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Having grown up with pheasant hunting, there is nothing which Joe Cain is more passionate about. He is lucky that as part of his job he can actively support the wild populations of these birds.

Unlike with some birds, pheasants do not migrate during the winter when the weather deteriorates. In the past this was just the way nature worked, however with the dwindling pheasant population due to significant habitat loss (an estimated 2 million Iowa acres in 1990 and 2010) the remaining habitat is very important.

Joe Cain is the General Manager for the Hole in the Wall Lodge, Akron, IA. During the short hunting season, which can last just 10 weeks during the fall, Joe guides hunters to the best spots.

When there are no hunters around, Joe works tirelessly to build up the local pheasant populations by creating their ideal habitat. He can be found to maintain the grasses, trees and shrubs. Growing and maintaining this foliage offers shelter to the birds from predators and the poor weather.

It is the snow cover however which is the major problem Joe explains. "Snow cover is what majorly hampers the birds from finding and foraging for food. So when we don't have quite the snow cover, it's a little easier for them to get access to the ground."

Joe states it is very important to preserve the species otherwise future generations will only be able to see the birds in photographs and pictures.

"What we do today will dictate how our future is. We need to set aside some of the ground...a little piece here, a little piece maintain some population of birds. My grandkids and my great–grandkids...all we're going to do is sit around and look at photos because there's not going to be anymore."

Do you know anyone who is equally as dedicated as Joe?

Let us know in the comments below

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