Iowa’s pheasant harvest increased 45 percent in 2012, which was the first increase in harvest since 2005. Hunters harvested an estimated 158,000 roosters, lead by northwest Iowa, and followed by central and north central regions.
The increase in harvest was expected after the annual August Roadside Survey pointed to a population increase of 18 percent.
“We finally had a mild winter and spring in 2012 and our pheasant population responded,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Bobwhite quail, mourning dove, cottontail and squirrel harvest estimates increased as well.
The only decrease in harvest occurred with Hungarian partridge.
The number of small game hunters increased 5 percent in 2012. The harvest estimates are based on a survey of small game hunters.
The 2013 August Roadside Survey
is Aug. 1-15, with results available by mid-September.