Outdoors Today

River makes a shortcut

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT would be an excellent definition for floodplain lands close to the Hardin/Marshall County line. Over many years, the river at high water flows kept eating away at the outside curves of its banks. Soil material cut from outside bends upstream get sorted by flowing water ...

Deer takes its own picture

TRAIL CAMERAS are fun to work with. These silent tools of the trade enable wildlife enthusiasts to watch over game trails, fields, or even backyard bird feeders to see the activities that transpire while us humans are sleeping. And another neat feature of a trail camera is that mosquitoes that ...

Tabulating surveys

GAME SURVEY information is now in the hands of DNR Upland Game Biologists. Two hundred ten routes have been completed, the data noted and submitted for analysis. It is premature to say what is likely to be the outcome of these surveys. This scribe can only guess. And since guessing is a bit on ...

Hey, did you catch anything?

Have you ever a day of fishing and heard that question, I bet you have? It is probably the most popular question I hear throughout the summer months on my home from adventures to the lakes and rivers in Iowa. Everyone is curious whether the fish are biting or not. Many times the answer to that ...

Lake improvements set for Union Grove

UNION GROVE STATE PARK has been around for a long time. It was established in 1938 in this quiet northwest corner of Tama County. The lake surface has about 110 acres of coverage when full. The park offers a quiet and pleasant setting with nearby wooded areas. This is a sharp contrast to ...

August means busy as a bee

AUGUST is here. Maybe it is just another month on the calendar but it is an important transition time in our northern hemisphere. Long summer days are getting shorter. Plants are at full growth and maturing to set seed. Some birds are beginning to stage themselves for migrations. Young ...

Sharing deer stories

Being ready for the unexpected is a trait nature photographers must prepare for. One never knows what potential image awaits the sharp eye, a good camera, good technique and good luck. Sometimes it all comes together and a great image results. Today's image of a nice buck whitetail was not ...

Fly-fishing in Washington state

Fly-fishing is an uncommon sport on Iowa waterways, or at least central Iowa waterways. There are a few of the breed here, myself included. Most are found in the Driftless Area around Decorah. Outside of Iowa, however, there are fly-fishing opportunities abound.Each summer I travel with my ...

Wildlife summer sightings

Seeing COOPER'S HAWKS in a nest was a neat discovery. An avid birder told this scribe about the nest and wondered if I wanted to try to get some photographs. Of course the answer was yes, so off I went with camera, long lens and sturdy tripod onto one of the trail system networks at Marshall ...

Tri-County Bass Club helps out Green Castle Lake

Many people like to fish for the great tasting walleye, crappie or bluegill, or the powerful catfish or pike, but a lot of people really enjoy going after the elusive bass. Fishing for bass has become so popular that you can see it everywhere. I am sure that you have seen some "pro" fishermen ...

Sand Lake reveals one of its secrets

LARGE MOUTHED BASS are a very sought after fish. Probably more time, effort and money is spent each year on equipment, fishing tackle, vehicles and boats dedicated to bass fishing than any other species. Seeking out and finding bass, of any size, and if lucky, having a big bruiser of a fish ...

New turkeys make an appearance

WILD TURKEYS are a fairly common sight in today's world. Hikers may see them along trails. Farmers see them in pastures and open areas periodically. Hunters like to see them and try to get close each spring, a trick easier said than done. In Marshall County, wild turkey stocking from wild ...

Kids had a blast fishing for bullheads

KIDS FISHING is a fun way to spend a day. Cooperative and hungry fish meant that there would be little if any down time. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents, and family friends were busy as a bee in a flower garden trying to keep ahead of lines attached to another bullhead. It was fun. It ...

Unique wildlife wanderings in Iowa

MOOSE are just one species of wandering wildlife that make the news in Iowa if and when they meander across this present day landscape of corn and soybeans. It is rare for moose to show up in Iowa since their normal habitats are much further north in portions of Canada, North Dakota, northern ...

Snapping turtles deserve respect

COMMON SNAPPING TURTLES (Chelydra serpentina) are one of the largest fresh water turtles in the United States. The cousin of the common snapper is the Alligator Snapping Turtle that can weigh up to 140 pounds. Common snappers as adults will tip the scales at 40 pounds for really big ones. ...

Youth trap shooters enjoy their sport

Students have more sports to chose from during their elementary, middle school or high school years. For these students highlighted today, SHOOTING SPORTS is the option they chose. This program is affiliated with USA Shooting, the National Skeet Shooting Association, and the National Sporting ...

Small pond fishing

The landscape is quite unique in our state; from the flatlands of Western Iowa to the large hills and bluffs of Northeast Iowa. It is quite a combination for this state stuck in the middle of the two largest rivers in the United States. These landscapes, somewhat flat here in Central Iowa offer ...

The flight of the Cliff Swallows

CLIFF SWALLOWS (Petochelidon pyrrhonota) have returned. And their journey from southern South America to the mid-latitudes of North America makes them one of nature's long distance champions for earning frequent flyer miles. They just follow the tradition and instinct of their species to come ...

Goldfinch named state bird 60 years ago

AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES are not hard to spot, the males that is, with its bright yellow body and black top knot on its head. Common throughout the eastern two-thirds of the United States, this little bird is a welcome sight at feeder stations, prairie lands or even wetland settings. It nests late ...

That time of year

Area schools are set to close the doors on yet another school year. That means one thing, kids will have a lot of free time in the upcoming summer months. It is a perfect time to schedule a trip with a child to take them fishing. As adults, we all know of kids who would love to spend a few ...