As hunters head out to Iowa farm fields this weekend for the opening days of pheasant season, they’ll have fewer acres to hunt compared to last year. Todd Bogenschutz, with the DNR, says more land was recently taken out of the Conservation Reserve Program. That means farmers could be working that land to prepare it for planting.
“According to the latest USDA estimates, this October first, we had around 140,000 acres of CRP expire – which is around 200 square miles,” Bogenschutz says, “so those fields could be worked up.” Iowa lost about 124,000 acres of CRP land last year.
Bogenschutz says the loss of land will have an impact on pheasant habitat. This year’s pheasant hunting season runs from October 27 to January 10. Bogenschutz estimates that 120,000 hunters will harvest 750,000 roosters during that time.