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The pheasant population has been under fire in Iowa for a few years.

It’s been on secret that the push for more land use for agriculture has caused pheasants and other wildlife to lose their natural habitat.

Things look to be down once again for Iowa pheasant hunters in 2013. It’s been a difficult spring and early summer in the Midwest. Things have been extremely wet leading to a difficult hatching season.

And while the growing season has always been shortened for farmers the outlook is that the land will get tilled and planted at some point. And many more acres are being used this year and in the years coming up for planting instead of preservation for wildlife like the pheaiowsant.

The Iowa winter started out mild, but finished harsh. That’s been one of the main indications that pheasant numbers will be weak this year. It was also one of the coldest springs on record and that put an extreme pressure on the birds during the time when they would normally thrive as they get ready for the nesting season.

It’s now late June and early July and things are not looking good. It was the worst spring on record for pheasant numbers and the numbers will officially be lower than last year, which was not a good year for pheasants in Iowa.

Unless there is a miracle it will be one of the worst pheasant hunting seasons in Iowa history.

But there is a bit of good news. The Iowa DNR along with local chapters of Pheasants Forever have been able to secure more land for CRP, which will make it possible to save more land for natural pheasant habitat. It’s a start in the right direction for one of the states that’s suffered the most in recent years for pheasant hunting.

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