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Some holiday traditions are being altered or put on hold with the concern about the pandemic. Iowa Department of Natural Resources biologist, Todd Bogenschutz, says hunting pheasants during the Thanksgiving holiday is one thing you don’t have to give up.

“If you’ve got access to land or on the farm — I think it has always been kind of a tradition. Our recommendation to folks is maybe if you are not getting together as a family for can certainly still meet up in a field, just come in separate vehicles. Keep your spacing out there and still go pheasant hunting,” Bogenschutz says.

He says the time before and after the hunt is when you need to be sure you are taking COVID precautions. “As long as nobody congregates around the vehicles, and you don’t want to get too close for the photograph either — but, hunting is one of those activities that most people can still participate in even given the COVID stuff,” according to Bogenschutz. “We are not discouraging folks to not go pheasant hunting, because we think it can be done even with the COVID guidance that the CDC and state are providing.”

He says once you spread out in the field and look for the birds, you should be okay.
“It is kind of an individual sport in that regard,” he says. Bogenschutz says activities involving hunting and fishing appear to have given people an outlet to get away from being cooped up inside.

“Seems like the reports I am getting is people are still getting out and hunting just because they can go out with the kids and kind of be safe with it,” Bogenschutz says. He says there have been a lot of reports of pheasant hunters being successful this year — which is another reason to try a Thanksgiving holiday hunt. Iowa’s pheasant season closes on January 10th, 2021.