More than one million pheasants were harvested during last year’s hunting season. Terry Little of the Department of Natural Resources says that’s an increase of 48-percent over the previous season and is more in line with what is considered an average season. He says the harvest two years ago was terrible after a tough winter and the harvest fell to an all-time low.Little says there were more birds but also more hunters from out-of-state. He says in-state numbers continued a slow decline, but there were a record 50-thousand non-resident hunters.Little says a large population of birds is important because of the effect it has on the opening weekend of the pheasant hunting season. He says it’s probably the single biggest sporting event in the state with 150-thousand hunters out that weekend. Little is unsure about what the next season will be like. He says the wet weather during nesting season at the end of May and early June may have an impact.One-third of the harvest came from northwest and north central Iowa.
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