The Governor's hunt

Many, many... many years ago, a glacier was perched ontop of most of central Iowa. And most of North America for that matter. As the glacier retreated, the stone and sand it had accumulated over it's creation ground down the landscape. Scattered across the flat ground were low spots that developed as chunks of ice left behind melted and formed wetlands. The prairie pot hole region was created. This is why central Iowa is so flat compared to other areas where the glacier didn't bull doze its way through.

A majority of the wetlands that used to make up the Iowa horizon have been drained, tiled and turned into crop land. However, more and more people are realizing the benefit of native prairie and wetlands. They plow their corn and soybeans under in exchange for big blue stem and switch grass.

For the past 20 years Iowa's Governor has celebrated conservation and restoration of the native Iowa landscape by spending a day in its glory. The annual Governor's Pheasant Hunt is a tradition started by Terry Brandstad, who hunted on Ryan's grandma's farm.

This year Iowa Governor Chet Culver came back to Carroll County to hunt. While he didn't hunt at the farm, Ryan and his dad were joined by a terrific crew.

Cody from the
Iowa Pork Producers Association, Scott and Michael from Templeton Rye Whiskey, Liz Garst from the Whiterock Conservancy, Mark and Mark from the Iowa Farm Bureau. (Thanks to Ryan for stepping in as photographer for this one.)

These guys *ah hem* and girl brought back 23 birds - just one short of their limit and the most of all ten hunting groups.

After a morning of hunting Governor Culver released a female bald eagle rehabilitated by Kay Newman of Save Our Avian Resources (SOAR).

I believe this was Governor Culver's reaction to someone's suggestion that he attempt the release with out the triple-ply, reinfoced leather gloves.

Watching her fly away was a pretty impressive sight...