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Pheasant hunting season kicks off this weekend in Iowa and there are lots of birds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s pheasant hunting season opens Oct. 29, when nearly 60,000 hunters are expected to pursue ringnecks in fields across the state.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources annual August roadside survey predicts Iowa pheasant hunters will have good hunting this fall, and likely more company in the field. The survey found an average of 21 pheasants per 30 mile route statewide.

Todd Bogenschutz is an upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR. He says he has noticed more birds near field edges and along the roads as corn and bean crops have been coming out.

Bogenschutz says if weather is good during the season that runs through Jan. 10, “we could see a bump in hunter numbers and birds harvested.”

In 2015, about 55,000 hunters bagged 270,000 Iowa roosters.