The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

June 19, 2013

Pheasant population outlook 'dismal'

OTTUMWA — Hunters may have some trouble finding pheasants this fall.

Pheasant numbers are expected to decline this year, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

"Following a harsh winter, which is what we had, combined either singly or in combination with cool, wet springs results in very low production," said Wapello County Conservation Board director Kurt Baker. "One of those things alone can diminish annual production, but when we have both of those things, which it seems like we have every year anymore, it's a double whammy."

The ever-declining pheasant population is "dismal," Baker said.

"For upland game hunters, it's going to be very tough, very frustrating," he said.

There will be some small pockets of the birds, but those pockets are critically dependent on high-quality habitat.

"Without nesting, brooding and winter cover ... without those three components, numbers are going to be way down," he said.

Anytime rainfall exceeds 8 inches during the nesting period in April and May, production substantially declines.

As of Monday, Wapello County had already seen 25.39 inches of rainfall this year, according to the National Weather Service in Des Moines, just 2 inches less than the total rainfall for the entirety of 2012.

Wet springs prove troublesome for pheasants because often, their only nesting cover is in waterways, so when there's excessive rainfall, their nests are flooded and destroyed and the hen has to re-nest.

"And right after the eggs hatch, these things are little cotton balls, with downy feathers that absorb moisture," Baker said. "Those first two weeks, they're extremely open to chilling, hypothermia and then death."

Baker wonders how much longer the pheasant population can survive the repeating harsh winters and rainy springs.

"If you stack three- and four-year spans together where you have harsher winters and cool, wet springs, it's hard for any production to occur," he said. "It could knock this population down even further, and that would be pretty much catastrophic to the remaining pheasants in southeast Iowa."

Text Only
Wapello County
  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wapello building remains county property OTTUMWA — An option to sell the Wapello building in downtown Ottumwa to River Hills Community Health Center was nixed by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. On March 5, River Hills Community Health Center CEO Richard Johnson wrot

    March 12, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National