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Outdoor notes

The unseasonably warm weather is causing ice conditions to deteriorate across much of the state. Lakes with the best ice are north of Highway 3. Use caution and test the ice thickness frequently if heading out and trust your instincts – if it doesn’t look right, don’t go.

Hunting seasons will begin closing soon, starting with pheasant, archery turkey and deer seasons, and late muzzleloader deer season on Jan. 10, then goose seasons starting in the north zone on Jan. 12, followed by the south zone on Jan. 19, and the Missouri River zone on Jan. 26.

The season for quail, partridge, ruffed grouse, and squirrels closes Jan. 31. Rabbit season closes Feb. 28.

The furbearer hunting and trapping seasons also close on Jan. 31. Furharvesters can continue trapping beavers until April 15.

The January antlerless deer season will open Jan. 11 and close Jan. 27. The season is open in Allamakee, Clayton, Appanoose and Wayne counties. Currently, only Allamakee and Wayne counties have licenses available, Clayton and Appanoose have sold out.

Iowa hunters have reported harvesting 96,000 deer so far during the 2018 season.

2018 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses expire on Jan. 10.

Class space

is available

Hunter Education Classroom courses are offered by knowledgeable and certified volunteer instructors and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers. Classroom courses are typically 12-15 hours in length and are held over 2 to 3 sessions (days). In order to receive certification, a student must attend all sessions and pass the final exam.

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

Upcoming Hunter Education Classes

Jan. 12, Ely, American Legion – full but there is a waiting list

Feb. 16, Muscatine, Muscatine County Conservation Board Environmental Learning Center

Feb. 18, Glenwood, Southwest Iowa Sportsmans Club

March 7, Wapello, Langwood Education Center

March 12, Toddville, Wickiup Hill Learning Center

March 21, Dubuque, EB Lyons Interpretive Center – Mines of Spain

March 25, Burlington, Starr’s Cave Nature Center

For more information on these and other hunter education opportunities, go to