Iowa offers a double treat for upland hunters. In my Oct. 7 report on another excellent season for Midwestern pheasant hunts, I mistakenly ignored the Hawkeye State. While most of the states in the Midwest offer pheasant hunting worthy of the long drive, Iowa equals their ringnecks and serves up a bonus: Quail.
The Iowa bobwhite population this year is the highest in 27 years. In 1989 Iowa’s quail harvest was 400,000 for 80,000 hunters (5.0 birds per hunter). Last year the numbers were 28,000 and 10,000 (2.8 average). So, what do you do after you have taken your daily limit of 3 rooster pheasants? Keep shooting for a limit of 8 bobwhites. That should make the trip worthwhile. Iowa quail season is Oct. 29 – Jan. 31; pheasant season is Oct. 29 – Jan. 10. For more information go to www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting.