Article contributed by Field Staff Writer C. Rahn.
Finally, after months of staring out the window, seeing snow, and counting down the days until turkey season opens, Spring has arrived. For some, Spring is the time to begin gardening or even break out shorts, but for outdoor enthusiast, Spring represents a whole different idea. As the temperatures increase, so does the activity in the woods and the water.
The woods we have waited months to inhabit have finally begun to become saturated with green. Spring brings gobbling toms. In Iowa, turkey hunting, like in most states, is almost a holiday for many. The thunderous calls of toms often flood the seemingly quiet timbers, and this very “thunder” seems to attract men and women in camouflage. Whether by bow or shotgun, many hunters can attest to the difficulty that turkey hunting entails, and often, the respect demanded by these very shadows that grace the woods with their presence.
Turkeys have such an intricate and elegant design that is rivaled by few, and to me, the fan of a turkey is as much of a trophy as the beard. Turkey hunting is also a great way to introduce new hunters to the wonders of the peaceful timbers. Here, in these moments, we more than just the pull of the trigger or the kill, we can emphasize sharing our passion with others in its raw form. Warm temperatures mixed with a minimal amount of gear required, easily allows turkey hunting to be a catalyst for some in their introduction to the outdoors. In addition, springtime in the woods can often be associated with wonderful morsels that dot the moist ground. Morels become an ever-elusive delicacy that can become an excellent consolation prize to a turkey hunter.
Coyote hunting is becoming more popular and prevalent in today’s hunting communities. With such a great population of healthy, mature Whitetail deer in Iowa, coyote numbers have skyrocketed. Iowa has an open season on coyotes, and when turkey hunting slows down, my buddies and I will often grab our rifles to help limit the number of predators that terrorize the deer population. Whether it is a 17 HMR, a .22-250, or even a G5 Havoc broadhead, Iowa has no restrictions on the method of taking a coyote, and in a way, allows for one to increase their efficiency and overall accuracy. Although a nuisance to many, Coyotes are truly a difficult animal to outwit, and whose beauty should not be overlooked. Just like turkey hunting, coyote hunting requires a minimal amount of gear and can become a humbling experience for amateurs and veterans alike.
I have a feeling that telling a fellow outdoor enthusiast about the wonders of springtime is nothing new to them, but this year, I have found a new appreciation for the outdoors during this very season. When I am able to retire my Remington to the gun case for the season, I will often concentrate on fishing.
Bass often hold tight during early springtime and I really have found enjoyment Panfishing. Frequently overlooked, fishing for Bluegill or Crappie can be a great way to introduce new anglers to the wonders of an ultra-light, and overall, fishing. The relaxation that occurs with each cast cannot be found many other places in my life, and what follows is often a great experience. I am a huge believer in the “keep them wet” theory, stringing up Panfish followed by a fireside dinner is hard to beat. Friends and fresh fish are memory-making combination that can be as enjoyable as feeling the adrenaline-flooding tug on the end of your line.