Mild winter boosts Iowa’s pheasant population

Ag/Outdoor

June 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa should see an increase in its pheasant population this year, thanks to the mild winter and warm spring.  The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says its nesting forecast predicts the population will increase by more than 40 percent. Wildlife biologist Todd Bogenschutz says it would be the first statewide increase in more than six years.  He says the pheasants will be able to expand and reoccupy grassland habitats where they’ve been depleted by five severe winters.  Bogenschutz says a roadside survey in August is the best gauge of the pheasant population. He says during the past 50 years there have been weather conditions similar to this year about six times, and the average increase in pheasant populations during those years was 42 percent.