The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

September 6, 2013

Pheasants take a hit in 2013 upland game survey

DES MOINES — Fall pheasant hunters will take a step back in time, as the season opens. Following August roadside surveys, the average number of birds seen on more than 200 30-mile route was 6.5; virtually identical to the 6.6 posted in 2011. That count was the lowest in 60 years of summer surveys and preceded the lowest harvest in Iowa’s rich pheasant hunting history.

“Spring 2013 was terrible for ground nesting birds,” reviews DNR upland game research biologist Todd Bogenschutz. “Rainfall was the highest in 141 years of recordkeeping in Iowa. Over 15 inches fell in April and May; more than twice our normal rainfall.”

With the fifth-coolest temperatures on record, survival of pheasant chicks plummeted. As a result, hunters should expect to harvest 100,000 to 150,000 pheasants during the October 28-January 10 season.

On the upside, good habitat will still yield results.

“Hunters will find birds in those good core areas; with winter habitat and nesting cover. Northwest and north central Iowa are still holding in there,” noted Bogenschutz.

Iowa’s pheasant harvest has dropped in most of the last 20 years; due to the loss of good habitat and – in many years – poor weather. That reality was knifed home by a five-year streak (2006-2011) of winters with 30-plus inches of snow. Winter mortality for Iowa’s favorite gamebird is higher during extended snow cover.

Through 2012, hopes were buoyed with normal winter and spring weather. The August count rose significantly. In fact, though the 16 percent increase in pheasants along summer roadsides was even higher.

In the grip of a drought, summer fields were bone-dry. Pheasants did not need to come out to the roads to escape the heavy dew. As a result, many were simply not counted. As 2012 harvest reports came in, it was apparent that overall pheasant numbers were likely up 41 percent.

With ideal (heavy dew) conditions during the 2013 survey period, the drop from 2012 should be well below the 18 percent shown.

Text Only
Sports
  • Monroe Co. softball moves to Central Region semis INDIANAPOLIS — Makenna Ross went 2-3, helping Monroe County Softball to a 4-1 victory over NE-Keystone, Nebraska on Wednesday at Stokley Field in the Little League Softball Central Regional semifinals.Jena Lawrence baffled Keystone, striking out seve

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Sports Ottumwa baseball photo Bulldogs shut out by Valley OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa baseball team ended an adversity-defying season with a disappointing 2-0 loss to West Des Moines Valley in the Class 4A, District 6 Substate finals Wednesday at Legion Memorial Field.A few crucial errors and a dominant pitching

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Sports Fairfield baseball celebration photo Let The Party Begin! FAIRFIELD — In a game with so many of them, perhaps it’s fitting a strikeout started the winning rally.Narendra Martin didn’t let being the 26th batter of the night to strike out get him down. In fact, Martin showed plenty of energy as he took off fo

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bulldogs fall in Substate finals OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa baseball team ended an adversity-defying season with a disappointing 2-0 loss to West Des Moines Valley in the Class 4A, District 6 Substate finals Wednesday at Legion Memorial Field. A few crucial errors and a dominant pitching

    July 23, 2014

  • Area Postseason Baseball Wednesday Class 4A, Substate 6 West Des Moines Valley 2, Ottumwa 0 Class 3A, Substate 6 No. 5 Fairfield 2, No. 7 Centerville 1 (9) Saturday Class 1A State Quarterfinals No. 1 Twin Cedars (33-0) vs. Underwood (23-7), 11 a.m. (Principal Park, Des Moin

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Sports Oskaloosa softball team photo Indians finish fifth at first state softball tourney FORT DODGE — Most coaches have concerns how their teams would react to playing in a consolation game at state tournaments. Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms had similar concerns when his Indians faced West Delaware in the fifth-place game at Dodger Field at

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Sports Davis County track coach photo Mustang track and field coaches honored BLOOMFIELD — Two Davis County track and field coaches reaped the benefits of coaching the Mustang girls to a third-place finish at the Class 2A Track and Field meet and the impressive feats of Davis County shot put virtuoso Kate Birchmier. Davis Cou

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Sports Coy Moore photo No. 1 Sabers state bound again! OSKALOOSA — The undefeated (33-0) Twin Cedars Sabers will be the Class 1A, District 6 state tournament representative after they defeated North Mahaska 10-0 in six innings Tuesday night in Oskaloosa. The Sabers will be making their second-straight tr

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Sports IHCC John Wardenburg mug IHCC to hold Junior Warrior Basketball Camp OTTUMWA — Indian Hills will host the Junior Warrior Basketball Camp next week at the Hellyer Student Life Center. The camp will be held from Monday, July 28, through Thursday, July 31, and is open to all boys and girls ages 5-13. There is a fee to at

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Sports Little League State Tourney photo Grandview hits seven home runs to stay unbeaten CENTERVILLE — It was a high scoring affair, but Grandview remained unbeaten with a 3-0 record after defeating Davenport Southeast 19-13.After Johnston American fell 3-1 against Boone on Monday, Grandview was the only undefeated team left out of the e

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook