Iowa’s nickname is the “Hawkeye State,” but hawks won’t be the most popular bird this weekend. The sounds of hunters walking across grassy clearings and through fields of corn and bean stubble will be heard across the state as the pheasant season opens. It’s the most popular hunting season in the state, and D-N-R conservation officer Rod Slings says there’ll be a lot of action. He says we’re at a ten-year high for pheasant numbers and they’re expecting some 225-thousand hunters to head out this weekend. Slings says they’re emphasizing safety, especially this first weekend the adrenaline is running high.He says there’s always anticipation in how the hunt is going to go. He says they tell people to “plan the hunt, and hunt the plan.” Slings says planning includes making yourself visible to other hunters. He says you should wear blaze orange and not “violate your zone of fire.”Slings says hunters could bag one-million birds by the time the season’s over.
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