Field to Fork: Council Bluffs, Iowa

The Field to Fork program provides hands-on learning and experience for adults (21 and over) interested in hunting, butchering, and cooking venison (deer). In this course, you’ll learn to become a proficient archery hunter, learn the basic deer hunting strategies, and how to field dress, butcher, and cook wild venison. You’ll get the opportunity to participate in several mentored hunts throughout the deer archery season in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is partnering with Pottawattamie County Conservation, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Bass Pro Shops, and other local businesses and organizations to host this program in Council Bluffs.

Applications for the program are now open until July 8th. To view the online application, click here. 

Council Bluffs Schedule

July – September
Mandatory weekly archery practice beginning in July at Narrows River Park. Independent practice is strongly encouraged from August thru September. A mandatory proficiency test will be conducted during the first field day. (Specific start dates are TBD).

In-Person and Online Education opportunities and video chats will be provided throughout the program. This will allow Q&A time between participants and instructors/ mentors.  It will also work to provide a social support network.  Specific dates will be determined later.

September 24th - Mandatory Field Day
This event will be a hands-on learning experience. Topics include tree stand placement, use of tree stand harnesses, following a blood trail, and shooting from an elevated platform.

October 15th - Mandatory Field Day
This event will be a hands-on learning experience.  Topics include field dressing, butchering, and cooking with expert hunters, butchers, and chefs.

*Both Field Days will occur at Springbrook State Park near Guthrie Center, IA.

October - January
Mentored hunts occur when the participants choose and will adhere to state and local hunting regulations.

If you have any questions about the program or the associated costs, please contact the program coordinator, Jamie Cook, by phone at (515) 350-8091 or email at

This post was originally published on June 2, 2022 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.