Pheasants are seeing a population boom


pheasant
Via Flickr

Elyse Gabor | September 5, 2022

Recent population surveys show that Iowa’s pheasant population has grown exponentially. This was caused by a lack of snowfall and mild winter conditions.  

According to Todd Bogenschutz, wildlife research biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, “If hunters enjoyed last year, they should enjoy this year.” 

Over the years, the population of the birds has drastically decreased. It became so low that hunters were able to shoot hens. This is now illegal as hens are vital for increasing the population numbers.  

The decrease in population was likely caused by loss of habitat, especially in hay acres. Numbers have shrunk to half of what they were 30 years ago. The decline is also caused by the weather and harsh winters with many inches of snowfall. However, due to the moderate winter this past year, the birds are experiencing a population boom.  

Pheasant hunting season opens in late October.  

Pheasant numbers at all time low for Iowa hunters


Photo by David Morris, Flickr

Too many winters featuring heavy snowfall has done damage to Iowa’s pheasant population.  As the 2011 season approaches, hunters can expect to see fewer birds this fall.

Read more from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources below:

Results of Iowa’s statewide survey of upland game are in and show a small gain in pheasant numbers in southern Iowa and fewer birds across northern Iowa. Overall, pheasant hunters will continue to find better hunting in Iowa’s pheasant belt, which includes northwest, central and north-central Iowa, and a few more birds in south central and southwest Iowa. Continue reading