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As Pheasants Disappear, Hunters in Iowa Follow

Posted on: January 7th, 2013

Mike Wilson glared dejectedly through the mist on his silver-frame glasses at the soggy field of tall, dense brush, tilting the barrel of his 12-gauge shotgun toward the gray clouds.

“All I want to do,” he said, “is see a bird at this point.”

More than two hours into this pheasant hunt, the colorful rooster that one of Mr. Wilson’s hunting partners had shot that morning was now a distant memory. Only one other pheasant had graced the skies since, and it was too far off to even try a shot.

The pheasant, once king of Iowa’s nearly half-a-billion-dollar hunting industry, is vanishing from the state. Surveys show that the population in 2012 was the second lowest on record, 81 percent below the average over the past four decades.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.martikainen Bill Martikainen

    What is causing the problem, predators or combination of other problems

    • reggiec

      As far as Pheasant go it is the elimination of “fence rows” to a certain extent. Male Pheasants need trees

  • goku vegeta

    IN 2006 IN CALHOUN COUNTY IL WE HAD RECORD DEER AND TURKEY POPULATIONS. IN THER SPRING OF 2007 THE BUFFALO GNAT SHOWED UP AND 99%+ OF THE DEER AND TURKEY WERE KILLED WITHIN 8 WEEKS. THE IDNR STILL REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE THIS PROBLEM. THE BUFFALO GNAT IS ATTRACTED BY CARBON DIOXIDE AND GOES UP THE NOSE AND DOWN INTO THE LUNGS. THE LUNGS FILL UP WITH DEAD BUFFALO GNATS AND THEY SUFFOCATE TO DEATH. OUR QUAIL, SQUIRREL, HORSE AND COW POPULATIONS WERE ALSO HAMMERED! JUST NOT TO THE 99%+ DEGREE.

  • pduffy

    Some government policy is most likely to blame. Remember the wolves, how they have decimated the deer and elk populations, and all courtesy of the environmentalist whackos that wanted them reintroduced to the ‘wild’. This is what you get when government meddles in nature.

  • Billy Hill

    Already disappeared in most of Md & Pa.30 years ago I could kick up 10-20 birds in a single walk thru the 20 acre field behind my house in S central Pa.I have seen 5 birds in the past 25-30 years,3 were obviously raised as are chickens & released,with no fear of people as they stood their ground as I walked up to them.Same thing happened with quail in this area,used to kick up at least one covey in a walk throught he brush,now,for the last 40 years,nothing.Some things we now have that we didn’t have before is more sighting of black bear,quite a few coyote pelts hanging on barns & some wild turkey that were quite rare when I was a teen.

  • Carriersailor

    They are gone from Pa. longer than anyone can remember.

  • bmwsid

    The population of pheasants in Western NY is the same as Pa. My theory is that the possums, that we never had 40 yrs ago, are everywhere now, and they are slow and stupid, and can’t catch anything but eggs. (I was just thinking today, the meadow larks are gone, too)…..Also, the corn farmers started using Atrazine (a weed control spray) and it eradicated the ragweed that was plentiful in the corn fields. It would grow 1.5 feet to 2 feet tall, and be covered with millions of tiny seeds that the birds could eat. No matter how deep the snow got, (within reason), the birds had plenty to eat. I believe those two factors were big contributors in the decimation of the ring-necks in my area. I might see one a year now.

 
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