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5 ways to celebrate hunting and fishing this fall

  • 9/26/2019 11:20:00 AM
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Discover new and exciting ways to enjoy Iowa’s outdoors this fall with these simple suggestions. Invite someone to come along to share the fun and memories.

  • Fall fishing – one of Iowa’s best kept secrets. The fish are feeding like crazy to prepare for the spawn next spring. Go in the middle of the day when water temperatures are warmer. Use live bait, particularly minnows, small tackle and fish slowly. Find a new fishing hole to explore with our interactive Fishing Atlas. Check conditions before you go with our weekly fishing report.
  • Dove hunting – an easy sport for hunters of all ages and experience levels. You don’t need a lot of equipment - a bucket and a lot of shells. Doves can be found in all 99 counties. They like bare ground and prefer open landscapes and larger food plots. If a sunflower plot is not available, try a weed patch or harvested grain field. Brush up on Iowa regulations for hunting migratory birds before you go.
  • Bow fishing – a great outdoor activity that’s easy to learn. It takes a quick eye and a fast shot to have a chance to reel in a carp as they often surface the water only briefly. You need a sport fishing license to bow fish in Iowa. Be sure you can identify the fish before you shoot. Only rough fish (such as carp and suckers) can be taken by bow and arrow.
  • Rabbit and squirrel hunting – an inexpensive way to introduce beginners to hunting with little competition. Experienced hunters can test out their equipment and sharpen their outdoor skills before pheasant and deer seasons begin. If you’re looking for land to hunt, try our interactive Hunting Atlas, which shows public land as well as private land enrolled in the Iowa Habitat and Access Program. Through IHAP, Iowa landowners receive help to establish habitat and in turn, open their land to public hunting.
  • Fall trout fishing – a great way to enjoy the cool weather and marvel at the amazing fall colors, including the trout (male brown and brook trout show off their most vibrant colors this time of year). Trout are starting their spawning rituals and seem to always be hungry as they try to bulk up for winter. You need a valid fishing license and pay the trout fee to fish for or possess trout. Learn more about Iowa’s trout streams, including maps and stocking schedules.