Weather may hurt Iowa pheasants
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa’s pheasant population and efforts to restore the state among the bird-hunting elite will be in the forefront at the National Pheasant Fest in Des Moines.
Hunters and conservationists fear the hard winter - and the potential for a wet spring - will trim the already dwindling population.
Upland bird hunting brings in $186 million a year in Iowa.
The number of hunters and the number of birds killed per year are at or near all-time lows. Habitat is shrinking because of the high demand for corn for ethanol.
Pheasants Forever’s three-day event opens on Friday.
Spokesman Bob St. Pierre says the group encourages farmers to plant grasslands, which could include shifting the biofuels market toward making ethanol from grasses that provide wildlife cover.