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6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

  • 4/10/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 6186
Every angler should be prepared to release some of their catch. Whether you are practicing catch and release by choice or to comply with regulations, it is necessary to release the fish quickly. Follow these simple tips to give the fish you release the best chance for survival.
50 Tips to Spot Morels

50 Tips to Spot Morels

  • 4/8/2015 8:51:00 AM
  • View Count 402406
Here’s how to put more morels in your basket from mushrooming expert and former science teacher Mike Krebill.
11 Things You Need in Your Tackle Box Right Now - Spring Fishing Edition

11 Things You Need in Your Tackle Box Right Now - Spring Fishing Edition

  • 4/3/2015 8:10:00 AM
  • View Count 2164
Fishing is a great way for families and friends to enjoy being outdoors and learn new skills. Pack your tackle box with these basic necessities for a fun and successful spring fishing trip. Don’t forget to bring along your fishing license and a camera to capture all the memories.
Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

Finding Injured Wildlife: What to Do

  • 4/3/2015 7:52:00 AM
  • View Count 5620
When Pete Vande Poppe spotted a great horned owl along Highway 60 near Alton about a month ago, he knew something wasn’t right. He swung by home to tell his wife, Gretchen. She grabbed the camera and off they went, finding the owl in the grass alongside the road.
Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

Cool Things You Should Know About Prairie Chickens

  • 4/2/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 5939
Early in April, eerie, hollow booming reverberates over a field near Kellerton, the last remnant of greater prairie chicken habitat in Iowa. Go to the lek, or breeding ground, to hear the males begin their courtship rituals. Watch as they shrink and expand leathery orange sacs on each side of their necks to make the haunting sounds that hens love.
Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

Eight Historical CCC Parks To Visit in Iowa

  • 3/31/2015 11:26:00 AM
  • View Count 19393
From the iconic boathouse at Backbone, to the spillway at Beeds Lake, to the varied and beautiful stone lodges and shelters within so many of our parks, we owe a debt of gratitude to the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Celebrate the CCC’s anniversary, March 31, by planning a trip to one of these stand-out examples of CCC projects in Iowa.
How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

How Do Birds Know to Return in the Spring?

  • 3/27/2015 9:07:00 AM
  • View Count 5625
Common sense tells us birds fly south in the winter to escape the harsh conditions of the north, and return “home” in the spring when the weather improves. While that theory doesn’t fly in the face of truth, it isn’t altogether factual, given most birds are well-equipped to handle extreme temperatures.
Spring Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Spring Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

  • 3/27/2015 8:43:00 AM
  • View Count 3476
An estimated 50,000 hunters will be in the timber this spring pursuing the elusive wild turkey and while the woods will not be crawling with hunters, there is a chance for an occasional encounter. Hunters should practice defensive hunting techniques.  Hunters should make a loud statement like “hey – hunter over here,” if they see someone coming into the same area. One loud noise shouldn’t scare a bird too much because loud noises happen in the woods. However, don’t make motion or throw something to get the oth...
Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

Build a Bluebird House [Tutorial]

  • 3/13/2015 5:49:00 AM
  • View Count 11152
Bluebirds should be arriving soon in Iowa, so now's a great time to clean out those bluebird boxes, or if you don't have one yet, to build your own!
Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

Viking Lake Work Has Lasting Effect on Fishing, Water Quality

  • 3/6/2015 7:35:00 AM
  • View Count 1821
Once so thick with algae that the water looked more like green paint than water, southwest Iowa’s Viking Lake has been on the up and up since a major watershed improvement there wrapped up in 2009.Five years of monitoring Viking Lake in southwest Iowa reveals the lake is clean enough to be removed from the list of Iowa impaired waters for algae growth.
Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

Why Are Robins So Big in the Spring?

  • 3/5/2015 11:24:00 AM
  • View Count 7278
Just like the first sighting of a robin marks spring for many people, so does the arrival of animal babies. But in this case, robins aren’t big in the spring because they’re ready to lay eggs. They’re not bigger at all – just really cold.
Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

Wetlands Project Sinks Hole-in-one

  • 3/5/2015 5:35:00 AM
  • View Count 1350
The cackle of pheasants has returned along the north and west sides of Okoboji View Golf Course in Spirit Lake after a major watershed improvement project created wetlands and native prairie on 350 acres.
7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

7 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort this Spring

  • 2/27/2015 10:50:00 AM
  • View Count 1451
Enjoy a close-to-home getaway for a wonderful meal or an outdoor spring break adventure. Honey Creek Resort State Park has seven exciting reasons to visit this March and April.
Knots Every Angler Should Know

Knots Every Angler Should Know

  • 2/25/2015 9:15:00 AM
  • View Count 7786
Knot tying is an essential skill for beginning anglers to learn. It's not hard - it just takes some practice. Knot tying is best learned with monofilament fishing line. Try these easy to tie knots to get you started.
Learn More About the Least Weasel

Learn More About the Least Weasel

  • 2/25/2015 5:10:00 AM
  • View Count 1640
While it can still be common in specific locales in northern Iowa, for the most part, the least weasel is now pretty rare in Iowa.
Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

Jump Into Winter Wildlife Tracking

  • 2/25/2015 4:28:00 AM
  • View Count 3373
Kids (of all ages!) love discovery, and what better way to feed that need than by turning snowbound winter days into a fun family or couple’s outing. Better yet, set aside time for regular outdoor jaunts to create a memorable tradition.
Snag a Paddlefish This Spring With These Pointers

Snag a Paddlefish This Spring With These Pointers

  • 2/25/2015 3:57:00 AM
  • View Count 2454
Anglers fishing the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers this spring have a new angling opportunity. The new paddlefish fishing season opens March 1 and runs through April 15 (sunrise to sunset).
Central Park Lake Poised for Return

Central Park Lake Poised for Return

  • 2/20/2015 5:56:00 AM
  • View Count 1562
Central Park Lake encompasses only 25 acres, but the 297-acre park is a popular recreation destination in Jones County, despite the lake’s listing as “impaired” due to excess algae, bacteria and pH.
Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

Winter Camouflage and Coloration in Iowa's Wildlife

  • 2/20/2015 5:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2769
For many Iowa animals, the stark landscape – bare trees and a bright white groundcover – makes them stand out more in the winter, which is good news for those who enjoy watching wildlife. But for a few Iowa critters, winter is a time for them to blend in with the scenery.
Top Calorie-Burning Winter Outdoor Activities

Top Calorie-Burning Winter Outdoor Activities

  • 2/19/2015 11:25:00 AM
  • View Count 3016
Need to work off those Valentine’s Day chocolates or finally make good on a New Year’s Resolution? Or just looking a fun activity to try this winter weekend? Try these top outdoor activities for burning calories.
Louisiana Jambalaya The Iowa Way

Louisiana Jambalaya The Iowa Way

  • 2/13/2015 10:55:00 AM
  • View Count 1449
After years of painstaking research—and many trials and errors—to come up with the best jambalaya recipe, we at the Iowa Outdoors test kitchen think we have a winner.
Rice Lake Returns

Rice Lake Returns

  • 2/13/2015 10:03:00 AM
  • View Count 2387
The topic was lake restoration, but in 2009, the small group of lake users living near Rice Lake wasn’t ready to discuss pulling the plug on the 1,000-acre shallow lake straddling the Worth-Winnebago county line.
Go Shed Antler Hunting

Go Shed Antler Hunting

  • 2/13/2015 9:54:00 AM
  • View Count 42553
Whitetail deer have about a two-month shedding period in Iowa, beginning mid-Jan. and ending mid-March. Around Feb. 20 is the best time to start looking for shed antlers.
The Mighty Mink: Cool Things You Should Know

The Mighty Mink: Cool Things You Should Know

  • 2/13/2015 8:12:00 AM
  • View Count 12936
Built much like its larger relative the otter, the mink has a long, sleek body about 2 feet long. It has short, stubby legs, a long neck, small ears and eyes and a long, thick tail. In fact, one third of the mink’s length is tail.
Tutorial: Tie Your Own Soft Hackle Fly

Tutorial: Tie Your Own Soft Hackle Fly

  • 2/12/2015 10:53:00 AM
  • View Count 1948
There are few better feelings for an angler than hooking a fish with a homemade lure. The soft hackle fly is one of the oldest and most varied patterns; tie your own orange and pheasant breast fly in minutes with these simple steps.
Explore Pine Lake State Park This Winter

Explore Pine Lake State Park This Winter

  • 2/11/2015 11:04:00 AM
  • View Count 10430
Pine Lake State Park provides the winter adventurer 650 acres of woods garnished with a labyrinth of powdery trails to hike, ski and snowshoe; and spacious, remodeled cabins sporting super-sized stone fireplaces that breathe hickory-tinged heat into every nook and cranny.
Go Ice Climbing this Winter - on an Iowa Grain Silo

Go Ice Climbing this Winter - on an Iowa Grain Silo

  • 2/6/2015 10:07:00 AM
  • View Count 3490
There it stands: a shimmering, crystal tower. A frozen waterfall. A spire of ice. That’s if you look at it from the north side. From the south, it’s just a grain silo.
Make Your Own Snowman Bird Feeder

Make Your Own Snowman Bird Feeder

  • 2/6/2015 6:11:00 AM
  • View Count 1262
Add bird and wildlife foods to your snowman to make this seasonal rite of passage fun and functional.
Prairie Strips Help Iowa Farmers, Land and Water

Prairie Strips Help Iowa Farmers, Land and Water

  • 2/4/2015 10:47:00 AM
  • View Count 1347
“Conservation with a purpose” is how Tim Smith describes his newest farming venture that builds on past work to protect water quality on his Wright County farm.
Go Calling Under the Owl Moon

Go Calling Under the Owl Moon

  • 2/3/2015 9:57:00 AM
  • View Count 13907
February’s full moon is nicknamed the owl moon, as the crisp night air is filled with the calls and hoots of mating owls. Trek into the woods with the young and young at heart to practice calling owls.
What's the Difference Between a Groundhog and a Woodchuck?

What's the Difference Between a Groundhog and a Woodchuck?

  • 1/29/2015 10:08:00 AM
  • View Count 6595
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? We’ll never know because the Marmota monax’s common name (woodchuck) is not representative of this mammal’s habits or habitat, but reflects the early English pronunciation of the Cree word for this creature—wuchak.
Winter Photo Tips from One of Iowa's Top Nature Photographers

Winter Photo Tips from One of Iowa's Top Nature Photographers

  • 1/29/2015 9:46:00 AM
  • View Count 2790
Don’t let winter weather keep your camera up on the shelf, as the season can provide excellent opportunities for shooting picturesque winter landscapes and photographing Iowa’s wildlife at a time when they’re most visible and easy to find.
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