Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 16, 2017

Hunting seasons coming up in Washington County

Sep 21, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

As the weather begins to cool, many sportsmen in the area are turning their focus to hunting as the seasons are beginning to open in Iowa on several animals.

Washington County Conservation Director Steve Anderson said currently it is dove, squirrel and rabbit season and people are reporting varying degrees of success, both on county hunting property and on private property. Dove season began Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 29. He said once pheasant season opens in late October, most people move away from hunting dove. He said doves are the top game bird in the country, based on the number of shells shot at them.

“It seems like some of the doves have left Iowa already,” Anderson said. “I think we had a cold spell toward the end of August and part of the migration already happened. There are still plenty of doves around, but the shooting isn’t quite as fast as it could be.”

He said under Iowa law, a hunter’s shotgun has to be plugged to three shells to hunt doves. Anderson stressed that just having three shells in the gun was not enough, and that it has to be incapable of holding any more shells. He also said hunters have to abide by hunting hours and register with the Department of Natural Resources, as doves are a federal bird.

On Oct. 1, bow hunting season for deer will begin. Anderson said antlerless tags began selling on Sept. 15 and are going quickly. He said there were 700 issued in Washington County.

Youth deer season and early muzzleloader seasons are coming up, Anderson said. Young people will be able to hunt deer from Sept. 16 to Oct. 1.

“The first shotgun deer season, which is one of the big ones, is always the first Saturday in December and this year it is Dec. 2,” he said. “That is probably one of the biggest events there is in this area that time of year. There will be a lot of interest in that.”

Pheasant season for youth will be Oct. 21 and 22, with the full season running from Oct. 28 to Jan. 10, 2018.

Anderson said a few campers stay at Marr Park for hunting seasons, but he does not see a major increase from this.

He said in the “heyday” of pheasant hunting, the motels would fill and there would actually be pheasant-cleaning stations in the motels. He said this faded during a downturn in the pheasant population.

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