Thousands are expected to take to the fields tomorrow (Saturday) for the opening of Iowa’s most popular hunting season. Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Todd Bogenschutz says pheasant season is much more than trying to bag a bird.
He says there’s a lot of local flavor with pancake breakfast fundraisers Saturday and Sunday to feed hunters. He says a lot of the breakfasts are held by local firefighters and are valuable fundraisers for the community. Bogenschutz says the pheasant season is a big economic boon for the state.
He says hunters come in needing food, gas, lodging and things for their dogs. He says that’s a big shot in the arm for local communities.
Bogenschutz says Iowa is all about rural communities and people get together and carry out family traditions during the hunting season. One estimate says the pheasant hunting season pumps 170 to 250-million dollars into Iowa’s economy.
Bogenschutz says even with all of the people out carrying guns and hunting birds, the number of accidents has been low. He says, “We’ve been pretty fortunate for the most part.” He says the change requiring hunters to wear orange has also helped.
Bogenschutz urges hunters to not spoil the tradition by being unsafe. He says it’s something that people need to be aware of when hunting — to be sure of your target. He says, “No pheasant is worth shooting somebody else over.” Bogenschutz says survey numbers were up and there should be plenty of pheasants out there for this year’s hunt.