Ellsworth Community College

Early Ice Iowa

Just because Iowa is on the southern edge of the ice belt, doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of early ice. Obviously “early” is a relative term here since we usually lag behind our Minnesota brethren by a couple of weeks when it comes to setting foot on the ice. A good rule of thumb, however, is that the further north you travel, the sooner you will find fishable ice. That being said, there are certain lakes in Iowa that, for one reason or another, always seem to be some of the first ones to ice up. Some of these lakes typically ice up early enough that sometimes we can be walking on water at nearly the same time as [...]

Handling Multiple Coyotes

The sun was just spreading its first rays across the landscape of the beanfield in front of us. It was peaceful, calm and quiet. Yet, you would have never known that moments earlier there had been such a struggle for life take place across that tranquil field. You wouldn’t have known that two coyotes had just barely witnessed their last sunrise before now laying flat on the bean stubble, over a hundred yards apart and that there had been such gunfire of four consecutive shots disrupting the morning’s silence or that there had been such a display of speed in desperate flight to escape and such dramatically instantaneous life ending energy pounded into their bodies swiftly eliminating two of the [...]

By |December 4th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Purchasing Private Ground: Not Just for the Wealthy

Purchasing Private Ground: Not Just for the Wealthy Many of us dream of owning private ground. That sweet little patch of land with the potential to reward year after year with abundant hunting or fishing opportunities. Many consider it a rich man’s game, and sometimes that assumption is rightfully made, yet owning private ground is realistically feasible for many. It can also be profitable in some regards too. It is true that hunters are becoming increasingly frustrated with crowded public grounds or diminishing access to private land. The obvious way to step over this issue is to purchase private ground for yourself or through a partnership. Becoming a steward of your own property is something that any hunter or angler [...]

20 Tips For Late Season Whitetails

20 Tips For Late Season Whitetails It’s been nearly three months since the first deer season opened in Iowa. The days are shorter and the temps are lower but there is still hunting to do.  Its time for late season archery/muzzleloader hunting for whitetail!  No matter if you didn’t fill your tag the first go around or just love to hunt the late season, one thing is for sure, that late December and early January season gives you a great chance at shooting a trophy whitetail.  Yes the conditions are harsher than the early seasons but whitetail bucks are still susceptible to harvest because one thing is on their mind…FOOD!  A whitetails desire to consume food for the upcoming winter [...]

By |November 26th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Shot Placement Guide For Bowhunting Turkeys

Shot Placement Guide For Bowhunting Turkeys When using a bow to hunt turkeys, many different shots and angles will present themselves. To make a clean ethical kill a hunter must know where to aim on the turkey at any given moment. While a turkey looks to be a decent sized target to hit, it isn’t. The vitals are extremely small, near the size of a softball. Then on top of that you add the plumage of the bird and what looks to be a big sizeable target is actually less. The goal of any shot is to disrupt a combination of a turkey’s circulatory, neurological, muscular or skeletal systems. Below are several different shots and angles that turkeys will give [...]

By |November 26th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments


By Bob Jensen This period of time we’re in right now, the time between late summer and early fall, can provide some very good fishing, but it can also be a challenging time to catch fish. The night-time air temperatures are chilly, but the daytime temps are still warm. Thirty degree temperature swings in a day aren’t uncommon at all. These temperature changes, along with shorter days, let the fish know that the times are changing. They still have to eat, and if you put your bait in front of them they’ll eat it, but sometimes you have to do different things to get them to do so. Here are some ideas on those different things. Starting off: In the [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Support Those Who Support You

Before I begin, thrown on the table is the fact that I realize there will be worthy organizations to which I fail to allude. Said admission shared, please understand this comes not from a lack of respect; but a severe lack of brain activity within my cranial cavity. This, by no means, should point to any perception of favoritism on my part. I have simply learned to deal with, and accept, the intellectual limitations I have been dealt! Now to the point of these meanderings. The fact that you are putting forth the effort to flip the pages of “The Iowa Sportsman” is evidence of your interest and love of the nearly limitless outdoor endeavors we are afforded here in [...]

Whitetails 365: Top Reasons Your Season Could End Unsuccessfully

Whitetails 365: Top Reasons Your Season Could End Unsuccessfully By Tom Peplinski Not Recognizing Changing Food Sources Last year was the epitome of misjudging food sources. For many years now, I have gone through seasons with the ability to predict pretty successfully the deer’s transition from one food source to another. A successful soybean plot for as long as I can remember had always pulled a huge number of deer each and every year by the time mid to late November came around. In 2015, the shift I had observed year after year didn’t happen…at least not until very late in the year. 2015 brought a bumper crop of acorns like I had never seen. My farm is host to [...]

By |November 20th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Easy Rut Hunting Tips to Utilize

Since the inception of hunting magazines there have been writers trying to give advice to the readers on how to kill “big bucks” during the rut. 10 tips for this, 5 tips for that, blah blah blah blah blah. Let’s face it, when you boil it down to the most common denominators, hunting the rut can be a pretty basic thought process. Remove Head From butt Over the years, I have made several mistakes while chasing my target bucks. It took me longer than it probably should have to learn from those mistakes, but in the end that failure has helped me become a better bowhunter. In my opinion, the hunt does not start the minute you step in to [...]

By |November 20th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Low Fur Prices? No Better Time to Start Trapping

Unfortunately the outlook for fur prices this year is, well no other way to put it, dismal. However there are still new trappers called to the sport every year with the same questions we veteran trappers had somewhere along the way. Common questions are where do I start, what animal should I target, what’s the best set, what’s the best trap, the basics we all had to learn somewhere along the way. For you long liners this article might be a little boring, but hopefully a new trapper or two will find a little wisdom in the words and become hooked on my favorite outdoor sport…trapping. “What animal should the beginner target?” There will always be disagreements but I would [...]

By |November 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments
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