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1,000 stories completed, many more to go 

December 4, 2010

Yes folks, since October, 1991, the stories I have written have numbered 1,000 with this edition. There are a thousand ways I'd like to say thank you to all T-R readers but I'll have to settle for this. You make the stories. You give me the leads that I hope bring interest to all the readers. You give me the inspiration to continue crediting the great outdoors with a passion for its beauty and intertwining mysteries of life. Even when hunting in places like Montana at a remote waterhole waiting for pronghorns to show up to drink, I make observations about nature and wild things in natural places, that eventually inspire me to create another weekly column for the T-R. Enjoy.

It took a bit over nineteen years to reach story number 1,000. This scribe has been sharing the outdoor world with you since October, 1991 covering a wide variety of natural history topics, hunting and fishing predominating, but with a good mix of other topics to hopefully keep your interest. I like to take time out to smell the roses (or any flower) in the forest, wetland or prairie. I like to take time to watch flying critters as small as insects or as big as eagles. I like to hunt deer with a bow and observe all kinds of other happenings in the process. I like to catch fish or just marvel at amazing plays of light at sunrise or sunset while canoeing down the Iowa River.

The great big natural world of the outdoors is special to me. I like to live in and enjoy its bounty. I love to photograph its many moods and temperaments, good times and bad, sunshine or cloudy from on the ground or from the vantage point of an airplane. Any animal or plant and people interacting with them is fair game for me and a camera as I try to capture a moment of time that may work into a story for you to read.

Article Photos

T-R Photos by Garry Brandenburg
What is so special about 1,000? It is a big number if one is the author of the Times-Republican Saturday column

I have thousands of photographs on file to pick from. My photo files in the computer are growing larger every day. Add to this tens of thousands of 35mm slides (from before the digital camera days) that have chronicled outdoor adventures near and far. Pictures tell a thousand words is how the expression goes. Word stories accompanying the pictures help close the loop and make a story come to life.

It is not always easy to get my brain engaged on a topic or story that may interest you.However, I always seem to pull it off. Inspiration to write my stories is easy sometimes and darn right hard at other times. And then, poof, like magic, I may get a call on the phone from an outdoor enthusiast who just witnessed such and such. I build on that information to help inform you about another aspect of nature to bring our understanding of the world up a tad.

Science has a thousand questions, even after any single question gets answered. Continually investigating to the find the truth is also a passion of mine. Striving to learn how things work in the natural world and what mankind can and cannot influence are worthy causes to explore. And this leads into another point I have made periodically in my stories, maybe I should have done this a thousand times, and it is this: There are no simple solutions to complex problems. Especially in science, when mankind thinks they know it all, along comes a single little fact or observation that blows many former assumptions out of the water. It's back to square one. Humans need to eat humble pie more often.

Next weeks story will be 1,001. When recently asked if I'm good for another 1,000, well that depends and no, reality being what it is, I will not likely be writing Outdoors Today 19 plus years from now. I'm good for a few more years for sure. There will come a future time, still completely unknown, when a successor to me will take the helm and go sailing off in their own direction as they write about nature, featuring local Marshall Countians enjoying the great outdoors and all its wonders. I think there are at least 1,000 ways for that to happen.


Today is the opener for DEER shotgun season number one. Thousands of deer, does and bucks, will be taken in a time proven science based process for hunters (who are willing to pay for the privilege) to take wildlife bounty from the land in the form of good tasty venison and simultaneously control the trend line of the overall deer population in Iowa. Biological systems and the management of the resources is a full time job for professional scientists, biologists and wildlife managers. Meanwhile, some arm chair "biologists", who must have got their 'degree' from a box of fruit loops cereal keep spouting off lots of non-sense as they try to apply simple solutions to complex problems. If only it were that easy, it would have been done long ago.


DEER hunters are reminded that it is required by law to call in the taking of each deer to record the data of the kill, and to obtain a confirmation number. That confirmation number is written on the second portion of the tag placed on the animal. Immediately after a deer is killed, or before it is moved, the first tag needs to be applied. Later, by midnight of the next day, the confirmation number must also be added. Now, the possession of the deer is legal in all respects. It is easy to do and fun to contribute good hard data for its biological information.


The Uncle Ike's program for kids in grades first through sixth and family members will be held on Jan. 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the GrimesFarm & Conservation Center. This session entitled "Seasons of the Century" will help discover weather's rhyme or reason and learn history from a tree.


Garry Brandenburg is a graduate of Iowa State University with BS degree in Fish & Wildlife Biology. He is the retired director of the Marshall County Conservation Board. Contact him at PO Box 96, Albion, IA 50005.



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