The Fun Hunt is just for fun. It's not a test nor a contest. Your dog doesn't need to honor nor be steady to participate. Beginner hunters, whether they be dogs or people, are more than welcome!
Anyone with a Small Munsterlander is invited to attend and hunt. If you are interested in getting a Small Munsterlander, you may come as a guest of a Small Munsterlander owner. Don't know anyone with a Munster? Email Michelle
and she'll match you with an owner who is attending. The Fun Hunt is a great way to see lots of Munsters of all ages, sexes, sizes and colors. If you're a breeder and would like to invite your puppy buyers, we'd love to have them! If you have friends or family that would enjoy the weekend, please invite them to attend with you. So spread the word!
If possible, plan to arrive Friday evening, March 25th. You may hunt twice on Saturday and on Sunday. If you are able to stay over Sunday night, you may scratch hunt the leftovers on Monday morning, March 28th (no charge). Cost for hunting at the Fun Hunt will be $50/session for adults and $25/session for youth hunters (under age 16). Youth hunters must hunt with a licensed adult sponsor. Please see the Requirements for Hunting Licensed Hunting Preserves in Iowa
Shared accommodations (men only) at Brush Dale in the main floor of the VIP Lodge
will be $10/night/person. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. Dogs are not allowed in the VIP Lodge. Your dog may sleep in his/her crate or in one of the 4 guest kennels in the heated Hawkeye Lodge. There are lodging options in Maquoketa and Bellevue (both 10 miles from Brush Dale) that allow dogs. See the Lodging
page for information. If you have a group of 3 or more, you might want to rent a cabin or the guesthouse at Whispering Meadows Resort
in Springbrook, just 7 miles from Brush Dale or More Than a Room Guest House
in Bellevue, 10 miles from Brush Dale. Dogs are allowed in the Resort cabins (you must bring your own bed covers) and in the Guest House (must be crated). If you would like to camp at Brush Dale for $5/night, the outside facilities may still be shutoff for the winter, but we can plug you in. You may camp at Whispering Meadows for $10/night. There is an electrical hookup adjacent to each cabin. Make your reservations for Brush Dale lodging/camping as part of your Fun Hunt Reservation.
Another option you may want to consider is boarding your dog. There are several facilities close by and they will even give your dog a bath and nail clipping before you head for home! The closest boarding facility to Brush Dale is less than 6 miles away - K9 Comfort
With the exception of Friday night, meals will be catered at Brush Dale. Friday night will be potluck. You will be assigned to bring a main dish, appetizer, salad, vegetable and/or dessert to share. You won't want to miss the cookout on Saturday night! This year we plan on roasting a whole hog. Brush Dale does not have a liquor license, so you must bring your own alcoholic beverages. Bringing a snack and/or a beverage to share has become a tradition. Non-alcoholic beverages and coffee will be provided.
As in prior years, professional photographer, Denise Heath, will accompany various hunting parties in the field to take photos of their dogs in action. Denise will also be available before, between and following the hunting sessions to take requested photos of your dogs. The photos will be available for purchase a few days after the Fun Hunt in a variety of sizes and formats for an extremely reasonable price. Check out photos from past Fun Hunts!
We do our best to keep the hunting parties to a maximum of 4 dogs and 5 gunners. Non-gunning spectators are welcome to walk along. Each day will be divided into 1.5-hour hunting sessions. We will remix the hunting parties and switch fields so everyone gets to hunt with as many different dogs and hunters as possible, in different fields. Each hunter may signup to hunt a maximum of two sessions per day. You may request to hunt one session with a particular person. You are welcome to bring multiple dogs to the Fun Hunt, but you may only hunt with one dog per session. After the last session groups come in, you may form your own group to go out until dusk to hunt the missed birds.
In prior years, more than 300 pheasants have been released over the weekend. That is a ton of bird planting! Getting all the birds out into the fields in a timely manner is quite challenging. Therefore, we need volunteers to help plant birds. If you are able, please volunteer to plant birds for at least one session.
This is a non-profit event, with participants paying only for actual costs. Each $50 pays for the release of 3 pheasants.
Please purchase your license in advance online here
. If you were born after January 1, 1972 and have never had an Iowa hunting license, please create your online IA DNR account in advance of the Fun Hunt, but you will not be able to purchase a license online. You must bring your hunter safety certificate to the Fun Hunt, we will enter it into your account and then issue your license.
A Preserve License with Habitat Stamp is just $22.00, whether purchased by a resident or non-resident. Iowa law requires residents and non-residents age 16 or older who were born after January 1, 1972 to be certified in hunter education before they are eligible to purchase an Iowa hunting license. (If you are 18 years or older, the hunter safety course may be completed 100% online here
.) If you have not completed a hunter safety course and are at least 16 years of age, you may be eligible to purchase an Apprentice Hunting License (info & qualifications
). Resident Iowa youth under the age of 16 are not required to have a license, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years of age or older. Non-resident youth under the age of 16 are not required to have completed a hunter safety/education course, but are required to possess a non-resident youth preserve license and habitat stamp. Please see the Requirements for Hunting Licensed Hunting Preserves in Iowa
You must wear blaze orange (hat, shirt and/or vest) while in the field, whether or not you are carrying a gun. Lead shot is OK. We recommend size 6 shot. The maximum shot size allowed for the Fun Hunt is size 5. Safety comes first!