of antlers laying not 10 feet from each other. I couldn't believe my luck. After thanking the very generous deer for having lost his rack in such a convenient manner I proceeded to the nearest Casey's store to purchase a lottery ticket.

Despite being a fun treasure hunt of sorts, I should point out that there's some money to be had for the resourceful shed hunter. At the time of this writing the lowest bid I could find on EBay for a matched set of sheds was $150.00! Depending on the size, color, and overall look of your sheds, they could fetch upwards of $1300.00! Easily more for a very unique set. This is no joke. Companies and individuals that design rustic furniture are some of the first to bid on deer antlers. Knife makers too. There is a very real and active market for this.

The thing I'm most interested in when it comes to this hobby is training my dog to find antlers for me. Dogs clearly cover ground faster than humans do. Take advantage of your hound's sensitive nose to discover more sheds than you ever have! Tom Dokkin of Oakridge Kennels in Northfield, MN. is at the forefront of this sport. Tom has given talks and demonstrations at some of the nations largest sportsman conventions and continues to offer shed dog training out of his home facility. Tom says, “Anyone can do this. This isn’t just for guys. Women and children are involved as well and it’s a great family activity."

I was privileged to be able to speak with Mr. Dokkin recently and ask him a few questions about the sport of shed hunting with man’s best friend. Here’s what he had to say.

Me: Tom, what type or personality of dog is best for shed hunting?
Tom: Retrievers do this for a living, but honestly any dog that seems interested can be great. People think training a dog to find antlers is a daunting task, but it’s just not that difficult. If you are starting from scratch and are just purchasing a dog, then I recommend a retrieving breed.

Me: What are some basic shed dog training tips or techniques?
Tom: You need a dog that has some basic obedience training. This is foundational. You must have control over your dog. The dog needs to have a strong desire to search and retrieve. You could start by getting an antler and playing fetch.
A lot of people already own a trained bird dog and it can be used to find sheds too. Just remember to give the antler a name (command) that is very different from your bird dog commands. For example you could say, “Find the bone."

Me: What is the fastest way to ruin a dog’s interest in finding antlers?
Tom: To do it too much. Don’t overwork the dog. Keep it upbeat and fun. It’s very important to quit at the point where the dog seems to be enjoying it the most. This way, every time you train the dog, it will be eager to please and interested.

Me: What are the costs involved in training a dog to find antlers?
Tom: Around $30.00. All you need are an antler, some training scent, and a DVD or book to show you how. The equipment is inexpensive.

Me: Where can folks go to find more information about you and shed hunting with dogs?
Tom: The best place is probably my website www.sheddogtrainer.com. You can find products, services, tips, events, the blog, and a link to our Facebook page there.

Tom is featured in a book by Jerry Thoms.(Training your dog to hunt for shed deer antlers) Here are some tips that I found useful:
• Use a foam rubber antler or a real one with the tips rounded to start with. If your puppy gets hurt by the real thing, it could negatively impact your dog's desire for antler bones.
• Simply play fetch with the antler. Toss the bone a short distance within eyesight so it’s simple for your dog to find.
• Hide the antler under a blanket, pillow, or around a corner. Make the dog have to search a little bit.
• Transitioning to outdoors - again toss the antler a short distance, then a long distance. Then begin hiding it under bushes but still in sight. Randomly vary the hide locations.
• Wash your training antler or use a scent remover, and wear rubber gloves. You don’t want your dog always finding the antler based on the scent of your hands.
• Always take some sheds of your own when you go out to train your dog in the field. This way the dog always succeeds and will remain interested in the activity. Tie some bright colored ribbon around the antler so you can find it again.

Obviously there is a bit more to this than simply playing fetch with an antler, so I would encourage you to visit Tom’s website and consider ordering a dvd or book. The training book is an easy read and very informative. Tom outlines a common sense step-by-step approach to get your dog retrieving antlers in no time. A good number of interesting videos can be found on YouTube as well. Search for Tom Dokken or shed dog training.

I have only just begun training my dog Disco to find and retrieve antlers, but I’m hopeful she stays interested. She loves it so far. I keep her antler on the mantle of my fireplace and most days she can be found sitting below, staring longingly at it - Kind of like I do when I go to the bow or gun shop.

Like many of you I enjoy the outdoors, and I enjoy them more when my dog is with me. What better way to keep your dog sharp and active off-season than to train it to hunt for sheds? You are going to be out in the woods anyway, it’s what you do. More than that it’s who you are. Now get out there and enjoy!

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Palo Outdoors Winter Fishing Academy

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Space is limited, sign up NOW!
Winter Fishing Academy – Fishing 101 – At Palo Outdoors 1204 1st St. Palo Iowa 52324
January 10 and 17 – Saturdays – 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Beginners are welcome to join us at each of these sessions where we will progressively learn about the basics of fishing. What line works well, how do you tie knots, how do you choose the right hooks, bobbers, sinkers and lures to make your fishing experience more productive. What fishing rods are best for beginners and why? Join Naturalist Chuck Ungs as we tease out the things you should know to become a successful angler. Free. Open to all ages but children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Pre-register to save a seat by calling 319-892-6485. For more information or to view other possible additions to the series, check the Linn County Conservation Department webpage at http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Events.aspx or call Palo Outdoors 319-851-5290

Winter Fishing Academy – Fishing 201- At Palo Outdoors
January 14 – Wednesday – 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Intermediate fishing skills will be covered concerning local fish and local waters. Local bass tournament angler Billy Meier will talk about Lake Macbride bass and crappie. Do-it Molds Walleye Pro Steve Miller will cover slow death rigging to entice fish to bite! Learn how to use this method to catch more fish. Captain Dave Nichols will cover selecting rods & reels for crankbaits, jigging & rigging. Free. Open to all ages but children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Pre-register to save a seat by calling 319-892-6485. For more information or to view other possible additions to the series, check the Linn County Conservation Department webpage at http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Events.aspx or call Palo Outdoors 319-851-5290

Winter Fishing Academy – Fishing 301 – At Palo Outdoors
January 21- Wednesday – 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Advanced Fishing skills will be covered by bass tournament angler Billy Meier speaking to the techniques and methods that are winning bass tournaments in the Midwest. NWT Touring Pro Gary Speicher will cover open water trolling tricks for walleye. Captain Dave Nichols will cover Advanced Equipment Selection for specialty trolling presentations with boards & lead core. Free. Open to all ages but children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Pre-register to save a seat by calling 319-892-6485. For more information or to view other possible additions to the series, check the Linn County Conservation Department webpage at http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Events.aspx or call Palo Outdoors 319-851-5290

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Snowshoe Building Course offered near Cedar Rapids

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Deadline to sign up is Dec. 8!

Snowshoe Building Class series
This winter Linn County Conservation will again offer the opportunity to build a pair of traditional snowshoes. Conservation Education Specialist Chuck Ungs will guide participants through the snowshoe-building process at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center, 10260 Morris Hills Road, Toddville IA - just outside of Cedar Rapids. Those who have taken the class in the past have been very pleased with the finished shoes and have enjoyed the class. These sets would make a unique gift, functional tools or can be used as a grand decoration.

Participants should plan to attend the evening sessions on Thursday, December 11, 18 and Saturday the 20th. These evening classes will run from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Wickiup Hill Learning Center near Toddville. With some time invested at home, kits can be completed around New Year’s. Additional evenings will be needed to varnish the shoes in the evenings at the Conservation Department shop located at 1890 County Home Road in the week following construction, between the Holidays. For best results, two or three of these evenings will be required to varnish the shoes properly.

Participants must pre-register and pay by December 8, 2014, so we can order kits. The $195 class fee includes the cost of a snowshoe kit, a binding set and varnish for each participant. To pre-register or for more details and options, call 319-892-6485. Attendance at all three lacing sessions is highly recommended. Kit building typically requires the manual dexterity of someone high school age or older. Class size is limited to 15.

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