Outdoors Today

It’s panfish time!

Fall is in the air and the calendar certainly suggests that fall is here. Although we haven't seen and drastically low temperatures at night, most night time temperatures are getting in the forties and fifties and that is just what anglers need. These cooler night temperatures and shorter days ...

So God made a (tree) farmer

"Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: ...

First duck season opens today

With fall in the air many of the Iowa hunting seasons are beginning to open for various species. Some have already opened like dove, squirrel, rabbit, archery deer, goose and some have closed like the special teal only season back in September. The first of the regular split duck season in Iowa ...

Death on the plains

Today's story is about one of earth's natural history events involving a volcano, lots of plains animals on an ancient savanna landscape in northeast Nebraska, and how scientists have and continue to piece together the story of their lives and what brought them to an abrupt death. So hang on ...

Autumn is here

Fall officially began Sept. 21. I welcome these cooler air temperatures. Looking at the future forecasts shows most days will bottom out with temperatures in the 40s. It is nice to go outside in the mornings and feel that cool, crisp air, knowing that the leaves are slowing changing and yet ...

National Hunting and Fishing Day next weekend

NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY is next weekend, Sept. 26. The fourth Saturday of September was designated for this purpose when then President Richard Nixon signed the first proclamation on May 2, 1072. He said "I urge all citizens to join outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural ...

Hummingbirds are real profiles in courage

HUMMINGBIRDS are preparing for the inevitable, winter in northern climes that they cannot survive, and trekking toward warmer places where they can find food. These little one-eight ounce miniature packages of feathers and super fast wings have the right stuff to accomplish what Mother Nature ...

Sunflower brightens the day

SUNFLOWERS are big business. Ask the ranchers and farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Minnesota and Kansas. If one is traveling through any of these states you cannot help but see vast fields of this crop with huge nodding seed heads and large yellow blossoms adorning the skyline. ...

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 ...