Iowa Duck Season Opens September 22nd
Date posted - September 18, 2012
Iowa’s five day early duck season begins Sept. 22 amid some of the most challenging conditions hunters have faced in more than two decades.
The drought has left most wetlands dry or nearly dry, concentrating hunters and ducks on the few wetlands that still have water.
“Just about any marsh that has water in it has ducks on it,” said Guy Zenner, waterfowl biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Duck production in the prairie pothole region of Canada was good this year, so we should have a good fall flight of ducks. In fact, we’ve already seen good numbers of blue-winged teal pass through.”
Zenner said hunters may need to consider hunting rivers if they want to avoid the crowds. The low stream flows are almost creating small wetland-like pools that may be attractive to ducks, particularly wood ducks.
“There are very few places out there where you can hunt out of a boat,” he said. “The reservoirs are low with no water in the vegetation. Hunting Saylorville, Coralville, Red Rock or Rathbun may not be the best, but at least you will be able to get your boat on the water.” The early season closes on Sept. 26.
The Drought Does Have a Silver Lining For The Future.
Many wetlands had lost most of their beneficial habitat after many years of high water. The drought is allowing these dry marsh beds to re-vegetate with new plants that will create excellent habitat when the water returns.
“That won’t help this year, unless we get a lot of rain in the next few weeks, but it will be good in years to come,” Zenner said.
The late duck season begins on Oct. 13 in the north zone, Oct. 20 in the south zone and Oct. 27 in the Missouri River zone.
Early Goose Hunting Opportunities Look Good
Goose hunters should have more opportunities to field hunt when the season opens this year than they do most years because the crop harvest has started earlier than usual.
“Most goose hunting is done on land in harvested crop fields, so the drought should have less of an impact on these hunters,” Zenner said.
The Canada goose season opens in the north zone on Sept. 29, followed by south zone on Oct. 6 and the Missouri River zone on Oct. 13.
Plant Some Shade Tree Distribution Programs Planned For Fall
DES MOINES – Residential customers of MidAmerican Energy Company who live in Iowa can reduce future energy use, landscape their homes, and green up their communities this fall through Plant Some Shade®.
Strategically placed deciduous trees can provide shade on hot summer days, easing the cooling load on your air conditioner or heat pump. Trees planted on the west side of a house provide the greatest benefit.
Plant Some Shade is a partnership initiative to aid long-term energy and natural resource conservation. The program is funded by MidAmerican Energy and administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry, with three local partners: Mahaska County Extension, Polk County Conservation and the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
Plant Some Shade enables MidAmerican Energy’s residential customers to purchase up to two, 3- to 8-foot landscaping trees for $30 each. A variety of trees are available, including two or three varieties of shade trees, a low-growing ornamental tree and a conifer.
“Encouraging residents to plant trees in their yard is an effective way to reduce energy costs and promote a healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment,” said Tina Yoder, MidAmerican Energy’s manager of energy efficiency. “We’re pleased to fund Plant Some Shade, and we hope many customers participate.”
Plant Some Shade events will be held in Des Moines, Oskaloosa and Sioux City. Advance orders are required. Order forms can be obtained at www.midamericanenergy.com/iowa_plantsomeshade. Orders will be accepted until all trees have been sold. Tree recipients are given instructions on how to plant and care for their trees. Tree recipients also receive safety information regarding the need to call 811 before digging and the danger of planting trees near power lines.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for homeowners to get a quality tree at an affordable price,” said Matt Brewer, partnership coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry. “Fall is an ideal time to plant new trees. The season’s warm days and cool nights are excellent for root growth.”
For more information, contact Matt Brewer, partnership coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry, at 515-242-6892.
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