The Iowa Natural Resources Commission has given preliminary approval for the 2016-2017 deer hunting seasons. D-N-R spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the proposed season will look much like this year’s. “We really are not seeing any changes, we’re looking at a status quo type season compared to last year. And I think that reflects that we have a herd population that is stabilizing over a great part of the state,” Baskins says.
While he says the population is stabilizing, it’s not uniform across the state. “We still have parts of the state that have an abundance of deer, and the antlerless quotas we have that we have reflect that,” Baskins says. “We still see an area of northwest Iowa where we’ve probably gone a little too far in terms of reducing deer. Up there we still have some buck only restrictions for some of those counties during the early muzzle loader season and the first shotgun season.” Baskins says the D-N-R has a variety of different ways to keep track of the deer population.
“We do it through surveying our hunters, through looking at road kills, and also right now we are still kind of wrapping up some of our spotlight surveys where we go out at night and run some routes to determine what we are seeing out on the countryside,” Baskins says. He says they also talk with landowners about any damage that may be done to crops by deer. Baskins says they have a deer task force that helps set up the hunting
“That includes people who are deer hunters, obviously the agricultural production groups, and also insurance companies,” Baskins says. “And one of the goals that was established by that task force was to get kind of to where we were in the 1990s when everything seemed to be in balance in terms of not having too many complaints from any of those three groups.”
There is a hearing on the proposed seasons on June 1st. You can send written comments to the Department of Natural Resources, Dale Garner, Wildlife Bureau Chief, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; by e-mail at Dale.Garner@dnr.iowa.gov or by Fax at 515-725-8201. You can see the full proposal on the Iowa D-N-R’s website at: www.iowadnr.gov/hunting.
Here are the proposed dates for the deer hunting seasons.
Regular Gun 1 Dec. 3-7
Regular Gun 2 Dec. 10-18
Bow Oct. 1-Dec. 2 and Dec. 19-Jan. 10, 2017
Early Muzzleloader Oct. 15-23
Muzzleloader Dec. 19-Jan. 10, 2017
Youth Sept. 17-Oct. 2
Disabled Hunter Sept. 17-Oct. 2
Holiday Antlerless-Only Dec. 24-Jan. 2
The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department has completed the Vision Iowa CAT grant application and turned it in by last Friday’s deadline. The application seeks $360,000 for improvements to the Schildberg Recreation Area campsite and related matters. Assistant Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm said during Monday’s meeting of the Parks and Recreation Dept. Board, that Director Roger Herring burned the midnight oil last week putting together a thick binder full of information. He says they hope to hear something back in the next month or two.
A 5-minute dvd virtual tour of the Schildberg Rec Area was included in the application. The video was shot by a drone under the guidance of Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Tim Snyder. Staashelm added the c-g graphics and special effects. Herring said he hopes the Vision Iowa judges take a moment to view the dvd and note that the intent is to make Atlantic a “Destination Point,” which will in-turn benefit the County in the form of tourism. Parks and Rec Board member Charlene Beane suggested the video be included on the Chamber’s website.
In other business, the Parks and Rec Board Monday evening gave the go-ahead for the purchase of an interlocking basketball court surface at the Harl-Holt park. The low bid was from Versa Court, at $13,806. Seth Staashelm said a grant will help to pay for new court surface, which will come with pre-printed, versatile lines for different sporting activities. It’s much safer to use than hard surfaces, and only requires assembly, a job which the parks and rec crew will be able to handle, thereby saving on costs.
The surface has a 10-year warranty. And, costs for the summer recreation programs in Atlantic, including youth tennis, swim team and men’s slow pitch softball, are unchanged. New this year, is Adult Tennis, Pickleball and Sunnyside Activity Hour.
Updated information about those programs will be on the Parks and Rec Department website, later this week. http://www.atlanticiowa.com/atlantic/city-departments/parks-recreation/
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A stretch of sunny and dry weather has given Midwest farmers a good start on planting corn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress report was released Monday. It shows 13 percent of Iowa’s corn crop is planted, significantly ahead of the five-year average of 3 percent planted by mid-April.
Missouri farmers have 58 percent planted, ahead of their average of 21 percent. Kansas has more than a third of the corn crop planted, compared to the average 16 percent. Other states ahead of average are Kentucky and Minnesota. Nebraska is at 7 percent, ahead of its five-year average of 3 percent.
Planting corn early can result in an improved harvest because plants can mature to the pollination stage before summer heat stresses them.
WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing says it must lay off 121 workers as low grain prices have slowed farmer purchases. The Des Moines Register reports the Williamsburg-based company announced Monday that office and factory worker cuts will be effective June 18. The eastern Iowa company makes planters and grain carts.
The company released a statement Monday that says it implemented a 30-hour work last year and started “aggressive marketing campaigns” to address market conditions, but the current demand for farming equipment doesn’t support the company’s staff size. Kinze also cut 215 workers last June also citing slowed business and the farm downturn.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – One of the nation’s largest egg producers says it plans to build a new cage-free egg-laying farm in eastern South Dakota that will house 3 million hens. Rembrandt Foods will build the facility in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Construction is expected to begin this year and it will be ready for hens next year.
Spirit Lake, Iowa-based Rembrandt Foods supplies egg products to food manufacturers, food service providers, restaurant chains and retail grocers. It announced plans to increase the number of its hens housed in cage-free barns last year. Rembrandt president Dave Rettig says growing consumer demand for cage-free eggs has pushed more than 100 food companies including Walmart and McDonalds to switch to cage-free eggs in the next decade.
Rembrandt has facilities in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Alabama.
MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — All of the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is opening for the summer season this weekend. The refuge’s auto tour road, nature trails, bird watching and mushroom hunting areas are now open for the season. Fishing and boating will also be permitted as long as anglers have a valid license from either Iowa or Nebraska. Spring archery turkey hunting begins on Monday.
The refuge is located north of Omaha, Nebraska, along on U.S. Highway 30 near Missouri Valley, Iowa. An entrance permit is required to enter the refuge. For more information, call 712-388-4800.
Two students from the Atlantic High School will be honored Monday afternoon, in Ames. Seniors Haley Carlson and Aubrey Schwarte will be part of an historic event where Iowa will be the first state in the nation to conduct a Letter of Intent to Teach Agricultural Education. The goal is to recognize young people who are committed to pursuing teaching as a career. The ceremony honoring Carlson and Schwarte will take place on the ISU Campus at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, beginning at 3:10-p.m.
Dale Gruis, Ag Ed Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education, and State FFA Advisor, says nationally, the number of college students pursuing degrees to teach K-12 is down 30-percent. In Iowa, there are currently about 20 teaching positions that remain unfilled in Agricultural Education (grades 5-12). While southern states have had Ag Ed instructor shortages for many years, the 2015-year was the first such shortage, in Iowa. Gruis says in addition, 25-percent of high school Ag Ed instructors are eligible to retire by 2018.
Agricultural Education is linked with the FFA, the largest student-led organization in the world. Gruis says students can only become members of the National FFA if they are first enrolled in Ag Ed courses.