Hello everyone! I wanted to write this post regarding COVID-19 and the specific outlook for our business and our clients coming in this fall to hunt whitetails in southern Iowa. There seems to be some confusion, fear, worry, and concern out there for a few of you, so I wanted to address this before it worsens.
The state of Iowa has done a fabulous job handling this scare. Governor Kim Reynolds and her task force team have handled this arguably better than any other governor in the U.S. There has never been an actual stay-at-home order in place here, but certain businesses and entities were forced to close down. With our state being ran by a republican governor and having a majority republican congress and senate, we have been able to fend off any of the fear mongering that is happening in other states like New York, Illinois, and Michigan. So, outfitters like myself have been able to continue working and traveling without any fear.
The 2020 Spring turkey season happened just as planned despite having one hunter who wanted to play it safe. He actually got a refund for his tag. His license will be good for this fall's deer season as its an annual license. Nebraska cancelled their NR spring turkey season and has caused quite the stir amongst their hunters and outfitters. Lawsuits are coming... guaranteed! Kansas implemented an actual stay-at-home order yet labeled golf courses as essential businesses. (I love golf, but this was just funny!)... and Kansas said anyone traveling into the state must self-quarantine for 14 days. Ha! Think about that for a second.... who in the right mind would self-quarantine for two whole weeks just because they traveled into a state. I know I didn't! It's just nonsense. Luckily, Iowa has done well comparatively speaking.
For the 2020 deer season approaching this fall, some are concerned about the "2nd wave" hitting. I am not worried one bit. Actually, none of the counties with hunt in or their neighboring counties have had a confirmed case yet. NONE. ZIP. ZERO. NADA. Southern Iowa has only been affected by this due to the state government restricting business and school operations. Hotels are still functioning like normal. Restaurants are carry-out only, which isn't a big deal. Some are even serving closed adult beverages to-go. We have survived this thing quite easily. It's been a big nothing burger for us. Do not worry.
I know of people who have personally tested positive in Iowa and around the country, and all of them are now doing well. Not one of them have passed. I know there are people who have passed from this horrible virus, but the numbers are greatly misrepresented by the news media. I just won't give into it. My wife works in the health care field as an RN MSN, and I say all of this with confidence.
I know that for some of you it has been a scary ride. I say this with the utmost certainty: There is zero concern for you to apply for your tags this year, plan for your hunt by getting lodging booked, making your schedule fit the hunting plan, traveling up here, and doing what we are all planning to do, hunt and kill some big deer. The only valid issue I foresee is if any of you are small business owners who were forced to shut down and now are facing financial headaches. The EIDL and PPP Loans through the SBA should help if you qualify. Regardless, if you are entering into or already in a tough financial situation due to COVID-19 and the government's restrictions, do not hesitate to let me know privately. Feel free to share your situation in true transparency. No judgement here. Leave your pride at the door. We can work with you to reschedule your hunt as much as we can. If we need to adjust balances or due dates, just let me know as soon as you can. We are a small business here too, so as long as work together in an efficient manner, we should all survive this.
Again, don't hesitate to contact me with your concerns, questions, comments, or ideas. Furthermore, if you haven't called me yet to discuss what zone you'll be applying for this week, give me a call. Check your email for our newsletter. If it is in your spam folder, be sure to add it to your inbox and add our email address as a contact. We don't need any communication barriers.
Blessings and well wishes from the great state of Iowa! -Matt