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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A SEASON TO REMEMBER

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

A SEASON TO REMEMBER

The final segment of this year’s deer season presented hunters with a brutal variety of environmental challenges. With scant exception, Iowa’s late December/early January weather scene was dominated by below zero temps, minus double digit wind chills, and relentless winds. But that wasn’t the real issue. Even with minus twenty-degree or colder wind chills, you can always carry enough extra clothing into the woods to make a two or three hour sit a reality. No; the real problem with this year’s late season was the snow....

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WILD TURKEY: Healthy and Traditional: It’s What’s ‘Fer Dinner

Posted by on Jan 7, 2017 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 1 comment

WILD TURKEY: Healthy and Traditional: It’s What’s ‘Fer Dinner

  Turkey & dressing. The words go together like a hand and glove. Although normally associated with Thanksgiving, turkey & dressing is a great stick to your ribs taste treat anytime you can get it. At our home, roast turkey has become a New Year’s Day tradition. The feast has only two hard and fast requirements. The turkey must be wild; the dressing homemade. There are many excellent ways to prepare a wild turkey. My personal favorite, however, is to roast the bird in a covered grill. A lot of people rightfully consider a...

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Turkey Liver & Onions

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Turkey Liver & Onions

Turkey Hollow – Late last week: The arrow was launched and my New Year’s Day turkey dinner was in the bag. In prime condition, I was amazed – as always — at just how much fat the winter turkey was carrying. The bird’s gizzard, for example, was completely engulfed in a thick layer of bright yellow fat. But it was the turkey’s liver that I was most interested in. I could see no good reason to wait until New Year’s Day before enjoying this wild delicacy. In the matter of a couple of hours, this favored dish would go from the...

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Happy New Year!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Happy New Year!

  Procuring the perfect Christmas goose is an annual priority of my winter agenda. This year’s honored entree arrived during a cold and blustery afternoon when nearly two dozen hog fat Canada geese decided to investigate my decoys. With the beautiful Christmas goose plucked and on ice; there only remained a single uncompleted item on my 2016 Outdoor Checklist. That pleasant task was to obtain the main ingredient of a proper New Year’s Day feast which, in this particular instance, meant wild turkey. Bagging the Holiday turkey is a...

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A Hallmark Moment

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

A Hallmark Moment

A spectacular winter storm system is currently careening across the upper mid-west – including Clear Lake – today.  Snow is coming down in huge clumps of clean white flakes; 3 to 5 additional inches is expected.  This photo includes two of my favorite subjects – new snow & Canada geese.  I think this one comes as close as I’ll likely ever get to capturing the feel of a genuine ‘Hallmark Moment’.  Enjoy a safe and merry Christmas as we celebrate one of the two greatest events in human...

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END OF THE LINE

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

END OF THE LINE

  Notes on Goldeneyes – Shotguns – and Eagles For Iowa duck hunters, the appearance of migrating goldeneyes is a bittersweet moment. Although a prime goldeneye drake is regarded as a waterfowling trophy, the species’ arrival signals the beginning of the end. Make no mistake. Open water has been officially put on notice. Freeze-up is at hand. Like it or not, your duck season is about to end.   A hard flying, deep diving inhabitant of big waters, the goldeneye is one of the few sea ducks to regularly visit Iowa. As tough as a...

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Wintery Blast Provides Premier Bird Show

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Wintery Blast Provides Premier Bird Show

  By the second week of December, there remained little question that winter had arrived. In northern Iowa, marshlands were frozen solid. At Clear Lake [where I live] more than 3,600 acres of open water had been reduced to two small air holes. But although local weather conditions had turned frigid, the late season bird show was heating up as clouds of migratory waterfowl looked for a place to dunk their webs. Above those two tiny pockets of open water, a beehive of winged activity reigned supreme. Waterfowl weren’t the only feathered...

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Long Live the King

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Washburn's Outdoor Journal | 0 comments

Long Live the King

     Swift of wing and unique in profile, the regal canvasback is duck hunting‘s greatest treasure. No species is more thrilling to observe. No species is more thrilling to hunt. No species provides finer dining. It’s little wonder that the mighty ‘can has enjoyed a long term standing as the King of Ducks.                          Long Live The King                             “We offer no apology for thus elevating the lordly canvasback to a classical role, for...

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