posted on December 18, 2014 20:36
The 2014 pheasant hunting season is underway and many of the hunters out in the fields will be comparing their harvests with those of previous years’. While some will realise that this year is certainly better than the 2013 season; those who were hunting in the 1980s and 1990s will still be reminiscing about the good old days.
The 1980s and 1990s were a time when South Dakota and Iowa would debate over which could be crowned the nation’s top pheasant hunting state. Recently the title has been owned by South Dakota. However, many hunters believe that for the first time in a while, there is evidence that, if conditions are right, Iowa could be in contention for the title again.
“It’s fun to have a positive hunting report for a change,” Brad Olson, a hunter from Urbandale stated after a two day hunting trip to Washington County. During the group’s hunt on November 8, he and his two friends shot their nine bird limit. The next day, during a half day hunt, they bagged another four birds.
Olson and his friends reported that they saw approximately three dozen birds during their hunt and while they were driving. This is a marked improvement from the previous year, when they joked that they saw more coyotes than pheasants.
Mike Johnson, from Gilbert, could have believed it was 1990s again. His group were able to harvest 52 roosters during two weekends. He thinks there are a number of factors contributing to the increase in pheasant numbers including weather, crops still in the field, quality of hunters and dogs and the wind.
Nick Wassenaar also thought it was a more productive hunting year; during his time in the fields he bagged four roosters.
“I didn’t hunt last year, but friends who hunted on the same land only got one rooster all year with groups of three to four people,” Wassenaar said.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources has stated that last year, there was a record low harvest of 115,000 birds. This year, they expect hunters to bag between 200,000 and 300,000.
Do you go hunting in Iowa? How have your hunts been so far?
Let us know in the comments below.