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12/17/2017 @ 09:57 AM

Facing Whitetail Facts

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As some of you may remember there was a time when I posted here, regularly years ago. There is no excuse for my absence. I'll be frank and blame my software inabilities exacerbated by computer glitches.

So, with that said, what brings me back and what poses itself to my mental quandaries and forces me to type away at the keys in hopes that YOU will give me your undivided attention? Let's face it; the numbers don't lie. The deer harvest is, shall we say, down.

I made a determination this past season to do the late muzzle loader and due to the high prices associated with the 'privelege' of hunting (thanks to insurance lobbies and our wonderful representatives at the State level) I grabbed two weeks vacation and thanks to gas prices, decided to stay close to home. No big deal, right?

Without boring you with the details, let me say in passing that I went on consecutive days to my most productive areas from past years and saw no sign that would indicate to me that there had been any activity at all for at least two, if not three weeks. I was six days in and had not scared a single tail. I chanced upon the DNR WMA maps page on Friday morning and saw a sliver of public land that I felt fit the bill. I set my coffee down and said, "Hot Dog"...or something to that effect. It was a Yogi Berra godsend in that there was no way that anyone would go there because it was just too crowded!

A simple determination made all the difference; with the roar of traffic close by, I drew a bead on a fat doe amongst a dozen and filled the tag. I was the only one who had been there for quite some time. I was the only one there, that day. The evidence was apparent and I won't dwell on it. What I will elaborate on is the conversations that occurred after the fact with DNR types.

After filling in a State agent about the results I'd achieved, we had a long conversation concerning the situations for coming seasons and it is not pretty. His concern was with the amount of tags, the fact that the prices are being driven by those who do not want us to hunt at all-thanks to liability issues-and the greed of our State to get as much dollar from you as possible by putting out as many tags as they can to keep the revenue flowing. This is not healthy, folks! I verified this through talks with a local county conservation officer whom I trust without hesitation. The folks in charge of the tag prices DO NOT TRUST YOU WITH A GUN. Their hope is to drive you away and compel you to find other things to do with your time. How? Tag prices out of reach and NO DEER to hunt...that's how.

I asked him a question that I considered quite simple, "Why not have intervening years where a hunter gets one tag. Buck or doe is no consequence because there will be no seperate seasons. You will be given three month to fill it...PERIOD. This approach would allow some breathing room for all, not to mention the benefits for the health of the population. Once you filled the tag; Game over.

Whether by hook, or crook, bow or muzzle loader, shotgun or handgun, you have ONE tag...period.

Would you be willing to settle for this?

Most importantly, would the State? Or, are they just too greedy for that flow of cash? Do we truly care about the long-term ramifications of the situation as it is unfolding at the present rate?

One tag. Could you live with this approach every other year until the deer population stabilizes?

It is time to consider this proposition before it is too late and the ones who don't want us out there at all win by default, people.

Please consider this a warning. The golden years we saw just five years ago are dwindling away quickly. If we don't cut back on the tags we'll never see those glorious numbers again in our lifetime.

We need to talk to our State representatives and we need to do it now. For the sake of our deer and our hunting fraternity; for the sake of our children who've never experienced the thrill and gratification of a harvest-we need to act now. No more bow here and shotgun there: everyone with one tag for one season for one year. Are you willing? I think the deer are.

The best to your efforts in the coming year.

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Des Moines Ghost Timber Ghost NWTF Chapter

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The Des Moines River Timber Ghost Chapter of the NWTF donated 32 frozen turkeys to the local food pantries and woman shelters last month. A special thanks to Fareway foods for supplying us with the turkeys.

The chapter also attented an NWTF awards banquet in Cedar Rapids and received two awards: One for the most improved banquest by % contributions. The second award was for most improved $ at a banquet. The banquet staff would like to thank everyone that attented last years banquet, without your support and contributions our success would not have been attainable. We would also like to encourage anyone to attend our next baquet on March 2, 2012 at the Webster County Fairgrounds Building.

Des Moines River Timber Ghost NWTF Chapter Staff

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Long bow building course near Cedar Rapids

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Over time, many types of building skills have been lost to modern manufacturing. A skill that is still used today, as it has been for generations, is bow building. If you have an interest in building your own bow with the help of an experienced instructor, this is your chance.
Gene Winter has been building bows for many years and will be sharing his skill with workshop participants on Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Conservation maintenance shop, which is located behind the Conservation Department’s administrative building at 1890 County Home Road (next to the Abbe Center in rural Marion).
Workshop cost is $200 per person which includes one stave. Additional staves may be purchased for an additional cost. Registration by January 31, 2012 is required by calling
319-892-6485 for further information. The class size is limited.

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Snowshoe Building Course near Cedar Rapids

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This winter Linn County Conservation will again provide the opportunity to build a pair of snowshoes from a kit. Conservation Education Specialist Chuck Ungs will guide participants through the snowshoe building process. Ungs has built 30 plus of these kits to date and has lead more than 100 others in past classes, so is qualified to lead you through the process. 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 would be a grand decoration.

The first class will be held the evening of Sunday, December 18. Participants should also plan to attend the other evening sessions on December 20 and 21. These evening classes will start at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center, near Toddville. Additional evenings will be shorter to coat the shoes with varnish at our shop near the junction of County Home Road and Hwy. 13.

Participants must pre-register and pay by December 13, so kits can be ordered. The $165 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 please call 319-892-6485 or e-mail Chuck.Ungs at LinnCounty.org . Attendance at all three evening sessions is highly recommended. Kit building typically requires the manual dexterity of someone high school age or older.

With some time invested at home, kits can be completed before New Years. After lacing is completed we will be varnishing the snowshoes on a variety of evenings at the Conservation Department shop near our headquarters. For best results, two or three of these additional evenings will be required to varnish the shoes properly. Class size is limited to 15 individuals.

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Don't believe all the lead banter! Don't ban lead for no good reason!

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It seems there is an abundance of pundits espousing their "knowledge" about environmental issues as they pertain to fishing. It's obvious there is a following of bandwagon armchair biologists (and some real biologists who have forgotten how real science works) lining up to sing the praises of lead bans in Iowa. I'm sharing the following SCIENCE-BASED article on lead in fishing. There are people lining up to take lead out of your ammunition, well they plan to do the same with your tackle box, and there is NO defensible argument for this. Read the following, It's a policy statement that is being considered by the Iowa Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. These are fisheries professionals, in the DNR, universities, and private sector in Iowa who's job it is to follow the science, promote water quality and angling. This isn't the only statement they are considering, but it is the one that is based on science and rationality. It seems that is the way it should be.

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Tri-state Rodbuilders Workshop near CR

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Tri-State Rod Builders Workshop
Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center
10260 Morris Hills Road
Toddville , IA


Nov 5, 2011 - Saturday

Tri-state Rod Builders Workshop 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center

Come and learn about rodbuilding with many masters of the art form from throughout the Midwest at a beautiful Nature Center outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We are arranging a variety of topics, demonstrations and exhibitors. Current presenters include Al Hutchison, Steve Cox, Sam Fox, Paul Rohrbacher, Dr. Garry Land, Scott Kleppe and perhaps others.

The meeting is free to anyone interested in rodbuilding from beginners to professionals and all should leave with new thoughts and ideas on how to build better fishing rods. We will take a good will donation to cover food expenses. Chuck's Venison Chili will be featured for the meal again this year. We will be drawing for a limited number of door prizes during the day. Sponsors of the event and door prizes include Batson Enterprises, Bingham Enterprises, Jann's Netcraft, Linn County Conservation Department, MudHole.com, Rodguild.com and Rodmakermagazine.com

Topics we intend to cover this year include lathe use for handles and butt caps, snake skin application, decorative weaving, rod actions explained, rod building trials and errors, and much more.

Part of the program this year will be a show and tell session with the rods folks have brought in to display their craft. We also will have a limited time at the end of the day for a swap meet so bring in anything related to building fishing rods for a bit of buy, sell or trade.

For more information or to RSVP so we can plan an appropriate amount of food please contact Chuck at (319) 892-6485 or at Chuck.Ungs@LinnCounty.org

For those who have built custom rods before - please bring a few along to display your work. We will have racks set up to display all the works of art - it is always a learning experience to see what other folks have designed. During the workshop the last several years we have had visitors here from as many as 6 or 7 states. Hope to see you here.

For directions to Wickiup Hill at 10260 Morris Hills Rd. Toddville, IA 52341 go to this address and scroll to where it says Directions and Map to Wickiup Hill: http://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Park/Wickiup-Hill-Outdoor-Learning-Center.aspx

Contact Info:
Chuck Ungs
319-892-6489 or 6485

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Yukon 2011

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As we jogged along keeping in shape after returning from my African safari in 09 my lovely Mrs. said "you know, if you want to get that sheep, you'd better do it while you can still get into shape to do it." Me, I'd already written it off as an impossibility. Armed with her confidence and approval, I found a trip to hunt Dall sheep in Alaska in 2010. I got a nice grizzly bear, but of the many rams I saw, none made full curl. The obsession, however, had been lit.of my wife and father to thank for fulfilling another boyhood dream.

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The Iowa Sportsman website is excited to announce the launch of a video library function to all users! Within the next few days’ users of the site will be able to upload and view hunting and fishing videos from their personal collection along with being able to view other member’s videos on the site.

Filming hunts and fishing excursions is becoming more and more popular and that is why we created this. We want to give the users of the site a chance to display their experiences in a lifelike format. There is no better way in doing that than allowing you to show your hunts and fishing trips on the website.

The process to upload and view videos will be extremely easy. To get to the videos home page simply click on the tab in the upper right hand corner of the website. This will take you to a page that has all the different categories of videos that your videos can/will go into. To view the videos you will simply click on the categories you’re interested in and start watching yours’ and other user’s videos.

To upload a video you do the same process as you would to view a video. Click on the homepage video tab in the upper right hand corner of the homepage. Once you get to the landing page you will simply click on the upload tab (bottom right tab). Once at the upload page follow the instructions. After uploaded your video will go into a holding tank to get approved and to get compressed, so give it some time to appear in the category you uploaded it to.

Please give this some time to populate, as it is brand new and will take a while to get a good number of videos posted. We are excited to watch this grow and even more excited to see some great videos from Iowa Sportsmen!

Make sure to read the rules of uploading videos. If you have any questions at all please let us know at nick [at] twinriversmedia [dot] com or send me a PM.


The Iowa Sportsman Staff

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Becoming an Outdoor Woman- Sept. Event

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September 16-18, 2011 at Springbrook Conservation Education Center, Guthrie Center, Iowa.

Sessions include: Intro to Firearms, Basic Fishing, Turkey Hunting, Dutch Oven Cooking, Kayaking, Backyard Landscaping, First Aid/Survival, Finding Your Way/Geocaching, River Fishing, Archery, Knotty Girls, Monarch Migration, Woodworking for Wildlife, Basic Shooting, Fly Fishing, Bird Hunting, Wild Edibles, Basic Motor Boat, Birdwatching, Backpacking, River Fishing, Iowa's Past, Canoeing and Plant Technology. Joli.Vollers@dnr.iowa.gov or 515/238-2047.

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2011-12 iowa pheasant Season Forecast

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IDNR Press Release

Boone – Results Of Iowa’s statewide survey of upland game are in and show a small gain in pheasant numbers in southern Iowa and fewer birds across northern Iowa.Overall, pheasant hunters will continue to find better hunting in Iowa’pheasant belt – northwest, central and north-central Iowa, and a few more birds in south central and southwest Iowa.

The Iowa pheasant population has fallen to a new all-time low with a statewide average of 7 birds counted for each 30 mile route driven, after a fifth winter in a row with above normal snowfall, followed by a wet nesting season. The2010 statewide average was 11 birds per route.

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