A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the opening weekend of the pheasant hunting season saw few problems. D.N.R. spokesman, Kevin Baskins says there was a report of a Grinnell man being hit in the face with shotgun pellets while hunting in Poweshiek County.

“We see that happen usually at least a couple of times a year, where the hunters will be shooting at a flushing pheasant and maybe have somebody in the background that gets kind of splattered by pellets, or has pellets rained on them,” Baskins explains. The victim, 78-year-old Darrell Lamb, was treated at the Grinnell hospital and released.

Baskins says he did not hear of any other shooting accidents. “It actually was a pretty quiet weekend in terms of the hunting,” Baskins says.

“I think one of the factors that contributed to that is a lot of the corn is already out of fields, and so hunters probably had a better view. They also probably had birds that were concentrated into more cover, and probably not as tall as what the corn would be, so the visibility probably was a lot better for hunters than if we had a lot of standing corn still out in the fields.”

Baskins says the first weekend of pheasant season has historically been the most dangerous for accidents. “It’s partly because of what makes pheasant hunting to attractive in the first place — it’s the thrill of that flushing bird — and a lot of times people are just shooting too quickly and not fully realizing where the rest of the hunters in their group are when they make that shot,” he says.

“A lot of the hunting accidents that we see relative to pheasant hunting are when shots are taken at birds and inadvertently hit someone else in the party.” The accident in Poweshiek County happened on Saturday at 11 a.m., or about three hours into the season.