While some politicians hang on every poll to see how they might fare — hunters in Iowa are thankful an animal poll of sorts has turned out to be wrong. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources survey predicted pheasant numbers would be down in central, north central and northwest Iowa. But, the D-N-R’s Mark McInroy says the opening weekend of the pheasant season proved the survey wrong. McInroy says the weather may be the reason.
McInroy says January, February and March were very mild and he says the pheasant broods were probably hatched a little early due to the good spring and then broke up early. McInroy says since the broods broke up early, many of the birds were likely missed during the D-N-R’s August survey. McInroy says the side pheasant survey has proven to match up very well with what hunters find in the fields. He says the last time things didn’t add up was back in 1993 and 1994.
McInroy says in 1993 the survey showed a stark decrease in pheasant numbers, but hunters actually had a great year. He says in 1994 the survey showed a large increase in birds, but that didn’t show when hunters went to the field. McInroy says the good news for hunters is the survey was wrong about bird numbers being down.
McInroy says hunters won’t be upset when the numbers are actually up. McInroy says the hunters themselves are really the best way to determine how many pheasants are out there. McInroy says the overall prediction of hunters taking 700 to 750-thousand birds should increase. Pheasant season is the most popular hunting season in the state.