June is when Iowa’s pheasant hatch is at its peak, and many bird enthusiasts were hoping a warm, dry spring would offset the snowy winter.
“This year, unfortunately, we are predicting a decline in bird numbers,” said Todd Bogenschutz, a DNR upland wildlife biologist. “Our pheasant population typically shows increases following mild winters and dry, warm springs. This past winter, while starting mild, ended with a vengeance.”
This year’s nesting season has been record-setting for cold temperatures and rainfall. Statewide, nesting season rainfall was 15.4 inches, and temperatures were 4.1 degrees cooler than normal. Iowa’s pheasant population has never seen a spring this wet since records were starting to be kept in the 1920s.
Based on this weather data, Bogenschutz predicts Iowa’s statewide pheasant population will be lower than in 2012. However, Bogenschutz said the DNR’s August roadside survey is the best gauge of what populations are. The DNR will post its August roadside numbers on www.iowadnr.gov around Sept. 15.
>> Start of aquatic Skills Camp for ages 14-18, Eastern 4-H Center, Gretna, 402-471-6144
>> Family Fishing Event, Birdwood Lake, North Platte, 6-8 p.m.
>> Family Fishing Event, Cottonmill Lake, Kearney, 6-8 p.m.
>> Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Handgun Class: Fun with Handguns, Platte River SP, Louisville, 6-9 p.m., email@example.com or 402-471-5547
>> Lower Platte Archery weekly 3D shoot, 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 21, Larry Elston Archery Range at Schramm Park. Membership information, 402-669-0425 or 402-690-5814.
>> Fly-tying round table at Cabelas in La Vista, 6 to 7:45 p.m.
>> Family Fishing Event, Mormon Island SRA No. 1, Grand Island, 6-8 p.m.
>> National Park Service Campground Program, Niobrara SP, 402-857-3373
>> Kayak the Middle Raccoon River with the Omaha Hiking Club. Fee $25. Meet at the dam in Redfield, Iowa, at 9 a.m. Must RSVP. Go to http://omahahikingclub.weebly.com for details.
>> Test your knowledge about the Niobrara National Scenic River with Jeopardy-style game at Smith Falls State Park Campground, 8:30 p.m.
Submit calendar items or trophy pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or Outdoors Sports, World-Herald Sports Dept., 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102. A daytime or cellphone number must be included.