A state wildlife official fears this harsh winter is going to kill a large segment of Iowa’s pheasant population. Todd Bogenschutz, a pheasant biologist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says the heavy snow and extreme cold are taking a serious toll.Bogenschutz, who works out of the D-N-R office in Boone, says there isn’t much ground cover for the pheasants to duck into — meaning, they’re often exposed to the elements and to enemies.Bogenschutz says you should not bother to feed pheasants. He says the birds are very good at finding their own food and shouldn’t be lured into the open for the easy meal. He says it’s nice people take sympathy on the cold birds, but the pheasant food is not necessary. Bogenschutz says they’ve found the birds will freeze to death long before they starve to death.He says people who really want to help the pheasant population should plant native grasses, shrub shelterbelts and cattails that the birds could use as habitats next winter.
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