Articles 2018-04-02T16:43:32+00:00
Ellsworth Community College

Early Season Whitetail Scenarios: What Would You Do?

Situation #1: The Curveball - A group of bucks changes their trail routine just as the season opens. Early season scouting has shown a group of three bucks that bed on a hillside above a clover food plot. Every evening, like clockwork they filter down through a 75 yard wide timber draw before emerging in the clover to feed. They don’t enter the field all at once, instead they enter in what appears to be 15 minute intervals. The largest of the three bucks, the biggest deer you have seen always hits the field last. Before the season opens you hang a stand in the draw on the field edge 30 yards from where the deer are entering the field [...]

So You Want To Be A Fishing Guide

I’m sure it is because I am a professional fishing guide but it is almost a weekly occurance these days. Someone I meet on the street, a bait shop, or a sport show tells me they have thought about being a fishing guide or that they are working to get a guide service started. The conversation from my end starts out the same way nearly every time when I ask, “do you have insurance.” And that either stops the conversation or leads to a more lenthy discussion. Most people who say they thought about guiding have thought about it in the terms that they own a boat, like to fish, and want to make a few extra bucks. Believe me [...]

By | July 16th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

A Bowhunters’ Backpack

By Shawn and Kristi O’Connor Louis Pasteur, the brilliant 19th century French chemist and inventor of pasteurization, coined the phrase, "fortune favors the prepared mind.” What does that have to do with a bowhunters backpack?   Well, lets just say I spent a good number of years ignoring that advice before I was "wise" enough to heed it. It never fails; you spend all day in the stand, hoping for just one opportunity. Then it happens, when the light is fading, and suddenly the opportunity is upon you.  You execute the shot and your dream is realized.  Once the euphoria wears off, realization suddenly sets in. It’s a long way back to the truck and by the time I get [...]

Iowa Waterfowl Hotspots and Conditions

By Brodie Wubben Owner, Fowlwater Outdoors I have waterfowl hunted in northern and central Iowa my entire life chasing waterfowl and would like to share some of my experiences and tactics that helped but more birds in my frying pan over the years. North Central Iowa North Central Iowa (specifically the Winnebago county area) is where I cut my teeth. If you go to the Iowa DNR website and look up the wetland habitat conditions tab you will find every county in Iowa with all of the current marshes and what condition they are in at the last survey. This is the best place to start looking for your new hunting spot. Nothing can replace the time spent behind the [...]

Deadly Rut Stand Strategies

By Ben Leal and Patrick Mckinney For much of the deer season, hunter efforts revolve around the rut. We quiz other hunters, watch our favorite hunting shows, and follow online threads all in an effort to pin point when the peak of the rut will occur. But once it’s here, what do we do to increase our chances of success? Like me, hunters passionately wait for the rut. But hunting during the rut requires some strategy, much of which is thought out long before it occurs. It’s all about timing and finding the best location to place trees stands giving you your best shot at harvesting a buck. Is hanging a stand long before you hunt it critical to your [...]

These are a few of my favorite streams…..

By Rod Woten While they’re not raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, there are definitely a few of Iowa’s fabled coldwater spring streams that have become my favorites for chasing angry brown trout, elusive brook trout or flashy rainbow trout. Some of them are my favorite because of the scenery or solitude, while others rank highly because of the quantity or quality of fish available. Some are even a combination of all of these things allowing me “one-stop shopping” for whatever I may be in the mood for. North & South Bear Creeks These two coldwater creeks are at the top of my list for many reasons. They offer a great mix of all three species found in Iowa, [...]

Pontoon’s As Fishing Boats?

By Steve Weisman Ever since I purchased my first boat over 40 years ago, nothing has been more exciting, time consuming and, yes, even exasperating as it has been to narrow down the list to my final choice. Back in 1972, I began with a 14-year-old 14-foot Crestliner and a 10 hp Evinrude motor. Since that time, I have purchased all brands of boats: Alumacrafts, Lunds, Rangers and Skeeters. From 17’ tillers to 22’ fiberglass big water walleye boats, they have all served their purpose, and each time I tried to refine my search to give me the most positives. I regret none of my purchases. Then 12 years ago, I began a “boating” journey of a different kind. I [...]

By | July 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Food Plot Failures: Common Mistakes To Avoid

The world of deer hunting has changed drastically in the last decade, not so much in the way we harvest deer, but more specifically all the work and effort that goes into harvesting a deer. A prime example of this movement is planting food plots for purpose of deer management practices. When I first started deer hunting in Iowa some 20 years ago the last thing on my mind was planting food plots in conjunction with deer hunting. Now fast forward to the present and one thing that has at least entered the mind of every deer hunter is whether or not to have a food plot on his or her land for the purpose of deer management. Its no [...]

Fishing: A Game of Feast or Famine

In angling, nothing can cause greater frustration than the realization that no matter what you might throw a predator’s way, they ate earlier and even if you literally drop it on their nose, they just refuse to take notice. So, after all my encouragements previous, you are getting darned sick and tired of all the ‘feasting’ while you experience ‘famine’. There are some simple, yet quite complex reasons for this irony. Let us break some of them down to the pragmatic level and see if through this knowledge we might stimulate a bit of creativity and hopefully, gain you some luck where it was lacking to this point. The heady days of spring are far behind us. The forage was [...]

Early Season Duck ID

By Nick Johnson It is common knowledge among waterfowl hunters who hunt early season that the drakes of many species of ducks appear dull and somewhat ugly in color. That beautiful drake Mallard or Greenwing teal whose plumage is striking come winter and spring often looks so drab that he resembles the hen of his respective species during late summer and early fall. What this means for those of us who duck hunt early is often a tough game of identification for species which pose special harvest regulations. Mis-identifying a hen Mallard for an eclipse or immature drake, or a Gadwall, or a Pintail, or a Shoveler when the hen Mallard bag limit is filled might just wind up as [...]

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