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Foraging for Wild Asparagus: Hunting and Cooking

Foraging for Wild Asparagus: Hunting and Cooking

  • 4/22/2015 9:33:00 AM
  • View Count 39817
When I was young, I did not like asparagus. But on a spring camping trip, I found a few spears of wild asparagus, and skeptically threw them into a pot of boiling water. The sweet, juicy, fresh taste changed my mind on the spot.
4 Lures You Need for Crappie Fishing in Iowa

4 Lures You Need for Crappie Fishing in Iowa

  • 4/22/2015 8:48:00 AM
  • View Count 109864
It’s that time of year that anglers across Iowa have been waiting for – crappies are biting. Crappies are one of the most frequently caught panfish. Add one of these lures suggested by our fisheries biologists to your tackle box and start planning your next spring fishing trip.
Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

Four Creative Morel Mushroom Recipes

  • 4/17/2015 9:01:00 AM
  • View Count 22777
There’s nothing better than some fresh-picked morels lightly sautéed in butter, but if you’re looking for a way to change up your morel routine, here are some new recipes to try. Remember, it's best to learn how to identify mushrooms (including what's edible and what's not) in-person from an experienced mushroom hunter.
Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

Leave Wildlife Babies in the Wild

  • 4/17/2015 8:05:00 AM
  • View Count 15404
If you find an animal baby that appears to be on its own, don’t worry. Generally, one of its parents is nearby, watching.
Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

Get Ready for Spring Camping [Checklist]

  • 4/15/2015 6:56:00 AM
  • View Count 6752
It's that time of year when it's time to dust off the tents and equipment or pull the camper out of storage. With water being turned on soon in state park campgrounds (parks vary, always call ahead first), it won't be long before camping become a regular activity again. Use our handy checklist to get ready for that first outing of spring!
Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

Four Great Spring Cabin Getaways in Iowa State Parks

  • 4/10/2015 10:26:00 AM
  • View Count 10381
From now until mid-May, state park cabins can be rented for two-day minimums (instead of the week-long requirement during the summer season). Shake off the winter blues by renting a cabin for a couple of days. Take a spring hike or bike ride. Grab some binoculars and do a little wildlife watching. Birding is great during this peak migration time. And, of course, there is always fishing – spring offers some of the best!
6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

6 Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

  • 4/10/2015 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 13889
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 757742
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 15627
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 37542
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 16320
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 in Iowa

Eight Historical CCC Parks in Iowa

  • 3/31/2015 11:26:00 AM
  • View Count 52538
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 learning about 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 10659
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 8425
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 18215
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 6:35:00 AM
  • View Count 7434
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 10:24:00 AM
  • View Count 35410
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 4:35:00 AM
  • View Count 6576
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 9:50:00 AM
  • View Count 6090
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 8:15:00 AM
  • View Count 22883
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 4:10:00 AM
  • View Count 14356
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 3:28:00 AM
  • View Count 19028
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 2:57:00 AM
  • View Count 17887
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 4:56:00 AM
  • View Count 6213
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 4:18:00 AM
  • View Count 10581
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 10:25:00 AM
  • View Count 8981
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 9:55:00 AM
  • View Count 6621
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 9:03:00 AM
  • View Count 9668
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 8:54:00 AM
  • View Count 99729
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 7:12:00 AM
  • View Count 42769
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 9:53:00 AM
  • View Count 12830
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.
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