Last year, Iowa pheasant hunters bagged more roosters than they had in the last decade and this season is expected to be about the same according to the Iowa DNR. Iowa’s pheasant population is similar to last year, except in south central and southeast Iowa, where bird numbers are down significantly after a late arriving winter and cool rainy spring.
The 2019 August roadside survey is nearly identical to 2008 when Iowa hunters harvested 400,000 roosters. The one-two combination of a bad winter and wet cool spring hit the quail population to the tune of a 36 percent decline. After riding a few years of 30-year high, Iowa’s quail population dropped closer to the 10-year average. Iowa’s quail range is across the southern three tiers of counties. Iowa’s pheasant and quail seasons begin on Saturday.