The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently held a public hearing on the rules covering the new apprentice hunting licenses and are moving ahead with implementation. D-N-R hunter education administrator, Megan Wisecup, says it allows people to bypass the hunter education requirement while they learn. She says the program is for people over the age of 16 to try and get them interested in hunting by giving them a chance to go out before they need to invest in any equipment. Providing supervision is a key part of the apprentice license.
“It requires that they have a mentor with them, which is another hunter who is 18 or over and properly licensed as well. And they must maintain direct supervision between that mentor and menteee,” Wisecup says. She says once someone learns more about hunting, they are more likely to continue going out. “There’s 36 states that currently an apprentice license of some sort in place and they’ve attributed over one million new hunters coming into the fold since those programs went out. So, definitely once they have the opportunity to try it, they get hooked and then they come back and meet the hunter education requirements and successfully hunt on their own,” Wisecup says.
She says they already have thousands of people signed up for the hunter safety courses and hope this program brings in more. “There’s around 10 to 12-thousand that kind of fit in that age group that we are trying to reach out to, so we are kind of hoping we might double or triple that number,” Wisecup says. A person may purchase the apprentice hunting licenses two times without having completed hunter education course.
The apprentice program was approved by the Iowa legislature and signed by Governor Terry Branstad during the 2015 legislative session.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The lawsuit filed by the Des Moines Water Works against several upstream agriculture drainage districts will not go to trial in August. A three-week federal court trial was initially set to begin Aug. 8 but on Monday Judge Leonard Strand issued an order continuing it due to scheduling conflicts. A new date will be set when he meets with attorneys on May 11.
The water utility for about 500,000 central Iowa customers blames farmland runoff for high levels of nitrate that has caused it to spend millions of dollars to remove the contaminant to comply with federal water quality regulations.
Water Works officials want farm drainage districts to have to get pollution discharge permits under the federal Clean Water Act to help control farm contaminants leaching into rivers and streams.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say they will release two trumpeter swans at Lake Icaria Recreation Area, near Corning, rain or shine at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 12th. The release site is located 5 miles north of Corning on Hwy. 148, and then three miles east on 160th Street (gravel) to the east boat ramp on the north side of Lake Icaria.
The release includes a 20-minute swan/wetland presentation, a unique opportunity to touch and view the swans up close and a historic photo opportunity with the kids. As the largest North American waterfowl, these magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.
Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. By the early 1930s, only 69 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states. The trumpeter swans being released are part of the Iowa DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort, with hopes that they will help restore a wild free flying population to Iowa.
Wet weather slowed progress, but Iowa farmers were able to get some planting done last week. The latest crop report from the U-S-D-A shows 40 percent of the corn acres have been planted. That’s up from 13 percent reported last week. The planting is already six days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the five-year average.
The report says farmers in the north central, central, and southeast portions of Iowa have made the most progress — with half their corn crop now in the ground. The U-S-D-A report did not mention any soybean planting, but Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says he’s heard some reports of farmers already starting to plant their beans.