Lower pheasant numbers are not only hurting the efforts of hunters to find the birds, they are also putting a damper on the economic impact of hunting. D-N-R wildlife technician, Mark McInroy, says sureveys shows hunters spend an average of 125-dollars each day they are out. McInroy says that’s one of the most unfortunate things about the drop, as he says lower bird numbers mean “only the most passionate hunters keep involved” and he says that impacts grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, motels are impacted. Hunting clubs are one alternative for those who want tobe sure they get a bird during their hunt.
Curt Sandahl brings in birds from the Dakotas to stock the Winterset Hunt club. He says it gives the hunters the experience they’re looking for. Sandahl says every day is opening day because the birds haven’t been hunted before and they act like opening day birds. Sandahl also sees an impact from the lower bird numbers, as Iowa’s position as a top pheasant state drops. “Twenty-years ago, every small town hotel was booked for the first three weekends (of the pheasant season) from people from out of state,” Sandahl says. He says South Dakota now has those people from all over the country going to their state to hunt pheasants.