The pheasant season opens in Iowa today (Saturday), and an expert with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources expects hunters to have plenty of targets.
Todd Bogenschutz oversees the annual spring pheasant survey — which he says showed a 20-percent increase in birds. He says it’s spread across the state, with some areas having better numbers than others. Bogenschutz says hunters in areas where the corn hasn’t been all harvested will have the toughest time finding their prize. He says it there’s standing corn it acts as the perfect cover for the birds. He says it gives them overhead cover, yet they can move around underneath and it gives them food, so they don’t have much reason to move around.
Bogenschutz says the first weekend is probably the best for bagging a bird, as he says they get more elusive as time goes on. He says it doesn’t take the birds too long to wise up that hunting season is now open. He says the figure out after getting flushed and hearing the hunters and dogs what’s going on, “Especially, the colored ones that’re getting shot at.” He expects hunters to bring home just under one-million birds when the hunt ends. He says one year ago about 750-thousand birds were harvested, he says the 10-year-average is about one million. He says this year he expects about 900-thousand birds will be taken. The pheasant season runs through January 10th.