Iowa BHA kicked off Public Lands Month with a bang!
IA Chapter volunteers gathered at Heritage Hills Wildlife Management Area for a Public Lands Packout- presented by OnX Hunt. Volunteers braved the late August heat, and in just 4 hours, removed 200 yards of 5-strand and 100 yards of woven wire fencing that had accumulated over many years on the recently acquired 650- acre addition to Heritage Hills WMA in southern Iowa. The Iowa BHA Chapter also removed over 3 dozen wooden and steel posts, a cattle water trough, and old cattle gate.
This public land cleanup ensures safer access to this WMA with less potential injury to hunters and dogs. At lunchtime, the group reconvened around the same tailgate for hotdogs and storytelling, admiring the heaping piles of barbed and woven wire fencing, steel and wooden fence posts, and even a cattle trough that would no longer impede any wildlife, dogs, or humans enjoying this beautiful property.
The following day, the chapter partnered with of Story County Conservation to remove invasive species. Wick's Wildlife Area near Story City, IA was acquired by Story Co. Conservation in 2019, and is open to public use and archery hunting. 13 volunteers came to help, included a mix of local BHA members and members of Cub Scout Pack 281 from Ankeny, Iowa.
South Skunk River borders the west edge of this property, where several small wetland areas remain from old oxbows. The 55-acre property is split evenly between timber and restored prairie, so the groups main task was to remove invasive honeysuckle, which takes over wooded areas, smothering most all other plant life. However, this plant creates good cover in a hunting area like this, so volunteers followed a management plan to ensure plenty is left standing for cover.