• Iowa pheasant survey results show popular game bird numbers up significantly

    Iowa’s recently completed annual pheasant survey is great news for hunters – statewide, Iowa averaged 20.2 birds per 30-mile route, up significantly from 2019, with six of the nine survey regions averaging more than 20 pheasants per route, the most since 2007.

    “Pheasant hunters should expect significantly better pheasant numbers in 2020,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Pheasant hunting this fall could be some of the best the state has seen in a decade.”

    Bogenschutz credits the 2020 winter with its mild temperatures and little snowfall that led to higher hen survival and coupled with a dry spring to more successful nesting and an increase in the population. The southeast region led the way with a 163 percent increase, followed by the northeast region with a 115 percent increase and east central region with a 55 percent increase.

    While those numbers are very good, the statewide numbers would have likely been better if not for the drought conditions impacting much of the state.

    “In the western and central regions where we counted fewer birds, we struggled to get good survey conditions so the results are not likely representative of actual numbers,” Bogenschutz said. “Pheasant populations in these regions appear higher than last year, according to casual staff reports, even though the survey says the population is essentially unchanged.

    “Given this year’s statewide index of 20 birds per route Iowa, pheasant hunters should harvest approximately 250,000 to 350,000 roosters this fall,” he said.

    Iowa’s quail population was essentially unchanged from 2019 with the highest quail numbers coming from southwest Iowa. While the counts were unchanged, it is still double the number of quail counted from a decade ago. Hunters can expect to harvest more than 20,000 quail this year.

    Iowa’s partridge population was up slightly over last year with higher counts coming from northcentral Iowa. Iowa’s rabbit population was nearly identical to 2019 with better populations across southern and east central Iowa. “Cottontail hunters can expect excellent hunting across most of the state this fall,” Bogenschutz said.

    • Iowa’s pheasant season is Oct. 31-Jan. 10, 2021
    • Iowa’s quail season is Oct. 31-Jan. 31, 2021
    • Iowa’s partridge season is Oct. 10-Jan. 31, 2021
    • Iowa’s cottontail rabbit season is Sept. 5-Feb. 28, 2021. 

    Media Contact: Todd Bogenschutz, Upland Wildlife Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-979-0828.

  • Are you “Safe” today?

    You know… Over the last few weeks as we’re all gearing up to return to school, I’ve noticed the word “Safe” being brandished about in nearly every facet of our culture. Here are a few that came in just this morning to my email:

    “…child feeling safe at school”

    “In the meantime, take care of your families and stay safe.”

    “safe learning environment”

    And that is just the start. For the thinkers among us, I offer you a question. Are you ever truly safe? For the thinkers among us, I offer you the reasoning why we’re not, have never been, and will never be. Sin stalks us and wishes to have us. Period. Calamity is just around the corner. Now, that doesn’t mean we lose our minds and become paranoid obsessives. But, it should mean that we prepare for possible problems. If we didn’t, you’d neither need a spare tire nor a fire extinguisher. To prepare adequately is a physical and mental exercise equally.

    I’m primarily interested in truth. And the truth is, each time some well-intentioned person tells you that you’re safe, you aren’t. They of course want you to be, and they wish for it. I’m glad for that. But ultimately, they have little power over your safety. So, the outcome of ‘safety’ falls squarely on us all as individuals first, and in the communal sense second.

    Once we abandon the idea that we’re safe, we can begin to understand the measures, thoughts, and preventative steps necessary to better prepare for problems. This naturally leads to the outcome others call “safety” in the traditional sense. Their version of “safe” is almost always a house of cards.

    Their version of “safe” revolves around incoherent ideas and applications. A prime example is the “Gun Free Zone” as it were. Does a sticker or the declaration in law magically make you safer? No. It does not. But do the masses too often believe that it does? Yes. And by the practice of believing a thing like that to be true which isn’t, what can you and I say about that assertion? First, it is incoherent. Second, the net safety of a “Gun Free Zone” drops, not elevates. Why? Because they let their guard down where they’re “safe” right? Thus, they’re less aware situationally and aren’t implementing proper levels of risk assessment.

    My point is a simple one today. Each time you hear somebody blathering on about “safe” this or “safe” that, you should seriously be questioning all of it. I truly believe most folks do wish for other’s safety. However, the sophomoric idea that yapping about safety achieves the goal is the core problem. …And the more they yap the more we accept the word “safe” as legitimate and real.

    Don’t do that…

  • Armed Citizen Stops Machete-Wielding Man

    Bluebonnet News (Liberty, TX)
    A Good Samaritan pulled over to check on a machete-wielding man who was standing in the middle of SH 146 near Moss Hill. As the Good Samaritan was exiting his vehicle, the man approached him with a large knife swinging it in a threatening manner. The Good Samaritan pulled out a pistol from his vehicle to deter the man from approaching him. The man did stop when he saw the pistol… Continue reading »
  • Geissele Automatics Donates 250,000 face masks to 2021 SHOT Show

    NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, is pleased to announce that Geissele Automatics will be donating 250,000 face masks for distribution during the 2021 SHOT Show®. Headquartered in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Geissele Automatics is a manufacturer and distributor of firearms, optics and parts, primarily in the modern sporting rifle (MSR) sector. The company is a frequent sponsor of NSSF events.

    “We have had incredible support from our industry manufacturers for the 2021 SHOT Show, but this donation from Geissele puts an exclamation point on it all,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and CMO. “Sponsors big and small support the SHOT Show in many ways, and we couldn’t do it without them. We are greatly appreciative of this tremendous support from Geissele and the generosity of its owners and staff—and we can’t wait to see everyone in Vegas in January.”

    “With 2021 right around the corner, and given everything that’s going on, we were unsure if SHOT Show would even take place this year,” said Joe Plunkett, Geissele’s COO. “We were very pleased to work with NSSF to donate these masks in an effort to help facilitate SHOT Show moving forward and keeping everyone safe. We will see you all in Vegas!”

    NSSF’s 2021 SHOT Show takes place Jan. 19-22 at the Sands Expo Center and an all-new expansion to Caesars Forum. More than 2,100 exhibitors are on board to attend what will be the largest SHOT Show ever at more than 714,000 net square feet. Attendee registration will open in early October. For more information about the 2021 SHOT Show, including educational opportunities, registration information, hotel discounts and updates on NSSF’s work with Las Vegas to ensure the safety and health of everyone attending, visit SHOTShow.org.

    About NSSF NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

  • +ONE and NSSF – Enter to Win a SilencerCo Omega 300

    Join the movement! We challenge all of you to join the NSSF’s +One campaign and take one new person out shooting. Not only do we challenge you to join the movement, we are upping it one asking you to add a SilencerCo suppressor when you take your +One for a chance to win an Omega 300!

    Here’s the skinny.
    1. Snap a picture of your +One activities while using a SilencerCo suppressor
    2. Post the picture on Instagram and tag us: @silencerco
    3. Use the hashtags #PlusOneMovement and #SiCoPlusOne

    That’s it! You will be automatically entered into a raffle to win an Omega 300! For more information on the NSSF’s +One campaign, click here.

  • “She Goes Outdoors” Subscription Boxes

    “SHE GOES OUTDOORS” SUBSCRIPTION BOXES: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with Kansas and Nebraska to offer a quarterly outdoor subscription box to women interested in hunting and the outdoors.  Boxes are $50 and include gear, educational resources, and field guides.  An online tutorial accompanies each subscription box.  Upcoming boxes include bird watching, outdoor cooking, pollinators, and fishing. Visit https://www.sgooutdoors.com/ for more information.     

  • Become an NRA Instructor!

    Since 1871, a major objective of the National Rifle Association has been to provide education and training in the safe and proper use of firearms. Knowing how to shoot is an important requirement for NRA instructors, but you will also need to know how to teach others to shoot. NRA Instructor Training Courses help you develop the additional knowledge, skills and techniques needed to organize and teach courses in the NRA Basic Firearm Training Program.

    To qualify as an NRA Instructor:

    • Candidates must have completed the basic course in the discipline they wish to be certified to teach, e.g. NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting (Instructor Led Only), NRA Basic Rifle Shooting, etc.
    • Candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills acquired through previous firearm training and/or previous shooting experience. Instructor candidates must be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline for which they wish to be certified.
    • Candidates will be required to demonstrate solid and safe firearm handling skills required to be successful during an instructor training course by completing pre-course questionnaires and qualification exercises administered by the NRA Certified Training Counselor.
    • Candidates must satisfactorily complete an NRA Instructor Training Course in the discipline they wish to teach (e.g., NRA Basic Pistol Course), and receive the endorsement of the NRA Training Counselor conducting that training.

    NRA Instructor courses are discipline specific. During the course candidates will learn NRA policies and procedures; basic public speaking skills; training methodology; use of a training team and training aids; organizing a course, building a budget; and finally preparing to teach. In addition, candidates will be provided the appropriate lesson plans and basic course student packets. Role-playing is a major part of an instructor course; therefore, the minimum class size should be at least four candidates, with 10-12 candidates being ideal. Candidates take turns working in teams, actually conducting portions of the course to other candidates who portray basic students.

    Instructor training courses are conducted by NRA Training Counselors. Training Counselors are active and experienced instructors who have been certified by NRA to train experienced shooters to teach others to shoot. Training Counselors will evaluate candidates’ performance based on their ability to handle the firearms with confidence, use of appropriate training aids, following the lesson plans and meeting all learning objectives, while utilizing the teaching philosophies expected of NRA Certified Instructors. Candidates can also expect to learn the NRA discipline specific instructional methods and evaluating and improving the performance of beginning shooters.


  • Sig Sauer Announces New Gearbox for National Shooting Sports Month

    NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the trade association for the firearm industry, is pleased to announce that SIG SAUER has agreed to sponsor a Gearbox Giveaway in support of 2020’s National Shooting Sports Month®.

    SIG SAUER is a leading manufacturer of rifles, handguns, airguns, ammunition, electro-optics, suppressors and accessories for the military, law enforcement and civilian markets around the world. The company’s founding dates back to 1751 at J.P. Sauer & Suhl in Germany, and 1853 when it was a wagon factory in Rhine Falls, Switzerland. This company changed its name in 1864 to Swiss Industrial Group—SIG—before eventually evolving, in 2007, to be the SIG SAUER brand with which today’s consumers are familiar.

    The 2020 National Shooting Sports Month SIG SAUER Gearbox Giveaway, valued at nearly $4,000, includes:
    -1 SIG SAUER CROSS rifle in .308 Winchester
    -1 SIERRA3 BDX scope and rangefinder kit
    -10 boxes (20-count each) of Elite Hunter Tipped ammunition
    -1 collection of SIG SAUER-branded apparel and gear

    “Whether hunter or target shooter, anyone who’s a fan of rifle shooting would count themselves fortunate to win this SIG SAUER Gearbox Giveaway,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Retail & Range Business Development. “We greatly appreciate SIG SAUER’s contribution and look forward to them building a great relationship with the winner of this package.”

    “As an avid supporter of all shooting sports and advocacy for participation in all forms of training to support shooting, SIG SAUER is honored to offer this Gearbox Giveaway with NSSF,” said Tom Taylor, SIG SAUER Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales. “As the number of shooting enthusiasts grows and new gun owners are buying guns in record numbers in today’s new world, we hope this promotes people getting out and enjoying shooting at the range and engaging in the shooting sports.”

    National Shooting Sports Month, a celebration of the shooting sports and the firearm industry, takes place throughout the month of August. Firearms ranges and FFL retailers across the country have listed hundreds of special events, shoots and promotions on the calendar at ShootingSportsMonth.org. That calendar interacts directly with NSSF’s LetsGoShooting.org website, which consumers use to discover the August events taking place in their communities. Ranges and retailers can still get added to calendar by listing their August activities here. By doing so NSSF will send you a promotional package that includes shirts and hats.

    Additional Gearbox Giveaway sponsorships are available. For more information on how these sponsorships and your involvement in National Shooting Sports Month benefit both your business and the firearm industry at large, contact Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org or 203-426-1320 ext. 224.

  • Iowa DNR Hunting Regs and Chart Corrections

    A printing issue in the chart on the bottom of p. 6 of the 2020-21 Iowa Hunting, Trapping and Migratory Game Bird regulations, inadvertently omitted check marks indicating which licenses and fees are required for each type of hunter and each type of license.

    The online version of the regulations is correct. Find all your Hunting and Trapping regulations here:


  • NSSF Witness to President Trump Signing Great American Outdoors Act into Law

    NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the trade association for the firearm industry, was honored to be present at the White House as President Donald Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act, H.R. 1957. This historic federal law is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen conservationists ever.

    “This is a proud moment for the firearm industry which supported this legislation to see it passed into law by the Trump administration which has kept the promise that public lands and waters belong to all of America’s sportsmen and women,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Great American Outdoors Act is bold in its scope and historic in the guarantee that public lands and waters will be accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Outdoorsmen and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources of wildlife, natural habitats and conservation-minded traditions that pass along the benefit of the preservation of public lands access for all. This law enables current and future generations of Americans to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

    The Great American Outdoors Act delivers on the promise of sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting and recreational shooting for current and future generations of outdoorsmen and women. The law was conceived with bipartisan support and ensures full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). It addresses the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs and increased recreational access to our public lands and waters.

    About NSSF
    NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.