Avid hunter and habitat expert Corey Meyer of Calmar explains that being outside in nature hunting is more important than what is harvested, “I hunt/fish to be a way to help center my life. I am somewhat apprehensive to ‘brag’ about my adventures afield, that’s not why I do it. I do though believe as outdoors people we don’t express our love of nature in an articulate way that shows we are more than blood thirsty savages. I do hunt many different seasons as my wife, Christi, will attest, though I don’t have the super mega buck on any of my walls (I do have couple of respectable ones), I have passed many of bucks for that right one and I have embarrassingly missed a couple nice ones over the years bow hunting. This spring I look forward to looking for shed antlers again now that the kids are getting old enough to tag along. I have done quite well with turkeys over the years thanks to my dad the ‘turkey whisperer’ for teaching me through the years. We are pretty avid duck hunters and I do love trapping muskrats on our farm. I am getting my kids into hunting and look forward to having them turkey hunt this spring and hopefully Carly and Cody can get their first birds. All the kids have duck, goose and dove hunted with me also. We do spend a lot of time fishing--especially lately, we have been working on getting our pond built up. I am huge ice fishing fanatic, I also love fishing for trout, walleye, bluegills, crappies and catfish.”
Thinking back, Corey adds, “I do cherish the many days afield with my father whom planted the seed in me of outdoors, conservation, hunting and fishing. Dad always taught me it’s important to give back to the land, the resources, and to leave the land better than we found it. That’s why in the last 20 years we have planted over 9,000 trees on our farm and more importantly on properties we hunt as a thank you to those landowners for letting us pursue our love of the hunt.”
He feels there are fewer deer where he hunts in southern Winneshiek County and has this to say, “The deer population is down dramatically in some areas where hunting pressure is the heaviest. Though, in areas that have reduced hunting pressure or have refuges near the populations seems to be pretty healthy. Overall the population is down noticeably in the areas I hunt around Calmar, Ft. Atkinson and Festina than they were five and especially ten years ago. I am still shooting does on farms or areas that seem to have more robust populations or if that is what the landowner wishes; I am fortunate as many others in our local hills to be given permission to hunt in some of the best deer hunting areas in the Midwest and I feel quite blessed to do so. What does that mean? Well, to me as a hunter it says we are doing what we are supposed to do as conservationist and helping with carry capacity of deer herd on the landscape. Does it mean that it’s harder to get the trophy deer, possibly… but the trophy deer is the in the eye of the beholder. I just hope I can pass onto my kids the opportunities I have been able to enjoy the outdoors experiences that I have been blessed with through my life.”
Corey feels strongly that everyone must take responsibility for being a steward of the land for the wildlife can continue to make Northeast Iowa it’s home.