Sportsman’s sale at Ikes April 5-6

PHOTOS BY GARRY BRANDENBURG — A sportsman's garage sale will happen on Friday, April 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. and all day Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The location will be the club house of the Marshall County Izaak Walton League located southeast of Marshalltown on Smith Ave. Numerous outdoor related items are from the estate of the late Larry Runneals, who at 92 years of age passed away on Sept. 9, 2023. His extensive collection of outdoor gear has fishing equipment, tackle, hand carved and polished hardwood duck heads and several full body decoys, shop tools, turkey fans and turkey calls, and two outboard motors, and many miscellaneous items. Runneals was a long time Ikes member, an active board member, and an advocate for many conservation/wildlife projects.

Sportsmen collect stuff, all good stuff of course, since anything outdoor related is good stuff. What do you do with all that good stuff when God calls you home?

Well, family and friends help his family, the survivors, to cope, and one way of assisting is for fellow members of the Izaak Walton League gathering together to help sort and prepare for a big-time garage sale, to allow others to collect things that served the late Larry Runneals very well.

His collection was important to him. Now it can live on and create memories that will be important to others.

All the items have been donated to the Izaak Walton League with proceeds going into future programs and projects at the Ikes property. This sale is unique in the aspects of its special offerings created by the talents of Larry’s woodworking skills as a hobbyist.

He liked to carve duck heads, in fact, over 75 hand carved heads were made, and each has a small shelf bracket to allow the item to be hung on a wall. Larry signed many of his works and labeled them in his special way.

Several full body walnut wood duck decoys received the same special attention of craftsmanship. It was what Larry liked to make in his spare time in his garage workshop.

Among other wood items are Larry’s version of morel mushrooms made from wood. Special note, however, these look-alike morels are similar to but not identical to the real mushrooms outdoors people will look for during late April and early May.

Turkey box calls were another experiment that became real things from Larry’s shop. The striker plates help resonate very well to duplicate the calls of wild turkeys. Larry hunted these big game birds more than once and had at least two tail fans from tom turkeys mounted for a wall hanging display. Turkey wing bones have long been sought after for use on slate calls, to make the purrs and putts of contented turkeys, with hopes of luring an inquisitive tom to come within range.

When it comes to fishing, there are always lures that appeal to the eye of the fisherman or woman, boy or girl. How these lures appear to real fish is an unknown — until the point that a big bass, walleye or northern chomps down on the lure to set a hook into its jaw, creating a

battle royal as splashing water and line running off the reel brings total excitement to the person holding the rod.

After landing the fish, that lure may get a “lucky lure” name from Larry Runneals, and at the end of the day, that lure and all its cousin lures, gets put away into a tackle box. Let’s just say that there are a lot of tackle boxes at this sale to peruse.

Runneals had a 10hp Evinrude outboard motor with stand and fuel can. Another outboard is a 3hp Johnson. All are in good condition. Check them out.

Fishermen need landing nets to safely secure fish boatside, and they need waders. And they need creel boxes strapped around their waist.

Plus, floppy sun repelling hats and of course more lures to tie on if a fish destroys the line during its escape. Did I mention fishing rods? Lots of good quality rods with reels, and ice fishing rods for hard water endeavors after the ice auger cut a circular hole in the ice. Buyers will find any and all of these items to review and purchase.

This tip of the iceberg listing you have just read should make any outdoor enthusiast jump for joy. We all know that outdoors people and sportsmen/women need more stuff.

I’ll see you at the sale. Suggested prices may be on most items. Feel free to up the amount you want to pay by adding as many zeros to the first number as your cash account will allow.

Come enjoy the sale April 5 and 6.


An early spring surprise has come to us from the sky. It came in the form of rain and even a few snowflakes. March is Mother Nature’s ‘gotcha’ month with every possible good or bad, depending on how you look at it, weather events.

Rain now is good since drought-like conditions exist for many Iowans. With frost not in the ground anymore due to the mild temperatures we experienced earlier during January and February, rainwater should soak into the soil column like a dry sponge swelling as it fills up its pores.

I am sure you have seen the swollen tree buds begging to burst with the new growth for another year. Robins abound as they hop across lawns and green spaces.

New species of birds are on the wing daily as they move north. Maybe the snow and cold arctic air will temporarily stop their journey. Rest assured that any stopovers will be temporary, and as soon as the weather system abates, they will move out to continue migrating.

Late March bird arrivals may include Wilson’s snipe, American coot, Mourning doves, Eastern belted kingfisher, shrikes, Rusty blackbird, Purple finch, and Song sparrow. Waterfowl species will have a wide variety like Redhead, Canvasback, more mallards, Bufflehead, teal, wood

duck, and Ruddy duck.

They will join many other waterbirds already here. Keep checking area water bodies each day for new arrivals from last night’s migratory flights.

Early April will see a tremendous increase in returning bird species like swallows, woodcock, Martins, Yellow-bellied sapsucker, wrens, kinglets, and others. There will not be any dull moments when inquisitive outdoors enthusiasts take note of more of the signs of spring.


Reminder: Iowa Taxidermy Association members are hosting the public open house from noon today (Saturday) until 5 p.m. at an exhibit hall at Meskwaki Casino near Tama. It will be your time to view the exhibits of fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds of all sizes that aspiring taxidermists, amateur and professional, have created.

Each critter mounted represents a special memory for the owner, and is a way to honor that species of wildlife. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the opportunity to get close and personal to these animals that many times are out of sight or too far away or nocturnal by nature.

You will be able to view and pick your favorite people’s choice award winners. I hope to see you there.


“Choose to make the rest of your life the best of your life.” — anonymous


Garry Brandenburg is the retired director of the Marshall County Conservation Board. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BS degree in Fish & Wildlife Biology.

Contact him at:

P.O. Box 96

Albion, IA 50005


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