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  • AvatarDaver
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    Quote by: CRIA1576

    I have always heard that a pond will either have thriving crappie and bass, but it cannot sustain both.

    In small ponds (<2 acres), this may be the case. However, generally this has not been my experience in medium-larger ponds. One of the best ponds in this area is around 10 acres, and you can easily catch 50-100 bass from 2# and larger on an average morning or afternoon. This same pond supports thriving populations of 12-15" crappies and 10-12" bluegills. This pond is surrounded by CRP and has 2 small feeder creeks. The maximum depth is around 12'.

    When i suggested possibly stocking minnows for feed, I did not mean to going to the bait shop for 10# of minnows. I would agree with the other poster that this approach would increase the risk of stocking unwanted species. However, there are professional fish stocking outfits in the state that can provide only fathead minnows and other forage fish varieties. I did a very cursory search last night, and a 1 acre pond could be stocked with 10# of fatheads once per year to supply adequate food for predator species.

    Agreed. I also did not suggest going to a local bait shop for regular minnows. That is why I said fathead minnows, I should have also said to get them from a fish supplier so you don’t risk getting unwanted rough fish. Suffice to say, there are different opinions on crappies in ponds, minnows, etc. and difference of opinion does not necessarily mean that there is misinformation being provided. Another good resource to check with is PondBoss.com.

    As for me, I not only stocked a quantity of fathead minnows in my pond, I also purposely created habitat for them to spawn successfully, so there is viable population of them. Check with others to be sure, but stocking fathead minnows is not a radical thing, or even a mistake in my opinion. Good luck.

    AvatarDaver
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    Not with crappie, but with bass…we were fishing a pond years ago that was loaded with bass and also catfish. Both were easy to catch, but strangely, both species of fish appeared to be very stunted in their growth. Looking at the cats we had on the stringer, it looked like we had reeled in a bunch of “heads”, with fins. The bodies were 1/2 of normal size per their heads. We tried to clean some of those cats and there was precious little meat to be had. We later learned that the pond owner did not want any minnows in the pond, so there weren’t any, and I don’t know how those fish survived, but they were SKINNY.

    I would look into getting some fathead minnows in that pond, after clearing it with the owner of course.

    AvatarDaver
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    in reply to: Strutting #1555336

    I noticed on our trail cams that the toms started strutting right around February 10th this year…and about every day after that too. 🙂

    AvatarDaver
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    in reply to: Lake Sugema #1555445

    I would call these guys…
    Keosauqua, IA, Troublesome Creek Outfitters (319) 293-3848

    They normally have fresh info on Lake Sugema.

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    Quote by: Hawkfisher

    Fishing was unreal. Caught 12 fish over 28″ the first day we were there in our 6 man group. 30.5″ won for the biggest fish. If you’re looking for a guide, reach out to Blackwater Cats. Also Icefishes, you have a private message.

    Yowsa! 12 fish over 28″ is some pretty tall cotton. Wait a minute…you are referring to walleyes right? 🙂 Seriously though, congrats, that had to be a blast!

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    in reply to: Snow Geese #1555763

    Quote by: Spionhund

    I have a flock of something on a field I have access too.
    In flight, under belly is white, wings are black full lenght of the wing.
    Orange beak and feet.
    Light brown/grey head and body.
    Cant find a good picture on google help identify.

    As already mentioned, those are “specks” or specklebellies. In terms of eating them, they are highly regarded among other goose species, but we don’t see a lot of them in eastern Iowa during the fall. In the spring though, there is a better chance of seeing them all across the state. Specks cannot be shot during the special snow goose spring hunts either. It is really cool to see them though.

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    in reply to: Snow Geese #1556014

    FYI…I have seen and heard A LOT of snows and blues today in the Iowa City area. Several giant flocks on the move.

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    Quote by: Maverick

    Laws should be created with the law abiding user in mind. Not passing a law out of fear of what law breakers might do is asinine. Those that are going to break the law are going to do it with or without a law that potentially benefits the recovery of otherwise lost deer. Just my opinion though, I’m sure many will disagree.

    Again I will say…if the penalty is as soft as a $25 fine, then the deterrent is quite small. Yes, there will always be people that break laws…but you cannot convince me that a great many people would not think twice if the penalty is stiff and meaningful.

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    Quote by: ECFirearms

    Quote by: tkru

    Last I checked it wasn’t illegal to take my dog for a walk in the woods! 😆

    I would love to train my lab to track deer. I am red green colorblind so seeing small blood trails on green or brown leaves is nearly impossible for me, being able to use a dog would be a major help!

    X2
    I too am color blind, hard to blood trail, that’s why I must bring my son to help track if the trail gets faint.

    I see a lot of up side to allowing dogs to help recover lost deer. more deer found, less deer wasted cause they could not be found. less healthy deer being shot to make up for a wounded deer that was not recovered.
    Higher tracking success rates in the rain. Those are major pluses in my opinion.

    As for the downside, poachers are gonna poach, and criminals are gonna commit crimes. if we all think that they are not breaking the law already, then we are naive.
    Not passing a good law because of a few potential abuses by criminals doesn’t pass the critical thinking test.

    I have to admit, your last sentence kind of tweaked me. I think I can supply some “critical thinking” that could apply to this proposal that may not be considered by all. Depending on how the proposed law is finally worded, this, in my mind, could be a good thing, a bad thing, a neutral thing…OR…combinations of all of those things.

    The proposal that I read a couple of weeks ago specified a $25 fine for violating this proposed law. That is peanuts and would be a number that would not dissuade at least some people. For the record, I support the idea of a hunter using a dog, ON A LEASH and on ground that they HAVE PERMISSION TO BE ON to find wounded game.

    However, if someone, in the name of looking for a “wounded” deer is allowed to go onto ground that they do not have permission and/or allow the tracking dog to be off leash, in which case it would be very common for that dog to wander over property lines and the fine is only $25…I can guarantee that there will be problems. As some people would deliberately trespass with a “game finding” dog so as to bump deer off of one property onto another.

    These laws, while well intentioned, can have unintended side effects. So they need to be carefully considered and written in an “air tight” manner.

    AvatarDaver
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    in reply to: Taxidermists? #1556949

    Wow, that pheasant is AWESOME!! (Sorry for the thread diversion. :)) but that pheasant really is AWESOME! 🙂

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    in reply to: Sheds?? #1557013

    I think it is early yet, my son found three last weekend on our place. Most will drop in the next 3 or 4 weeks in our experience, with a few hanging on all the way through March and into early April. But most will drop soon.

    AvatarDaver
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    I am not addressing the potential legal aspects of selling these guns to others, as I am not fully in the know on that.

    But as far as how to go about selling them…if it were me, I would strongly consider going with a consignment, on-line auction. My opinion is that you, as a non-expert in the field, would be “protected” more by selling them openly at auction and would be more likely to get the highest prices in return, even after paying a sales commission. I have seen guns for sale now a few times in this format…that is, an on-line auction that is open to all.

    Good luck with your efforts! Remember…free advice is usually worth it. 🙂

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    in reply to: Antlers #1557399

    Quote by: bullhead44

    Itd be interesting to know what the average age of deer killed in iowa is. I wonder how many actually die of old age. Ive heard of the sodium before and it definitely makes sense less stress on a deer the more it has the ability to grow.

    As far as the average age of deer killed in Iowa…to my knowledge, the age of a harvested deer is not something that is recorded. So I think the best you could come up with is a guess. I will say that I am sure that they average age of a harvested deer varies quite a bit depending on the region in the state. In many areas it is still commonplace for any antlered buck to be targeted and taken.

    In those areas, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average age taken is just over 1-1/2. However, in other areas, where the hunters voluntarily restrict themselves from shooting younger bucks, I would guess the average taken to be 3 or 4 years, perhaps higher. But that is a pretty difference in my mind.

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    in reply to: Antlers #1557435

    Quote by: kenhump

    D. All the above. Genetics ya. Forage ya. Nutrition, this is a big variable. Over the years of travel I have talked to a lot of serious hunters and a number of guides. Lots of opinions. One thing they all agreed on, sodium. Big deal. Limestone areas seem to produce a cut above average bucks. If anyone had the magic formula the fence guys would be all over it. Actually some are doing pretty good now. Look where a lot of the ‘natural’ big guys come from northern MO. Southeast iowa, limestone areas of IL,IN,OH, MI and up into limestone areas up into Ontario.

    Another good point…sodium. ^^ Years and years ago I remember a knowledgeable deer hunter telling me to find an area to hunt that was near a quarry. I don’t remember how he had come to that opinion, but FWIW he was convinced that the biggest antlered deer were near quarries. 🙂 Maybe he was right. 🙂

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    in reply to: Antlers #1557443

    Quote by: BrownItsDown

    Without good solid genetics, or an odd-ball dormant gene that becomes active, nothing else will matter. The deer may get a massive body from eating and sleeping well, but he won’t become a 200″ buck without good genetics. There are always exceptions to this, but genetics, by far, are the most important.

    My wife has an uncle that argued that any / all bucks can and will grow into 150 to 200 class bucks if provided with the proper nutrition, etc. I explained to him that his train of thought was the same as saying any / all men can and will grow to be 6’2″ to 7′ tall if they’re provided with the proper nutrition, etc. It’s just not true. Other than oddities, a man usually isn’t much taller than his close family members, no matter what. It’s genetically driven.

    FWIW, I definitely agree with you. I have owned my own farm now for 15+ years and through trail cams, shared info with neighbors and personal observations…let’s just say that we know A LOT about the bucks that frequent our farm. Some bucks are NEVER going to get past 150″ – 160″, no matter how much they eat and how old they are. I have seen a couple of bucks through the years that were at least 6+ years old and topped out at 135″-145″. We had one a few years ago now that we really wanted to get that was at least 6 and I doubt he would have broken 130″, certainly not more than 140″…but he was a true bully buck. Giant body and ruled the roost there for at least a couple of years and very smart. He just disappeared, we don’t know what happened to him.

    An “average” for a 5+ year old buck to me would probably be 155″-165″…if one is going to get bigger than that, IMO you can tell that with a fair degree of certainty by the time they are 2-1/2, NLT 3-1/2. If a buck can get to 180″ by age 5’ish, they are usually 135″+ at 2-1/2 and have that “look”.

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