The warm weather thus far this winter is welcome to both humans and animals in Iowa. Department of Natural Resources biologist Todd Bogenschutz says small game animals are recovering this winter after being decimated by the severe cold and heavy snow last year. He says it’s looking good for rabbits, squirrels and pheasants. Pheasants are the most popular game in Iowa, but the hunt was dampened this past season as Bogenschutz says 70 to 80 percent of the pheasant hens didn’t make it through last winter. He says those that did survive should flourish this winter, as it looks like 90-percent of the hens will make it through this winter. Bogenschutz says pheasants tend to go through cycles, and they were due for a down year like last year.Bogenschutz says the pheasants and other wildlife aren’t completely out of the woods yet.A March blizzard or a wet, cold spring could still hurt the pheasant population. But, hunters who didn’t bag their limit this past season can look forward to a turnaround in the fall if the warm weather continues.
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