OPENING DAY TURKEYS

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

OPENING DAY TURKEYS

    Following weeks of anticipation, the Opening Day the Iowa turkey season has finally arrived. Even more incredible was the fact today’s sunrise was both windless and cloudless — amazing! Early season hunters took full advantage of the idyllic conditions and it didn’t take long for social media to come alive with gobbler success photos — or so I’m told.   Wild turkeys liked the weather too. Although still plenty dark, gobblers started sounding off at 5:20 in the timber I hunted. At the approach...

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Nebraska Hill Country Provides Exciting Kickoff to Spring Seasons

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Nebraska Hill Country Provides Exciting Kickoff to Spring Seasons

The wake-up calls come way too early in spring turkey camp. Today was no exception and I must admit that rolling out of a warm and cozy sleeping bag and into the damp night air presented somewhat of a challenge. But the initial discomfort soon vanished due to the comforting effect of a heavy wool jacket and steaming cup of fresh coffee. And although nearly two hours would pass before the sun would show its warming face above yonder ridge, hunting partner Dave Thomas and I were already stoked to the max. In the sky above our Nebraska hill...

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Eagles’ March

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 1 comment

Eagles’ March

This year’s spring migration of bald eagles will certainly qualify as one of the best in our lifetimes. Observing our national emblem never grows old and the majestic birds are certainly creating a lot of statewide excitement. It seems that no matter where you happen to go these days, people are talking about eagles. Everyone is eager to tell their story about what they’ve seen. Many of those comments focus on the sheer number of eagles currently passing northward through Iowa. It’s an impressive sight to be sure; but perhaps the...

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SPRING BALLET

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

SPRING BALLET

  North Iowa’s March weather has been typically unstable. But there are some undeniable signs that spring is in the air. And perhaps nowhere is the impending change of seasons more dramatically obvious than in the skies above our natural wetlands. Following months of ice and snow, area ponds and marshes are beginning to thaw; some wetlands are completely open. For millions of wild ducks, the signals are irrefutable; the wintering grounds of the Sunny South have lost their allure. Gripped by a sudden restlessness, migratory waterfowl...

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Of Shotguns and Cameras

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Of Shotguns and Cameras

Everyone loves to share good photos — the duds not so much. Thought I’d make an exception on this one though, and have attached one of my most recent heart breakers.  I took the shot on Wednesday afternoon while sitting in the decoys and enjoying  an incredible spring waterfowl migration.  I didn’t have any snow goose decoys, just laying in the mud set up for ducks alongside a small sheet water pond in the cornstalks.  When the late afternoon light was perfect, a flock of about ten or so green-winged teal came roaring over the...

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Spring Snow Geese

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Spring Snow Geese

    The spring migration of lesser snow geese represents one of the world’s most dramatic natural spectacles. An epic journey of sight and sound, the magnitude of the flight cannot be fully appreciated until witnessed firsthand. Six million strong, the white birds become a feathery spring blizzard as they marshal their legions to communally march more than three thousand miles toward ancestral subarctic breeding grounds. Although the mass migration can currently be viewed statewide, the greatest concentrations occur in western...

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The Other White Meat

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

The Other White Meat

Rabbit hunting is just one of those things that I can’t seem to outgrow. But then, I guess I’ve never really put much effort into quitting the pastime. For me, chasin’ rabbits has been a long running endeavor. I became hooked on the sport at an early age when, as a .410 toting fifth grader, I was completely captivated by the sight of a winter cottontail bounding across the snowy backdrop of a farm country landscape. I fell in love with rabbit hunting as a kid; and find it no less enjoyable today. Adaptable and abundant, Iowa cottontails...

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Winter Wonderland

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Winter Wonderland

A real Jack Hammer of a winter snowstorm rolled across the northern half of Iowa Tuesday night.  By the time daylight arrived Wednesday, my truck roof was covered with just over a foot of beautiful new snow and the white    was still coming down at a pretty good clip.  In north central Iowa – where I live — there wasn’t much wind, but up here you know it can’t be far off.  With new snow piling high on every branch and twig, the landscape had become a Winter Wonderland.  But conditions can change in a minute.  On such a...

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Daybreak Close Encounter

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Daybreak Close Encounter

Local coffee shops don’t seem quite as cheery as they did a couple weeks ago.  Following several days of dark and gloomy overcast, folks are getting grouchy.  People are apparently in need of some sunlight; or at least should consider some vitamin-D supplements.    No change in weather is predicted.  By the time daybreak arrived this morning, it was obvious that we were in for more of the same.  Even the local woodlands appeared void and dreary.  Resident squirrels weren’t out of bed yet.  There were no browsing deer to watch, no...

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Iowa Squirrels Offer Unique Outdoor Taste Treat

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Iowa Squirrels Offer Unique Outdoor Taste Treat

  Iowa waterfowl hunting is done for the year. The late archery season for deer and turkeys ended January 10. Ditto for pheasants. Time has arrived for hunters to clean the shotgun and stow the rifle. Or has it? For those willing to pursue a somewhat less glamourous species, Iowa’s squirrel hunt is still on — runs until the end of the month, in fact. Populations are never an issue; daily limit is six squirrels statewide. Whether you pursue them on public forest lands, farm grove windbreaks, or abandoned woodlots; squirrels are...

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