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Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 11:12 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 11:21 a.m. CDT

Muzzleloader season

Iowa’s early muzzleloader deer season begins Oct. 13 for the 7,500 muzzleloader hunters taking part in the nine-day season.

Hunters can expect deer behavior to begin changing as the breeding season, or rut, gets closer. Bucks will begin to make scrapes and rubs and they can become more secretive.

“Hunting sites near any remaining green forage or acorns, or trails connecting them to bedding areas are good bets during this season,” said Tom Litchfield, state deer biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Muzzleloader hunters are required to wear blaze orange but should remember they will be sharing the woods with well camouflaged bowhunters and others who enjoy the fall countryside.

Hunters may notice an impact on the local deer population in certain areas from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. Nearly 2,000 EHD cases from 58 counties have been reported.

The early muzzleloader season runs through Oct. 21 and hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  While the paid license quota filled; landowner-tenant licenses, depredation licenses and some special hunt licenses mostly associated with urban areas are available. 

These special hunts, listed in the Iowa Hunting and Trapping Regulations, often have extra requirements and the local host organization should be contacted for more information.

Hunters should properly identify the target and what is beyond the target before taking a shot.

All deer taken must be reported using the harvest reporting system by midnight the day after the deer is recovered.  For hunters with Internet access, the online harvest reporting is the easiest way to register the deer.

Last year, hunters reported harvesting 4,450 deer in the 2011 early muzzleloader season. Accurately reporting the harvest is an important part of Iowa’s deer management program and plays a vital role in managing deer populations and future hunting opportunities. 

Hunters can report their deer online at www.iowadnr.gov, by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.

Education classes

Many hunter education classroom and online/field day courses still have seats available.  Classes are listed on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ website at [ http://www.iowadnr.gov/training ]www.iowadnr.gov/training along with information on how to sign up.

Classes can fill quickly so anyone needing to take a hunter education class is encouraged to sign up soon.

Iowa law requires anyone born after January 1, 1972 to have successfully completed a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license.

Children as young as 11 may enroll in the course, but their certificate of completion will not become valid until their 12th birthday.

Hawk watch

Second Annual High Trestle Trail HawkWatch is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Oct. 13, on the High Trestle Trail Bridge, between Madrid and Woodward.

The event is an opportunity to learn about wonders of migrating hawks on dynamic setting that spans Des Moines River valley. 

Staff with binoculars and spotting scopes will be located on High Trestle Trail Bridge.  Spotting scopes will also be set up on the Hwy. 210 boat ramp and bridge overlook.

In event of rain there will be indoor programs all day at the Woodward Community Center depot two blocks east of Woodward Main Street.

High Trestle HawkWatch partners include the Iowa Wildlife Center, Des Moines Y Camp, Iowa Audubon Society, Boone and Dallas Country Conservation Boards, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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