Giving our youth an opportunity to connect with and enjoy Iowa’s natural resources is a top priority for the Mitchell County Conservation Board (MCCB), each year, we put on a variety of programs to encourage the younger generation to get outdoors. Activities include canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, bike rides, mushroom hunting, geo cashing and the list goes on. It’s obvious today’s youth are spending more and more time indoors engaged with electronics in a sedentary state than ever before.

According to the American Psychological Association, 94 percent of parents have to regulate the electronic usage of their children in some way and 65 percent of Americans believe that a periodic “digital detox” is important for mental and social health. It’s fall now, and the time has finally come for hunting, if you’re looking for a way to break up the virtual trance of a child, grandchild, or anyone else suffering from an un heathy amount of electronic indulgence, or to simply unplug yourself, a hunting trip could be just what the Dr. ordered.

Hunting provides real life heart racing excitement; it teaches patience and perseverance, it also creates memories and bonds that can last a lifetime. Hunting connects people to each other as well as the land and wildlife in a way that transcends the modern experience, it takes us back to our human roots, back to a time when we relied on our individual skill and cunning to survive. The experience of a successful hunt simply cannot be adequately expressed in words alone. Each experience is completely unpredictable, completely unique, and rewarding on multiple levels. It teaches us to respect and care for our environment so that we can enjoy the sport for generations to come.

There are excellent opportunities for youth to get out and hunt right here in Mitchell County. MCCB has over 2,500 acres open for public hunting and may private landowners will allow youth to hunt if you ask for permission. Iowa offers a youth season for waterfowl, turkey, deer, and pheasant so our youth can get the first crack at success. Rabbit, squirrel, and pigeon are also great species to target for beginners. A list of Iowa’s hunting seasons and regulations can be found at If you are completely new to the sport getting started can be a challenge for those with no equipment or experience but, many hunters are willing to help a young person get started just ask around stop in to the Milton R. Owen Nature Center during business hours or give MCCB call. We can provide maps of our wildlife areas, give advice, or put you in touch with someone who can help you get started.

The Mitchell County Pheasants Forever Pioneer Chapter will be hosting a youth Pheasant Hunt on Saturday Oct. 21, 2017. The committee will provide guns, ammunition, dogs, safety training and a guide for those that cannot bring their own. The hunt is open to any youth age 15 or younger who has completed a hunter safety course. If you would like to join this hunt or have questions about starting the sport or taking youth hunting please call 641-732-5204 today.