The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says many Iowans have called concerned about the impact of snowfall and cold temperatures on wildlife. Northwest Iowa conservation officer Gary Biederman Says some people put out feed to help the animals. Biederman says you need to make a fulltime commitment if you decide to take action.
He says rule number one is “when you start feeding wildlife, you have to continue feeding wildlife,” as he says you can’t start and then leave the animals without food. Biederman says if you decide to feed wildlife, you also have to have a plan.
He says you should feed pheasants away from the road and close to winter habitat. Biederman says if you have some bushes or berries, feed them in there to keep them away from predators.
Biederman says you should check out the surrounding area to see if you really need to feed. He says if there’s feed in the fields around, then you don’t need to feed them. Biederman says if the animals are coming to your house to get feed, then you may want to continue feeding them. He says you should feed early in the morning so the birds can eat the feed and then seek cover when it gets dark. Biederman says the decision to feed is also based on the amount of snow cover, as some areas have little snow, and others have several inches. The D-N-R says you can generally expect to lose three percent of wild pheasant hens for every week of snow cover.