Let’s be candid: Spring is a great time for cameras

By Todd Burras


March is a time of blooming flowers, birds in bright breeding plumage, cute baby animals and dramatic cloud formations.

All are part of the natural world’s transition from winter to spring, and all are possible focal points of a camera lens.

Photos can now be submitted to Story County Conservation for its annual photo contest, which is open to amateur photographers only.

Any photos of nature and recreational activities from spring or any other time of the year are open to submission and will be judged based on these categories: landscape (within Story County Conservation parks and areas and may include structures); flora and fungi (micro or macro); fauna (micro or macro); or connecting people and recreation.

There will be youth and adult categories — age 18 and younger and 19 and older — and each photographer may submit up to three entries.

Landscape and connecting people and recreation photos must originate from Story County while fora and fauna photos can be taken outside the county.

Spring is here and nature is burgeoning. Get outdoors with your camera or smartphone and start photographing some of its wonders.

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Springtime means one thing to thousands of Iowans who enjoy dressing up in camouflage and skulking around in woodlots and forest edges: turkey hunting.

A series of dates makes up the state’s six-week spring turkey season, and some hunters are already doing some scouting to get a bead on where the hens roost at night and where the toms are strutting during the day.

This year’s season breaks down as follows:

* Youth — April 7-15

* Archery — April 16-May 20

* Season 1 — April 16-19

* Season 2 — April 20-24

* Season 3 — April 25-May1

* Season 4 — May 2-20

As winter loosens its grip and the days get longer, male turkeys will begin gobbling in preparation for the mating season. If you’re one of the some 40,000 turkey hunters in the state, now’s a good time to spend some time outdoors familiarizing yourself with the habits of toms in the areas you plan to hunt.

And don’t forget to pick up your 2018 hunting license and turkey tag in the meantime.

• • •

If you are a youth who wants to hunt this spring or are looking ahead to autumn but you haven’t completed the state’s mandatory hunter education class, one is available later this month at the Ames Izaak Walton League chapter house on Stagecoach Road.

A team of experienced and certified volunteer instructors and Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officers will lead the 13-hour course.

Class times will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, March 27 and 29, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. In order to receive certification, a student must attend all sessions and pass the final exam.

Iowa law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, must be certified in hunter education before they are eligible to purchase an Iowa hunting license.

To register or for more information, contact Jake Strohm at (515) 290-3729.

Todd Burras can be reached at outdoorstoddburras@gmail.com.