Orabs And Generals Split Siouxland Conference Basketball Doubleheader

basketballSheldon, Iowa — Sheldon and Sibley Ocheyedan split a Siouxland Conference doubleheader Tuesday night in Sheldon. The girls game went to Sibley Ocheyedan 56-54 in overtime while the Orabs won the boys game 48-39.

In the girls game Sibley Ocheyedan opened a 16-13 first quarter lead and were up 29-25 at halftime as Clara Meyer hit a three pointer as time expired. At the end of the third quarter Sheldon had pulled even at 36-36 only to see Kayla Ackerman hit a three pointer at the end of regulation to tie the score at 49-49 and set up the overtime period.

In OT Bridget Doeden scored 7 of her 24 points to lead the Generals to the win. Doeden led all scorers on the night and was joined in double figures by Ackerman who netted 21 on the night including four three point buckets.

Sheldon got a team high 22 points from Emily Johnson including four three pointers and 21 from Krista Bousema including five three points buckets. Johnson and Bousema each hit a three in the overtime.

With the win Sibley Ocheyedan remains unbeaten on the year at 3-0 including a 2-0 conference mark. The Orabs were handed their first loss of the year and stand at 2-1 in the year and 1-1 in the Siouxland.
In the boys game that followed Sheldon picked up a 48-39 win in the season opener handing head coach Eric Maassen a win in his first game as a head basketball coach. At the end of the first quarter it was tied at 9-9 with the Generals taking a 23-18 first half lead. Sheldon battled back for a 37-28 third quarter lead and went on to win it 48-39. it was the season opener for both boys teams.

Sheldon had two players in double figures as Turner De Jong and Collin Wolthuizen scored a dozen each. Sibley Ocheyedan was led by Ty Hanna with 15 and Devan Vander Veen with 12 points.

Up next for Sheldon will be a trip to George on Friday as the Orabs go against the Mustangs of George Little Rock.

Ice Safety Tips From Iowa DNR

Iowa DNRImportant Things To Keep In Mind When Venturing Out Onto The Ice This Winter:

There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recommends a minimum of four inches of quality ice for fishing and at least five inches for snowmobiles and ATVs.

Ice thickness is not uniform on any body of water.  Things like current and springs slow ice growth. Rocks, trees or docks that poke through the ice like will conduct heat and make the ice around it less stable.

There could be pockets of thin ice or places where ice recently formed, so it would be wise to check ice thickness as you go out.

The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process.

Safety items in the bucket: Ice picks, about 50 feet of rope and a throwable flotation seat cushion for use in case of rescue.

Ice fishing is a social activity, don’t go out alone. If the worst should happen, someone would be there to call for help or to rescue.

Avoid off-colored snow or ice. It is usually a sign of weakness.

Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look right, stay off.

Iowa DNR Shotgun Deer Season Preview

deer portrait iowa dnrIowa deer hunters likely will step out into single digit cold Saturday, the opener for the first shotgun season. That’s closer to ‘typical’ weather than the balmy 30s and 40s last weekend. What better way to kick off the 60th anniversary of Iowa’s deer season, than by stocking up on hand warmers?

Like many other wildlife species, deer were pretty well wiped out by European settlement and overhunting by 1900. Slowly recovering, there was still more than a decade of controversy before the first season was approved across 45 counties in 1953. With a herd estimated at 12,000-15,000 statewide, differing sides warned of not enough deer to warrant a season…or too much crop damage. Still, hunters took 3,782 in that December 10-14 season.

Compare that now, to a yearly harvest of 115,000 or so; spread across several seasons and nearly four months in the fall and early winter. There is a lot more science, information…and interest in hunting Iowa’s big game.

That interest peaks, as about 140,000 shotgun deer season hunters head to the woods and fields; either December 7-11 or December 14-22.

“Shotgun hunters account for more than half of Iowa’s deer harvest. Much of our deer management hinges on the shotgun seasons,” notes Tom Litchfield, DNR deer research biologist.

That interest means money in the bank for a variety of businesses and conservation measures. The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service in its latest (2011) outdoor recreation survey says Iowa deer hunters account for $197 million in retail sales. That supports 3,300 jobs. The state and local governments take in $21.4 million in fees, sales taxes and other sources. Another $23.5 million goes to the federal government. Most of that returns in the form of funding for wildlife and habitat protection and enhancement.

Hunter success rates this year should reflect lower overall deer populations. Liberal use of antlerless tags for a decade have increased the doe harvest; thus reducing reproduction. Hunters should consult with property owners, to see if deer numbers are acceptable. It may be prudent to back off on doe harvest for a couple years.

Another unknown, as more boots hit the ground, is the effect of Epizootic Hemorrhaging Disease (EHD). Landowners and early hunters report finding more than 1,000 deer carcasses, possible victims of EHD. More will turn up as shotgun hunters cover new territory.

“With the season in its latest possible (start) scenario…most crops will be out. Also, it could be colder. A lot of hunters like having a little snow on the ground, so the potential for that is higher, too.”

Snow helps with tracking deer. Still, you need to be in the right place to begin.

That’s where party hunting has advantages…and carries extra responsibility.  “Iowa’s hunting tradition has evolved with party hunting, in conjunction with drive deer hunting,” says Litchfield. “That enables shotgun hunters to be very effective in taking greater numbers of deer over a shorter time…important with seasons of only 5 and then 9 days.”

As you move those deer, keep the wind in mind. The deer do.

“You don’t want to push deer into the scent of your blockers. Set them up so the wind is in their favor. Move the deer into a crosswind. Or have the wind at the back of the drivers,” suggests Litchfield. It encourages the deer to move earlier and more slowly. Then, they are not running as they come by the blockers.”

That means less chance of a shot going astray. With friends and family in close proximity, safety has to be your first concern. Blaze orange outerwear—covering your torso– is mandatory in shotgun season. More of it—gloves, a cap, coveralls—is better. The same advice that is repeated each year…is good one more time. Know where your gun is pointing and know what lies beyond your target.


1953…That First Hunt

“I remember it was snowy and cold. I went with my father and some others, to a farm in Sioux City. It had quite a few deer on it. I had one of those regular (traditional) bows,” recalls a then-16 year old Des Moines youth. Six decades later, he tells me he would just as soon stay out of the spotlight.

“I sat in a ravine with a lot of little trees and brush…to see what came along. It was hard to get a clear shot. The (first) arrow didn’t go the direction I wanted. Eventually, I got lucky.”

And so came one of Iowa’s first modern season deer kills; perhaps the first with a bow.

Up to 20,000 licenses…at $15 each…were authorized that first year. In his book, ‘Whitetail; Treasure, Trophy or Trouble?’ naturalist and author Larry Stone noted that biologists had estimated it might take a harvest of half the herd to keep the population in check. Still, there were post-season complaints from western Iowa that too many had been killed. Iowans disagreed back then, too!

The Iowa Conservation Commission spent several years ironing out whether to offer hunting as a deer control tool in certain areas or to provide sustained hunting. Over the years, the Commission and its successor, the Department of Natural Resources basically follow both courses. Each year, adjustments are made; be they ‘buck only’ tags, adjusting county by county antlerless quotas, adding or suspending short ‘bonus’ seasons…or other fine tuning.

And it started with a 16 year old kid, sitting on a cold, snowy hillside.



Ethan Achterhoff Signs to Play Football at Northwestern

Northwesstern logoEthan Achterhoff of has signed a letter of intent to continue his football career at Northwestern College next fall.

Achterhoff is a 5’11”, 170-pound running back and defensive back who played three years for the MOC-Floyd Valley football team. Achterhoff rushed for a team-best 669 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Dutch to a playoff berth. He also ranked second on the team with 17 catches for 209 yards and three scores while posting 379 yards on kickoff returns. On defense, Achterhoff ranked second on the team with 72 tackles and registered one interception. Achterhoff earned all-district honors and was named the team’s most valuable player of offense. A member of the honor roll, Achterhoff plans to major in criminal justice at Northwestern. He is the son of Kyle and Amy.

Red Raiders head football coach Kyle Achterhoff said,  “I am obviously excited to have my son coming to Northwestern next fall. He has been on our sidelines for a number of years and will now be will be suiting up as a Red Raider, which will be very special for all of us.”

Orab Alumni Basketball Games a Success

Orab-LogoThe Orab Alumni and their fans got together at Orab Gym Saturday afternoon for what is hoped to be the first of many annual men’s and women’s alumni basketball game held during the Thanksgiving weekend.

In the women’s game the gold defeated the Orange 39-32. Kristi Chapin Punt led the winners with 12 points. Amy Vanden Hull Mitchell scored 8 points with Becca Fischer hitting for 7. Brittany Boerhave led the Orange with a game high 14 points. Laura Ledger Schwarz added 8 points.

In the men’s game that followed the shirts defeated the jerseys 114-74. Josh Van Kekerix led the shirts with 13 points. Nate Oostra hit for a dozen with Justin Kuiper netting a dozen on four three-pointers. James Gradert netted 11 with Ben Van Kekerix and Blake Koedam adding 10 points each.

The jerseys were led by Nathan Van Gorp and Matt Dykstra with 15 points each. Van Gorp had a pair of threes with Dykstra going 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Also in double figures were Jordan Dykstra with 11 and Chris Balster with 10.

There was one father son combination as Nic and Matt Meendering both took part in this year’s alumni game.

Admission to the game was a free will donation with all proceeds going to the Orab boy’s and girls basketball programs.

Tyler Starr Named Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive MVP

Tyler StarrUniversity of South Dakota linebacker Tyler Starr has been named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year as announced by the conference office Wednesday of this week. Starr is the first Coyote to receive conference MVP honors since Jordan Davis and Stefan Logan in 2006.

Starr is the nation’s active career leader in forced fumbles with 13. He is also second in solo tackles for loss with 39 and fourth in total sacks with 27. He earned those achievements in just three years of play.

This season, Starr led the MVFC in sacks (9.0), tackles for loss (15.0) and forced fumbles (4). He finished second on the team in tackles with 71. He also had an interception and was credited with four pass breakups.

Starr had at least six tackles in each of his last eight games. He registered at least two sacks three times. He had a season-high eight tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss in a win against Missouri State and got his first collegiate interception against Western Illinois.

Starr is one of 20 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award for the top defensive player in FCS.

Tyler is a graduate of George Little Rock High School.