Frequently Asked Questions
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I found a baby animal, what do I do?
If you find an animal baby that appears to be on its own, don’t worry. Generally, one of its parents is nearby, watching.
They’re teaching their offspring to be independent, and in the case of danger, some animal parents will take off in order to create a distraction away from their young.
Many people “rescue” wildlife babies they believe to be abandoned. But when you take that “orphaned” rabbit out of the nest or that raccoon out of the tree, you’re taking that baby away from its parents, its natural setting and a chance to live in the wild. Many times, taking an animal out of the wild greatly reduces its chances of survival.
In most cases, these wildlife babies perish soon after capture. If an animal does survive the initial trauma of being captured and confined, it often succumbs more slowly to pneumonia, other diseases or malnutrition.
However, if you know for a fact that the baby’s parent has died, or if it’s clear the animal is injured, a wildlife rehabilitator can help. Rehabilitators receive extensive training, including an apprenticeship, to learn how to care for animals and reintroduce them to the wild. They know when to feed them, how to feed them, how to treat injuries and they have the space and equipment to house the animals.
Do not try to take the animal in yourself – not only could it present a safety risk to both you and the animal — it’s also illegal, as wild mammals are protected by state law and wild birds are protected by state and federal law.
If there is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitator near you, contact your local conservation officer or animal control officer. In Des Moines County, the Iowa DNR Conservation Officer can be reached at 319-759-0751.
Can I reserve a campsite?
About half of the sites at Big Hollow are reservable via mycountyparks.com. All other campsites are walk-up only.
Can I reserve a shelter house?
Yes. We allow reservations at many of our shelter houses. You can fill out an online reservation application via mycountyparks.com.
Does my carry permit allow me to shoot at the Big Hollow range?
No. Anyone wishing to use the Big Hollow Shooting Range must take our shooting range certification course and pay the annual fee.
How can I donate to a park or project?
How do I renew my Big Hollow Shooting Range certification?
Go to our Target Shooting page, navigate to the Renew Your Membership section and follow the link to the Online Shooting Range Refresher Course. Once you've filled out the form, you'll be given a link to pay online or you can pay in person or by mail at our Main Office.
How do I request permission to host a special event at a DMCC park or facility?
Fill out the Special Event Application form.
What is being done about the water quality at Big Hollow Lake?
Learn more about water quality on Big Hollow Lake and what's being done to improve it on our Big Hollow Water Quality Project page.