Iowa Next Year

Alright guys/gals I'm new to the site but I'm wondering what you guys think about the Pheasant numbers for next year. Me personally I think with the mild winter (compared to the last couple) that we could have a really good year. Personally this past year was one of the better seasons that I have had. Maybe that was just the fact that we limited out opening day and I got to go to Octoberfest :cheers:
 

pheasantaddict

New member
Yes, the mild winter helped. Though I have not seen as many hens as usuall. A warm dry spring would be nice. I hope they have a good hatch. Another thing I have noticed the last few years is the lack of insects especially grasshoppers. Chicks have to have bugs to eat.
 
I agree the hens seem to be down this year. That's why I hate it when people don't let a person hunt bc they think they are going to help the pheasant population. Roosters little to no effect on increasing the population more than likly high rooster numbers hurt the pop. bc by the time mating season comes around the roosters will end up killing each other.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
I agree the hens seem to be down this year. That's why I hate it when people don't let a person hunt bc they think they are going to help the pheasant population. Roosters little to no effect on increasing the population more than likly high rooster numbers hurt the pop. bc by the time mating season comes around the roosters will end up killing each other.

Very true BeerCity. The fewer the # of roosters going into the winter the better the chances of hens surviving to nest the following spring. Roosters are larger than hens and often dominate scarce food sources during tough winter months leaving hens with less food. :) --1pheas4
 

nstric

New member
This has been the most mild winter we've had in years ... at least the past 4-5 if not more. Just need a rather dry spring and conditions should be optimal for good bird numbers. The early winter melt will do nothing but help in that our waterways will take the flooding before the birds are nesting.

So good so far!
 

berettadouble

New member
One thing we did not get this winter (at least where I live and hunt) is that sheet of ice over food sources for weeks at a time. I am optimistic there could be an uptick for next year regarding winter- but we have a long, hopefully dry, nesting season ahead.
 

moellermd

Super Moderator
It is all about the hatch. Last year around here we had down poors in May and June. 3in. in an hour type crap.
 

berettadouble

New member
Dead on Moellermd- I'd wager while the winters have been evil, nesting time has been worse. We're a long way from in the clear...
 

UncleBuck

New member
I live in NW Iowa. It has NOT been one of the more mild winters up here. While not as brutal as last year (-41 at Spencer in late Dec 09), we have had a lot of -teens and a few -20s. We have had snow cover since Thanksgiving and several heavy ice storms. Those are the worst. The lake (Okoboji) still has 2+ feet of good ice on it.

2010-11 was the worst year I have ever seen in Iowa since the early 50's. Even in the horrible mid-late 70's still there were more birds than this year. Still I am guardedly optimistic about 2011-12. Simply put, it can't get much worse. There a birds around and they appear healthy and strong. They seem to find food enough.
 

berettadouble

New member
I grew up and hunt around Storm Lake, and I gotta say last year was far worse in my opinion. Did the Lakes get socked harder than SL? Either way- fingers crossed for spring!
 

UncleBuck

New member
It is hard to say but I think we did. How much is a matter of opinion. It was practically impossible to hunt roosters after about the first week of December. Mostly due to crusted over snow cover. Hard on man, hard on dogs. Temps were not the issue so much as ice/crust problems. Plus the never diminishing wind. I was not unsuccessful but it was still harder this year.

Normally I'd say Storm Lake-Spencer- Spirit Lake- Worthington are all about the same. This year we were more like Worthington.

Stay in touch next fall.
 

nstric

New member
We have had snow cover since Thanksgiving and several heavy ice storms.
Snow cover since Thanksgiving? Really? I'd have thought the three to four rounds of 50+ temps would have done some serious damage to the snow. We approached 70 degrees down here in central Iowa. Were in the 60s this week ... but it's colder today (30s).

My recollection is that NE Iowa got most of the snow this year, followed by SE Iowa (surprisingly).
 

UncleBuck

New member
We had some melt off the bare ground bean fields and chisel plowed corn. But the deeper (better) grass and sloughs etc were so well filled in and covered w/ multi layers of snow and ice a week of 50+ degrees wouldn't have made a significant dent. The ditches were filled well before Thanksgiving. It goes with the turf- just a little more this year than normal.
 
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