Pheasant numbers are down in Iowa by almost 30% from last year, and 54% below the 10 year average which might affect hunting in Iowa this year. Iowa DNR SE Iowa District Wildlife Supervisor Bill Ohde says there is no play to stop the hunt for a year to help the birds recover. Ohde says that pheasant hunting isn’t really hurting the birds, it’s the loss of habitat and the weather. He says the problem with the last two years is we have had cold snow winters and wet springs. Not all habitat loss is from the weather though. Ohde says they have been losing habitat due to crops. He says a combination of those factors that has led to the lower numbers. With no habitat change and better weather he says the birds should start to recover, but he says the key is habitat. Ohde says the DNR is working on getting more conservation aspects into the farm bill as well as work with private land owners to improve habitats for pheasants.
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