Season has ended, how were your successes/experiences?

remy3424

Member
"Season in Iowa is over" is the sad news, "Less than 300 days until the next opener" is the good news, I guess! The best bird numbers in years and my almost 12 year old GSP still did what they do and helped me put 57 roosters in the pouch. Hunted almost exclusively private properties (close to 20 different sites)...very little public ground in my immediate area (NW IA). I did get out at least once (usually twice) every weekend, plus Vet's Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. My quick Thanksgiving morning hunt was the only outing I didn't harvest (shoot at or even see) at least one rooster. Seldom hunted past noon. I am very fortunate to live (grew-up on a farm 5 miles from where I currently live) where I do, with this passion for pheasant hunting.

The CRP enrollment that happened in 2016, the buffer strips on waterways and no servere recent blizzards I feel are the factors behind the great numbers and success. I am hoping the the currrent CRP program will prove as effective as the last enrollment and we will have even more habitat being created.

How was everyone's experiences this season?
 
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remy3424

Member
I did ok.I don't live on a farm, or in the country, for that matter. Oh, this must be the ad out Dakota site.
Well...thanks for the reply....thanks for the input....I guess the "or in the country" part helps explain why I have trouble understanding anything in your reply. I posted under "Iowa", thanks for your interesting contribution.

Moderators: Can you block members from threads?
 

Frank C

Member
Remy,

Yes you are very fortunate to be able to pursue this passion so close to home. Congratulations on an awesome season! I was unable to hunt Iowa this year (I usually go to North-central area, near Mason). Here's to a mild winter and spring and positive August Roadside counts this year.

Frank
 
I was fortunate enough to have my best year yet out of my 20 years of carrying a shotgun and chasing roosters. I ended up with 32 birds and that number may have been higher had I switched from the sxs(gun doesn't fit me well) to my Remington 1100. I live in a 'poor' pheasant hunting area and hunt almost exclusively public ground, ended up with 28 off of public, 3 off private, and 1 out of a ditch. I owe all these birds to my 4 year old vizsla that has really figured out the game and outsmarts the roosters. I didn't see any birds this year driving by likely areas between the place I hunt which tells me bird numbers are down outside carp fields and other prime private property. I also noticed that the late harvest had most hunters giving up before the corn was picked and the birds moved into the public areas. I did notice a lot fewer hens this year as well. Thank god for great dog work and ample public land.
 

BirdDoggin

New member
I did ok.I don't live on a farm, or in the country, for that matter. Oh, this must be the ad out Dakota site.
From what I have seen, this is about as good as it gets from this guy.
Why even bother with a reply?

I too am sad the season is over. I was able to get out for a day last week with perfect weather conditions, low 40's with a good breeze. I hunt mostly NW/NC Iowa and would say the bird numbers I encountered were about the same as last year, but in pockets the numbers were very good. I live in Mn but hunt primarily in Iowa on a mix of public and private ground, and didn't get in the field much until the first week of December. All in all a pretty good year I would say and I made several new contacts for future trips.

Hoping for a mild winter and spring...
 

gimruis

New member
Quick question, why does Iowa feel the need to charge a ridiculous $146 for non-residents to chase roosters? No other state around here charges even remotely that much. And its not like Iowa is considered the holy grail of bird hunting anymore either...
 

BirdDoggin

New member
After being out of the game for several years, I noticed the increase too. The benefits outweigh the negatives, in my opinion. Not being limited to 2 trips per license like SD, combined with being close enough for me(Mpls) that I can go for a one night/two day trip, works out in the end.
 

Hoyt00

New member
I live in the NE corner of the state. As said previously where there was cover we saw good numbers. We didn't have really good hunting until December as the harvest was really late. After that we saw very good numbers. One 27 acre CRP field we had what seemed like a 100 bird flush.
 

remy3424

Member
NW IA was similar, the CPR produced most of the birds early, when the corn was still in the fields. Waterways with heavy cover had bird number increase as the crops came out. The switchgrass and big bluestem CRP fields produced well all season.

With the CRP enrollment open again, combined with lower crop prices, maybe we will see more ground going into the program this year. CRP seems to be the best way to increase the pheasant popuation, large blocks of nesting habitat really work well for them. I hope the my local county USDA offices are trying to target the older landowners who don't have family to take-over their operations, those seem to the ones enrolled now. On marginal land it might be their best option, both financial and enviromentally.
 

sbode

Member
The area I hunted had considerably less birds than last year. I hunted only public access and shot 9 birds. I missed some easy shots during the season and should have had at least 4 more.
 

berettadouble

New member
I had another real good year in NW iowa, but a late start with the harvest. Didn't even shoot a bird the first 3 weeks. Late season really turned on though and scads of 'em were out. I hunted all private ground, mostly CRP. Late season I turned to the antique doubles and a muzzleloader. One days limit was had in 90 seconds. I don't know how many birds I shot, but I reckon my setter had 60-70 shot over her from me, friends, and family.
I do wish there other species of birds Iowa would develop more. I'd love to see more Huns in the north half of the state. And limits and season length could use revision...
 

Open Ranger

New member
Late to respond because I have been very busy after the season ended. I hunted a lot this year all over the northern counties and I have to say that I didn't see the umber of birds like our group has in the past couple of years. When we first started out I thought the season was going to be awful but that wasn't the case. We put up roosters every time we hit the fields but the numbers in some areas were pretty low. I will never complain if I only come home with one bird after an outing. In the North Central area of the state the bird counts were for sure down compared to last year. I don't mind having to work hard to enjoy this great sport. Best of luck to all of you in 2020!
 
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