A pheasant flying over corn. (DNR photo)

The numbers are in from the annual DNR roadside pheasant survey and they show the potential for another good year for hunters.

DNR wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz, says the bird count is nearly identical to 2021. “Last year, we had 20.4 — this year we are at 19.6 — so round them both off to 20. So yeah, they basically are right where we were last year on pheasants,” Bogenschutz says.

It could end up being the second straight year of a big bird harvest. “Pheasant hunting was our best harvest and about 12 years last year, shot 375,000 roosters — our best harvest since 2008,” he says. Bogenschutz says reports of good survey numbers can get more hunters out this fall — but it’s not a given.

“We had 62,000 hunters in 2020, and last year, we had 63,000. So you know, we picked up about another thousand last fall. So you know, the hunters did well, last year, I’m sure visiting with friends they hear the stories. The forecast is kind of for similar, I would expect our numbers probably to stay about the same. But you know, they went up a little bit, that wouldn’t surprise me either,” he says.

The youth pheasant season is October 22nd and 23rd. The regular pheasant season opens October 29th and runs to January 10th.

Radio Iowa