Iowa DNR Expects Strong Pheasant Season

Hunter Aiming Pheasant Flying Over Grassy Field Against Sky

Photo: Getty Images

(Undated) -- Pheasant hunters could be in for another strong hunting season his fall. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources annual August roadside survey found the pheasant population is nearly the same as it was in 2021, when hunters harvested the highest number of roosters in more than a decade.

The northwest, west central and north-central regions again had the highest counts within the state, followed by the northeast and central regions. The full report is available at

“If hunters enjoyed last year, they should enjoy this year. Pheasant hunting will again be good for most of the state, with the best hunting being north of Hwy. 30,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife research biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR says Iowa hunters can expect to harvest 300,000 to 400,000 roosters this year, which is similar to last year, when the harvest was the highest in more than a decade.

“Bird harvest relies heavily on the number of hunters in the field and the past two years saw highest number of pheasant hunters since 2009, and that has translated into our increased harvests,” Bogenschutz said. “The birds are there, so the harvest totals will depend on how many hunters return.”

An estimated 63,000 hunters participated in 2021, a slight increase over 2020.

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