Iowa DNR image

The pandemic helped Iowa see a huge 2020 pheasant harvest.

The DNR reports Iowa hunters bagged nearly 300,000 roosters during the 2020 season — the second-highest harvest reported in more than a decade — and around 16,000 more than 2019.

DNR Wildlife biologist Todd Bogenschutz says there were 10,000 more hunters in 2020 — which he credits mainly to the pandemic — as all types of outdoor activities saw increased.

Bogenschutz says the roadside survey heading into the season showed an 18% increase in birds, which was another factor in the good harvest.