Learn about the DNR's COVID-19 response and how the current health emergency is impacting DNR facilities, services and events.
Experience the rush of the flush
+ Agency Information
+ Pheasant/Quail Biology, Habitat & History

Pheasants, quail, cottontail rabbits, and squirrels are Iowa's most popular upland game species. The Upland Wildlife Research Unit monitors yearly harvest and populations, as well as providing information to landowners and hunters.

Bobwhite Quail Life History Information

Ring-necked Pheasant Life History Information

The Ring-necked Pheasant in Iowa - Farris 1977

What We Know About Nesting

Effects of Weather and Habitat on Pheasant Survival

What We Know About Weather

Effect of Hunting Seasons on Populations

Pheasant Hunting Fact Sheet


+ Clothing and Gear
+ Where to Hunt and Shoot
+ Hunting Methods & Safety
+ Field Dressing & Cooking
+ Iowa's Digital Mentor Network

Pheasant Hunting Checklist

What you need to know before you go!

  • A hunting license and habitat fee is required to hunt pheasants in Iowa.  
  • Iowa requires upland game bird hunters to wear at least one of the following articles of visible, external apparel, of which at least 50% of the surface area is solid blaze orange in color:  hat, cap, vest, coat, jacket, sweatshirt, sweater, shirt, or coveralls.
  • A pheasant foot, fully feathered wing, or fully feathered head is required to be attached to transport a pheasant.  
  • Firearms must be cased and unloaded in a motor vehicle.
  • You must have permission to hunt on private property.
  • The daily bag limit for pheasants is 3 and the possession limit is 12.
  • Season dates are from October 26, 2019 to January 10, 2020.
  • Shooting hours are from 8:00AM to 4:30PM daily during the season.

Special Youth Season

  • Rooster Pheasant:  October 19-20, 2019
  • Bag Limit:  1
  • Possession Limit:  2
Upcoming Learn to Hunt Opportunities

January 11:  Edible Outdoors - Rabbit and Squirrel Hunt (Adult Mentored Hunt)

January 25:  Connecting Individuals to the Outdoors - Polk County (Adult Yearlong Workshop)

January 25:  Field and Vine (21 and Older)

February 22:  Wild Game & Wine - Summerset Winery  (21 and Older)

How to Get Involved


Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.

Helpful Links:

Pheasants Forever in Iowa

Find a Pheasants Forever Chapter Near You

Become a Digital Mentor


As a hunter or angler, pass on your advice and knowledge of the outdoors to others thru Powderhook - Iowa DNR Mentoring. Click here to join in on our conversations.  Get the satisfaction of helping, right from your mobile device.