The state’s annual count recorded the highest number of pheasants in Iowa since 2008.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has worked with Pheasant Forever chapters to identify and enhance habitat for pheasant and quail across the state. The statewide average pheasant count for 2014 rose to 17.4 birds per 30-mile route.
“This is good news for Iowa’s beleaguered game bird and better news for small town businesses selling gas, food and hunting supplies,” said a statement from the DNR.
Pheasant count coordinator Todd Bogenschutz said a record low 40,000 hunters pursued pheasants in 2013. The higher pheasant population in 2014 means those hunters could harvest more than a quarter-million birds.
“We will definitely have some good hunting near the best habitat,” Bogenschutz said. “It’s not the good old days, but it’s the best we’ve seen in six years.”
He says the word is likely to spread quickly that there are more game girds available, and that word may bring more out more hunters.
Iowa’s youth pheasant season is October 18 and 19, 2014. Regular pheasant season is October 25, 2014 through January 10, 2015.
To find the complete roadside report visit: www.iowadnr.gov/pheasantsurvey