Hunters are gearing up for this year’s pheasant season and they have a reason why. Pheasant hunting season begins Saturday and the pheasant population is the highest it’s been in eight years.
Iowa’s upland game biologist conducted an August roadside survey finding a 37 percent increase in number of birds counted. Megan Wisecup is with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says quail population is also the highest it’s been in just over two decades.
“Definitely in the southern two tears of counties we have seen a rebound with our milder winters and definitely it’s going to be some of the best quail hunting in 21 years. We are excited to see that rebound as well this year,” Wisecup said.
She also adds it is very important for hunters to stay safe this season.
“One of the biggest things they need to do is plan before they get out there. Know where every member of the hunting party is going to be especially if you are hunting with dogs. Know who is going to handle them as well because visibility is key when it comes to pheasant hunting. So with standing corn or tall switchgrass it’s hard to see each other. Make sure you are walking in a straight line and communicate at all times to know where everyone is at,” Wisecup said.
Wisecup adds to brush up on the zones of fire and know your surroundings. She says they definitely want hunters to wear as much blaze orange as possible even though Iowa law only states wearing a hat or coat that is 50% blaze orange. Iowa has not had a pheasant hunting related death in several years. Pheasant hunting season opens October 31st and runs through January 10th.