Monday, October 29, 2007

Pheasant Hunting Statistics for Opening Day

According to six Iowa Conservation Officers in various sections of the state, hunters had mixed success when checked on opening day October 27th. Autumn Fields Heading over to the eastern border in Jones and Jackson counties Officer Mike Macke reported having checked five hunters. Two birds had been bagged at the time of the interview with Des Moines Register reporter Juli Probasco-Sowers. He commented that conservation set aside ground has become limited in his area eliminating good cover for the pheasant populations. Traveling to the far west side Buena Vista, Cherokee, and Woodbury counties , then south to Union and Ringgold all seemed to reflect a lower hunter number with lower success rates. They attributed some of the difficulties to crops still being in the fields and some extreme weather conditions like our late severe spring snows and sporadic flooding. Coming back to Linn and Benton, close to Jones and Jackson the hunters were seeing good results for their early morning foray. Conservation Officer Aric Sloterdyk reported talking to between 50-60 hunters in his area with the average of one bird for each by noon. Closer to home in Marshall and Grundy counties, Officer Jeremy King had some positive information as well. He said he had visited with 100 hunters and saw 25 dead birds. The comment made was that the people who were out have seen more birds than they did last year. So far there has been one "freak accident" sending a pheasant hunter to the hospital. In Iowa's Tama county, for some reason a hunter had put his gun on the ground. Apparently not putting the safety on,his dog stepped on the gun and it discharged, injury was to the hunter's leg. Again we must not second guess being safe - Anything can happen! ...

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