Saturday marks the opening of pheasant hunting season and a hunting preserve and lodge operator in northwest Iowa is expecting to see a good number of hunters.
The “Hole in the Wall” is located in Plymouth County near Akron, and manager Joe Cain, says COVID-19 may have an impact on the number of corporate hunting parties, but reservations by individuals and family members have picked up this year.
“I’ve been getting feedback from individual customers that they are kind of tired of sitting around and want to get outdoors and do something other than in a big group or big crowd indoors,” Cain says. “Actually have seen some new hunters, renewed hunters I should say that hunted five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago, and are kind of getting back into it,” Cain says.
The Hole in the Wall hunting facility covers more than 1,500 acres of grassland and cropland with waterways to provide for ideal hunting conditions. Cain says he raises pheasants and releases them in the private hunting preserve. He says the pheasant population numbers are good as the dry weather and a lack of big rains have allowed the pheasant numbers to do very well.
Cain says the snow cover they’ve gotten recently in the area should be helpful. “It really enhances the hunt, the scenting conditions for the dogs are phenomenal. What I like to see about it is I can actually look down and see the tracks of the pheasants, it kind of gets you excited,” according to Cain. “Hunting in the first snow is exciting and is always a good time. It will not hamper any hunting moving forward.”
Cain says another positive is having most of the crops out of the fields. “So now all these birds that were in the fields have come to the native grasses and what food plots that I and others plant — so they kind of flock to that area — they’ll go to that cover. It helps early season hunters, there will be a lot more birds in the first half of the year,” Cain says.
Cain says The Hole In The Wall follows the same rules and regulations as are implemented through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars)