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Food For Thought

By Staff | Aug 29, 2011

I took note a couple of weeks ago that deer season license applications are now available, and have several friends that are already thinking forward to the various waterfowl and game hunting seasons.

Each year the Iowa Department of Natural Resources uses a roadside survey to assess its upland game populations. The August Roadside Survey, as it is called, is conducted on sunny calm, mornings, preferably with a heavy dew on the grass, between August 1st-15th of each year.

Why is the dew such an important factor? Most upland wildlife, particularly pheasants, hate to be wet. On mornings with heavy dew, hen pheasants will bring their broods onto roadsides to dry off before they begin feeding. This natural tendency allows the birds to be counted so that reproduction can be evaluated by counting the number of broods seen and their size.

Survey routes are 30 miles long and are entirely on gravel roads. When conditions are favorable, Iowa DNR biologists and conservation officers drive their assigned routes, at 10-15 mph, and count all the pheasants, quail, partridge, rabbits, and jackrabbits they see. In all, there are 210-30 mile routes driven (6,300 miles) every August to assess Iowa’s upland game populations.

As of now, there are no numbers available to determine how the upland game bird populations will be, but with the wet spring, my bet would be that populations may be down this Fall, much like last year. If that is true, it will be a downer for hunting enthusiasts, but there is also the new option of the mourning dove season, which was finally approved by the Iowa Legislature.

Shifting gears, I was giving the following by an acquaintance that found it to be an interesting look at our love of hunting, and also, our Constitutional right to bear arms. I’ve no way to credit the author of this piece, but it certainly gives a person cause to think.

The World’s Largest Army American hunters!

A blogger recently added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at the following conclusion. There were over 600,000 hunters this past deer season in the state of Wisconsin alone.

Again, over 600,000 hunters, just in Wisconsin alone. That would make Wisconsin’s hunters the eighth largest Army in the world.

More hunters with weapons than the Army of the nation of Iran, and more armed individuals than the armies of France and Germany combined.

These 600,000 hunters deploy into the woods of one American state to hunt with firearms and no one was killed last season.

But, that number pales in comparison to the 750,000 hunters who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania, and the 700,000 hunters in Michigan and all of them returned home alive!

Add in a quarter-million hunters in West Virginia, and it should be easy to see that the hunters in the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia alone would comprise the largest Army in the world.

Now, here comes another thought America will certainly be safe forever from any foreign invasion with this kind of home-grown firepower.

Think about it Hunting is not just a way to fill a freezer, it’s also a matter of national security. Consider that when you hear an argument for gun control.

I found that to be some interesting reading. It’s certainly something that doesn’t pop into your thinking process just out of the blue. Hunting is a tradition handed down from generation to generation, and has long been a part of our society and it’s growth.

Here in Iowa, we are able to conduct hunter education courses to teach our youth the correct ways to hunt safely and to be safe while hunting. While we are guaranteed a right to bear arms under the Constitution, it goes without saying that responsible use of that right is the duty of every citizen who chooses to exercise that right.