DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Hunters looking forward to this year’s quail and pheasant season may be disappointed.
The Iowa DNR says the quail and pheasant population may be lower this fall due to heavy snowfall in February followed by flooding and rainstorms through the spring.
“We had such an unusual winter last year – started out mild and dry, and then we had a winter’s worth of snow – 23 inches – in February and several warm-cold snaps that brought freezing rain and ice. Not an easy winter for pheasants and quail to survive,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife research biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Bogenschutz also says that pheasant hens are committed nesters. If they lose a nest, they will keep trying. Although, each nest try, results in fewer eggs each time.
“We’ve seen and heard quail too, which is positive because quail are even more susceptible than pheasants during harsh winters,” Bogenschutz stated.
However, the only way to get an accurate population for either bird will be the roadside count held in August. The roadside numbers for August will be posted online around September 15 which can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/pheasantsurvey.