Pheasants Forever partnerships aimed at continuing Iowa’s pheasant rebound
Des Moines, IA -(AmmoLand.com)- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released its August Roadside Survey for ring-necked pheasants and the results are encouraging – a 37 percent increase from last year, and a 260 percent increase overall since a modern low in 2013.
The multi-year recovery has been fueled by mild weather and improved upland habitat conditions. Continued recovery beyond 2015 is largely dependent on available habitat, and it will be very hard for populations to recover further if significant CRP habitat losses continue.
Based on this year’s statewide index of 24 birds/route, Iowa pheasant hunters should harvest approximately 300,000-500,000 roosters this fall. Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife research biologist with the Iowa DNR, says Iowa currently boasts about 2.77 million acres of potential pheasant habitat.
“This level of habitat should support an 800,000 rooster harvest, with approximately 80 percent of this harvest coming from CRP lands. Iowa finally has sufficient hen numbers in most regions to make a recovery from the catastrophic years of 2007 through 2011, but needs one more good winter and spring to fully recover numbers to what habitat levels …read more