2016 Season in northern iowa

Number17

New member
My observation on the season this year. Opening weekend was very warm here, being very tough on myself and my springer. Birds were plentiful. Following week went well. Then, until first snow, hunting was tough. First snowfall seemed to bunch birds up and the hunting was excellent. Warm temps lately have melted snow and made hunting difficult. Overall bird numbers IMO are the same as last year. As of today, my son and I, have bagged 67 birds and 4 Huns. My son is a full time student at Iowa, but has been home for three weeks. As for me, I'm an old guy that never gives up. We allowed plenty of bird to elude us, but got our fair share. One of the best seasons I have enjoyed. Memories that will never be forgotten, and sights that will probably never be seen again. We are tired, beat up and skinny from many miles, but hope to continue to enjoy the sport I have enjoyed for 50 years.
 

nstric

New member
I agree and have experienced similar. I think numbers to be about the same as last year, overall. Variation in grass/cover seems to be even more so the ticket to good numbers this year. My friend and I are hunting, on average, twice per week, getting our kids afield as often as the weather allows. We shot out 101st rooster yesterday and hope to get another dozen or so before the season closes.
 
I agree and have experienced similar. I think numbers to be about the same as last year, overall. Variation in grass/cover seems to be even more so the ticket to good numbers this year. My friend and I are hunting, on average, twice per week, getting our kids afield as often as the weather allows. We shot out 101st rooster yesterday and hope to get another dozen or so before the season closes.
You guys are living right !!!! Congrats on a great season .
 
We don't even keep or measure them anymore. Several 3+ year birds

If not shot up I try to keep the 2 longest tail feathers for a vase wear I put them all standing upright... + the long spurs 2 much turkey hunting I guess...

Do you guys hunt any public lands or all private if u don't mind me asking???
 

Number17

New member
Hunt both. Public land gets better late in the season as a majority of hunters do not want to bust through the snow. Most of our birds were taken in the last few weeks. Very hard earned birds this year, but with a 20yr old cross country runner and a two years old springer, I could not be the weak link!!
 

IsThisHeaven?

New member
I hunted public land in northern Iowa twice. The first time was the second weekend of the season, then the weekend right before Thanksgiving. I was disappointed in bird numbers both times and did not go back. I had better hunting all year within an hour of Des Moines.

I think it is important to acknowledge the differences between private land and public land. I hunted all public and it got pounded early on. As was said earlier, I would imagine later in the year numbers could go up on public land with the better cover and lower pressure.

I hunted a lot more in northern Iowa last year throughout the season and found good bird numbers all the way through.

I had a much better year this year compared to last year, but that was because I found much better bird numbers in central Iowa as opposed to north central Iowa.
 

Number17

New member
I was raised here in NE Iowa. Been here quite awhile. We do not have great bird numbers at all. I know most of the serious hunters in the area and have not heard of any results close to ours on WILD birds. I know this part of the country well. Hunt all of the time for waterfowl and upland. Noticed some of my good areas were empty this year. Found new ones. Sometimes we have to hunt all day to get a shot, sometimes a few hrs to get a limit. If I limited every time I went out this year, I could have fed our county. Enjoy the quiet time with my dog. Cant go anywhere up here without a memory:)
 

berettadouble

New member
I was raised here in NE Iowa. Been here quite awhile. We do not have great bird numbers at all. I know most of the serious hunters in the area and have not heard of any results close to ours on WILD birds. I know this part of the country well. Hunt all of the time for waterfowl and upland. Noticed some of my good areas were empty this year. Found new ones. Sometimes we have to hunt all day to get a shot, sometimes a few hrs to get a limit. If I limited every time I went out this year, I could have fed our county. Enjoy the quiet time with my dog. Cant go anywhere up here without a memory:)
That still makes a season successful...
 

roscoe71

New member
I live in southeast central and birds around here were iffy at best. I hunted mainly north central and north west central and had some good luck there. I'm gonna try to get out a few more times this season,,,,its been fun as usual,,,but not as good as I was hoping for.
 
I live in southeast central and birds around here were iffy at best. I hunted mainly north central and north west central and had some good luck there. I'm gonna try to get out a few more times this season,,,,its been fun as usual,,,but not as good as I was hoping for.

I'm thinking maybe Monday & Tuesday trying up NC NW area also does not look like much snow but bitter cold will make some Sharp crunchy snow...

Did u seen any Hun's up north this season by chance? Had a guy say he seen some last WK end on road...
 

mstand

New member
I am a public land hunter. To scared to knock on doors, plan on changing that next year.
I am from the Waterloo area, but I hunt Clear Lake, Forrest City areas. Maybe not after this year though. Numbers are down for sure compared to last year. Alot of farmers had to leave corn in, so the birds have a safe haven, that doesnt help.

Not cryin, its part of hunting. But I am going to focus on door knocking and hunting more west next year.
 
I am a public land hunter. To scared to knock on doors, plan on changing that next year.
I am from the Waterloo area, but I hunt Clear Lake, Forrest City areas. Maybe not after this year though. Numbers are down for sure compared to last year. Alot of farmers had to leave corn in, so the birds have a safe haven, that doesnt help.

Not cryin, its part of hunting. But I am going to focus on door knocking and hunting more west next year.

My season was tuff all around I think I'm going to have to do the same door knocking routine in SD & or trade work for hunting even thought of add in paper lol. Got to get my dad some shots on pheasants next year can't walk like he used to..

Good luck on Your search next season start early...
 

SDroosty

New member
I'll start by saying I'm an SD resident (right on border of SD & IA) but with the SD season over i was looking to get my dog on a few more birds. Called up an extended family member of mine in IA and asked if he'd like to go out and be the gun as i work the dog. Walked some GREAT looking public ground in NW IA today and put up 3 total birds in 4 hours. Couldn't believe it. Ground hadn't been walked and my GSP is very experienced, very reliable dog. We were miffed. I haven't paid much attention, what did people find for bird numbers in NW IA?

We did have another very solid season walking almost exclusively public ground in SD. Seems like the numbers were slightly down, but very enjoyable season.

Good luck as everyone finishes out their seasons!
 
I'll start by saying I'm an SD resident (right on border of SD & IA) but with the SD season over i was looking to get my dog on a few more birds. Called up an extended family member of mine in IA and asked if he'd like to go out and be the gun as i work the dog. Walked some GREAT looking public ground in NW IA today and put up 3 total birds in 4 hours. Couldn't believe it. Ground hadn't been walked and my GSP is very experienced, very reliable dog. We were miffed. I haven't paid much attention, what did people find for bird numbers in NW IA?

We did have another very solid season walking almost exclusively public ground in SD. Seems like the numbers were slightly down, but very enjoyable season.

Good luck as everyone finishes out their seasons!

Bummer I'll move my hunt on Mon or Tue more NC I guess lol

Mind if I ask if you hunted in the cattails or just grass etc. Or mix??? I thinking deep in cattails by foods but with the lack of snow???
 

roscoe71

New member
I'm thinking maybe Monday & Tuesday trying up NC NW area also does not look like much snow but bitter cold will make some Sharp crunchy snow...

Did u seen any Hun's up north this season by chance? Had a guy say he seen some last WK end on road...
I'm heading up by Jefferson this saurday to try my luck again,,,i have not seen any huns this year and I have been on the look out for them.
 

SDroosty

New member
We walked a mix of shrub/tree draws, large grass tracks and slough draws. No snow on the ground in the area we were. Tough sledding!
 
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