COYOTES are smart, crafty and very good at surviving in a wide range of environments. They can be found from Alaska to Mexico and California to Maine. In fact, coyotes moved across the frozen Atlantic waters between Quebec, Canada to the Island of Newfoundland about 20 years ago. The result is that this sixth largest island in the world now has an ingrained population of this predator. Coyotes live in cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Naming a city they do not live in would be hard to find. And yes, Marshalltown, is on this list.
Iowa DNR hunting and trapping regulations address the season for this wild canine. For hunters it is a 365 day open season. However, the practical matter is that late fall and winter are those time frames when leafy cover is gone, crops are harvested and snow may be covering the ground. In such a setting, placing a rabbit shaker decoy in combination with a rabbit distress call may do the trick. Today's seminar will inform you about the do's and don'ts for getting coyotes to approach.
T-R PHOTO BY GARRY BRANDENBURG
A coyote calling informational seminar will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday (today) at the Albion Fire Station. Learn some tricks of the trade needed to bring a coyote to you. Presenter Larry Sills will tell you what works for him. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Today’s photo is of a mounted coyote on display at a past Iowa Taxidermist Association spring meeting.
TROUT are arriving at Sand Lake at 11 a.m. today. Two thousand will be set free into the northwest pond. Two hundred of them will have a little tag. The tag will be good for free merchandise from area businesses. So come on out to Sand Lake for a new fishing experience opportunity. Iowa DNR fisheries bureau folks raise trout specifically for what they term cool weather stocking. This takes place in 17 sites in Iowa from Council Bluffs to Dubuque, or Muscatine to Cedar Falls and lots of areas in between. A trout fee is required before one may keep trout they may catch. Youth age 15 or younger do not need a trout fee if they do not intend to keep the fish. Keeping a trout does require the appropriate fishing license and trout fee. Enjoy your time at Sand Lake today if for no other reason than to be outside breathing fresh cool autumn air ... and fishing of course.
My outdoor observations of late have been what I would call in the very nice category. While driving west of Marshalltown earlier this week along Summit Road, I spotted four bald eagles sitting in the recently harvested soybean field. I had to stop and use binoculars for a closer look. it is not that I haven't seen bald eagles before, but it is always nice to see them again. As winter approaches, we will be seeing more of them as some will gather along the Iowa River too, even when deep snows are flying.
A barred owl came somewhat close to my tree stand location last weekend. While I'm sitting still in the tree, moving only my head on a slow swivel, the owl's approach caught my eye. The owl landed on tree branch about 60 yards away. It moved its head up and down, left and right, as it tried to decipher what was in the tree. I'm looking back with my binoculars. To the owl I must have had two really big eyes, certainly larger than a squirrel's. The end result was a departing owl flying away. In past years, I have had close encounters with red-tailed hawks, cooper's hawks and great horned owls. In some cases, the birds silent approach was awesome in its stealthy glide only to quickly realize at the last second that I was too big to be on the menu. I think it is a good thing I was not wearing a raccoon fur hat. I may have lost the hat to striking bird talons!
In addition to the periodic sighting of a deer, raccoons, opossums and squirrels are very entertaining. Colorful tree leaves filter early morning or late evening sunlight, turning the forest into an intense pallet of red, yellow and gold colors. And when the quitting time of one-half hour after sunset arrives, I carefully climb down the ladder from my stand, pack up my gear and walk as silently as I can through the dark forest toward my vehicle. Another great day in the outdoors has just added new information to my diary of the day. Being a hunter allows one to cherish these types of special times. And the good thing about all the fall hunting seasons is that there a lot of great days yet to come. I'll be there, silently watching and waiting, soaking in all the happenings of my next outdoor observations.
POACHERS from Louisiana got caught by Iowa DNR officers. It took 10 months of cooperative investigation with game wardens in Louisiana and Kansas to catch the bad guys. Four men from Louisiana now face 76 counts and nearly $86,000 in fines and damages for allegedly killing deer in southwest Iowa last November. And the state of Iowa is being formerly asked for the court to forfeit four rifles the bad guys used to poach the deer. The investigation began with a TIP call to Kansas game wardens which led to the Iowa connection. That little piece of information was critical to what ended up as a very big case. "The men came to Iowa specifically to road hunt trophy bucks during the rut" said Deb Howe, State Conservation Officer. "They did not have any licenses or tags to Iowa during the time they were here." Facing charges are James Keith Moore, 41, of Hammond, La. and Michael Fralick, 45 of Ponchatoula, La., each with 32 counts of deer related violations in four different counties of southwest Iowa. Stanley B. Russell, 46 of Roseland, La. and William H. Chambliss, 39 of Kentwood, La. were charged with six counts each of deer violations.
"No TIP is too small" says local game warden John Steinbach. Call 1-800-532-2020 anytime of the day or night to report suspected fish and game violations.
Come see and learn more about BIRDS OF PREY at the next local Ornithologist's meeting. The date is Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Fisher Community Center in Marshalltown. The program will view a DVD titled World of Raptors, an review of falcons, buteos, eagles and accipiters.
There is no admission charge. It is free for all. Learn more about these great swift flyers of the skies.
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.