There is concern across many western pheasant strongholds, from South Dakota to Minnesota and, most especially, Iowa. Concern regarding drought and extreme cold; dwindling CRP acreage; and, of course, bird populations in a state of flux.
As Iowa pheasants have declined, predictably so too have Iowa pheasant hunters. However, could the rooster population finally be stabilizing—or even recovering?
Positive signs include Iowa's 2012 roadside pheasant survey, which marked an increase in the population estimate for the first time since 2005. It was a 16-percent boost over 2011's record low index.