When people think of hunting, they most often associate it with deer or turkeys. However, there are a lot of other animals that hunters in Iowa deem worthwhile quarry.
Although the early muzzleloader deer hunting dates have almost passed (October 15-23) and the later deer season is still a ways off (December 3-7, December 10-18, December 19 - January 10, etc.), the 2016-2017 Iowa furbearer hunting season draws closer. This hunting season ranges from November 5, 2016 - January 31, 2017. This opens up hunting for all sorts of different creatures, including:
Because of their status as pests, coons are commonly hunted among varmint hunters in Iowa. To hunt these animals, you will need the right gun, the right location, and the right technique. Read on for some tips on coon hunting in Iowa.
First, you need the right equipment. Of course, the most important piece of gear for coon hunting is the right gun and ammunition. Many coon hunters choose a .22 LR, a .17 HMR, or similar weapon for hunting coons, opossums, and other animals of roughly the same size. The .22 LR has enough power for smaller animals like coons and foxes, but also has low recoil, is relatively quiet, and is quite accurate. The .17 HMR is also a good choice, especially for longer range shots: it offers a longer range than the .22 LR as well as a flatter trajectory and generally a higher velocity. However, the .17 HMR is often more expensive and can be more destructive to furs at close range. Check our selection of rifles and other guns to find the one that suits you for your coon hunting expeditions.
Other kinds of gear that you may want to consider for coon hunting include: a nice, high-quality hunting light; boot waders; coon squall call; hunting knife or multi-tool; and an electronic dog trainer.
Once you have the right equipment, you need to find a place to hunt. If you do not own decent coon-hunting land yourself, getting involved in the local coon hunting community can help you build up a network of other hunters and of property owners. The more trust you gain in this community, the easier it will be for you to find a good hunting spot and obtain permission to hunt there. The most important thing to remember is to be respectful and presentable. If you are polite and calm and do not appear overly scruffy, people will be more apt to allow you to hunt on their land.
Finally, the hunting begins. This is where you need to practice your tracking and treeing skills. Work with your dogs to learn their behavior and what signals they give when they catch a trail. Then, think like a raccoon. Use the seasons and the weather to gain insight on how they might act and where they might hide. You may even want to invest in a scouting camera to snap photos of your potential hunting grounds. You need to become familiar with the way your dog reacts when he thinks he has treed a coon. He may start to howl and emit low deep growls. Once the coon is treed, you need to find it and try to catch the glint of its eyes to get the best shot - aim for the head to maximize chances of killing it on the first shot and minimize damage to the pelt.
Keep these tips in mind and get ready for the 2016-2017 Iowa coon hunting season now by investing in the right weapon. Here at Wendl's Weapons, we offer a wide selection of new and used rifles, pistols, and more. Contact us today or visit our store to learn more!