Hunters will see fewer birds

Hunting is a popular sport in the Heartland. but if you like to hunt for pheasants, you might not see as many this year.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, population is down from last year.

Winter weather hammered pheasant survival. And flooding washed away much of the nesting season. As a result, pheasant numbers going into the season are down.

"We're down 30 percent on average, but if you go up to Northwest Iowa, bird numbers are pretty good; actually up in areas of Northwest Iowa. said DNR Wildlife Biologist Tim Thompson. The farter south and east you go, the worse the numbers get."

As a result, hunters should bag about four to 500 thousand rooster pheasants this season; down considerably, from typical one million bird harvests in past.

Pheasant season opens October 25 and runs thru January 10.