KDSN RADIO News
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Dry Weather Helped Pheasants Make It Through Hatch
There's one positive that may come out of Iowa's stretch of dry weather. Iowa DNR wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz, said it will likely lead to good pheasant numbers. "Of course we always say we like warm dry springs and so we run the dry side about two inches below normal so that's good temperature wise we're about average," he said. Bogenschutz said the good spring weather follows a winter where most of the state saw average snowfall, making it easier for the birds to survive. The spring weather is probably most important as that's when the new birds hatch. "Which is about June 10th to the 15th statewide average so you know you know a lot of the hens are on the ground nesting in May you know have that hatch in June and some of the early birds into April," Bogenschutz said, "So that's why April and May weather seems to figure in the best," Bogenschutz said the more birds that survive after the hatch, the more birds there are out there for the fall season. "This was our fourth dry spring in a row -- which is unusual for us -- and so you know we've kind of had decent counts," he said. "We're kind of struggling on the habitat side we're losing C-R-P and continue to lose hay and small grains. So Mother Nature is cooperating, but we're losing on the habitat side." A glitch in collecting the survey numbers has delayed the count for last year's pheasant hunt. Bogenschutz said it will likely be in the same range as recent years. "A year ago you know we were over 300-thousand approaching 400-thousand, so one of our better harvest numbers in the last decade. And so they've been trending kind of that way and that kind of 300 to 400-thousand range," he said. The DNR will conduct its annual roadside survey of pheasants in August, and Bogenschutz said the weather charts show they are likely to see good numbers once again.
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