Iowa DNR's Twitter Iowa DNR's Flicker Iowa DNR's YouTube Iowa DNR's Pinterest Iowa DNR's Facebook | Iowa Outdoors Magazine | News | Contact Us

Site Search  search button

Iowa Outdoors News

Iowa Outdoors News Packet

Conservation news about fish, wildlife, parks and forestry and other related topics including the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) agenda and minutes. Iowa Outdoors news is published every Tuesday and will posted on our website as both news releases as well as below for archival purposes.
  • If you would like to receive Iowa Outdoors news by e-mail each Tuesday,
    please send a blank e-mail to

  • For current information on fishing conditions for your lake or area, check out our current Iowa Fishing Report found within our online fishing information.

These are the most recent stories published within the Iowa Outdoors news packet:

Iowa Pheasant Population Shows Increase After Mild Winter and Spring
Posted: 09/04/2012
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) 2012 August Upland Wildlife Roadside Survey shows the statewide pheasant population has increased 16 percent when compared to last year.

“We expected to see an increase after the first mild winter in five years and we have, but it will take another two to three years of good weather for the population to fully recover from five straight years of heavy snow and cool wet springs,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife research biologist for the DNR.
The average birds counted per 30 mile route statewide increased from 6.8 birds to 8 birds in 2012.  The highest pheasant counts per route are in the northwest region, with 16, central region, with 13, and north central region with 10. The survey also showed an increase in the number of partridge and quail, while cottontail numbers were unchanged. 

While the pheasant recovery is not as large as predicted, it is a step in the right direction and hunters should see a few more birds while hunting this fall. The 2012 pheasant hunting season runs from October 27 through January 10, 2013. 

“Well managed habitat is also critical for recovery,” Bogenschutz said.  “The DNR has worked with private landowners to improve wildlife habitat on more than 7,000 acres of private lands in exchange for access for hunters.” Information on Iowa’s Habitat Access Program is available:  

The DNR has been working with Pheasants Forever to expand our cooperative partnership working with private landowners to improve habitat.”  An important part of this effort is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and this effort is critical for pheasant to recovery in Iowa.

“We no longer have hay or small grain fields to raise pheasants,” said Bogenschutz. “CRP is a key habitat for the birds on private lands.” U.S. Department of Agriculture information shows 288 square miles of CRP fields expire next year in Iowa. 

The full roadside report can be downloaded from the department’s webpage: