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While the U.S. Census Bureau counts the number of people nationwide every ten years, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is about to mount its annual attempt to count the state’s game animals.

D.N.R. wildlife research biologist Todd Bogenschutz, of Boone, says the Upland Game Survey will start in about a week and it’s a good indicator of the fall hunting season ahead.

It’s the annual survey to assess the populations of pheasants, partridge, quail and rabbits. The counts will be done from August 1st to the 15th over some 218 routes statewide. Bogenschutz says the two weeks will be busy for D.N.R. staff members who will be traveling across the state. He says last year’s survey was telling.

Populations are down, given the flooding in central Iowa last year in addition to the tough winter, which was particularly hard on pheasants. He says this past winter was snowier-than-normal but it has yet to be seen how the game animals were impacted. Bogenschutz says he’s expecting little improvement in the numbers. He says the survey is valuable in preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons.

When the survey is compared to the harvest, the numbers track so closely that he can usually predict the harvest to within 100-thousand animals. The results of the survey will be released in early September.

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