Home Forums Hunting Upland Game How’s everyone been doing?

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  • Avatarcyclonenation10
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    Just checking in to see how everyone has been doing on the roosters this year.

    I’ve been hunting in North Central Iowa around Ames. I’ve shot 42 birds this year split almost 50/50 between public and private ground. Been putting in about 2 hours per bird on public ground and about 45 min per bird on private ground. Numbers definitely seem to be down on both public and private ground from what I can tell, but I also hunted more later in the year last year than earlier, so could be the birds were more bunched up last year, hence the higher numbers.

    Hunting has gotten significantly tougher over the last couple of weeks on both private and public ground. Seems like the birds are really scattered this year and staying away form the areas they have been pressured on.

    What has everyone else been seeing?

    Avatarchangdrix
    Participant
    Post count: 775

    I went out today for the first time in the rain on private for about 30 minutes. Got one and missed one.

    Avatarwebspec_admin
    Keymaster
    Post count: 18880

    I hunt public only. I have hunted in central and north-central Iowa. From what I have seen numbers seem to be down some too especially in north-central Iowa. I have gotten around 25 birds. It has been taking more walking to find the birds but a little extra walking doesn’t bother me.

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    It sounds like you are a pretty dedicated pheasant hunter!

    As for me, I’ve been doing alright in the areas that I prefer to hunt pheasants. Bird numbers there seem to be roughly the same as last year.

    Avatarrobert1976
    Participant
    Post count: 410

    I’ve only shot 12 so far this season and lost one. I’ve had to do a lot of walking to get the one’s I got. Last year it seemed like I couldn’t go out and not shoot my limit. There just doesn’t seem to be as many birds in my spots as there was last year and the birds are so spooky already that it’s getting really hard to get close to them. I go out every weekend and on holidays so it’s not from a lack of trying.

    This is on public ground in Kossuth county.

    AvatarHeinrix_54
    Participant
    Post count: 5591

    Seems like about the same as last year for me in northwest Iowa. Numbers seem to be pretty good, but the warm weather has the birds spread out. For whatever reason, they’re not quite as jumpy this year though, so I think I’ve shot a higher percentage of the birds that I’ve seen.

    AvatarSADIEHAWKINS
    Participant
    Post count: 198

    Only public ground for me. Walked over 6 miles yesterday for 1 bird. Seen maybe a half dozen that flushed wild. For me it seems bird number are lower than last year. But also we had 12 inches of snow I believe around thanksgiving last year. If I get 1 bird for every 4 miles this year i’m happy. Tell tale sign for me will be when we get snow on bird numbers. The hunting pressure on public ground in North Central Iowa is relentless. The birds just run around you in the grass. I’ve tracked birds for a 1/2 of mile to have them flush a 100 yards ahead of me. Was out wed before thanksgiving and seen 15 roosters and could of shot a 3 man limit. That was the best day of the year for me. Went back on friday and there were 5 different groups hunting the same area. Went back again yesterday and notta one bird. That is public land hunting in Iowa. The thing that tells me that the birds are driven out of the public is I’m seeing very few hens. Things will change when and if the snow comes. Well I’m heading out for more punishment. I’m 65 and something just drives me to get out with the dogs everyday. Birds or no birds I love being out with my dogs. That’s what it is all about.

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    Quote by: SADIEHAWKINS

    Only public ground for me. Walked over 6 miles yesterday for 1 bird. Seen maybe a half dozen that flushed wild. For me it seems bird number are lower than last year. But also we had 12 inches of snow I believe around thanksgiving last year. If I get 1 bird for every 4 miles this year i’m happy. Tell tale sign for me will be when we get snow on bird numbers. The hunting pressure on public ground in North Central Iowa is relentless. The birds just run around you in the grass. I’ve tracked birds for a 1/2 of mile to have them flush a 100 yards ahead of me. Was out wed before thanksgiving and seen 15 roosters and could of shot a 3 man limit. That was the best day of the year for me. Went back on friday and there were 5 different groups hunting the same area. Went back again yesterday and notta one bird. That is public land hunting in Iowa. The thing that tells me that the birds are driven out of the public is I’m seeing very few hens. Things will change when and if the snow comes. Well I’m heading out for more punishment. I’m 65 and something just drives me to get out with the dogs everyday. Birds or no birds I love being out with my dogs. That’s what it is all about.

    Your experience on pressured public land sounds similar to mine. Birds flushing wild and out of range. I do enjoy pheasant hunting, but having to walk 6 miles for just one bird does take quite a bit of the fun out of it. Hopefully we will get some snow sooner rather than later and this will improve things a bit.

    Avatarosojefe
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Good to read these reports. I’m new to the area (Boone County) and because I don’t have a dog (and am by myself) have limited myself to road hunting and ditches. Saw a few roosters early in the season in the late afternoons but nothing since. I love late-season pheasant hunting in the thick stuff but will have to pass this year–those cattail swamps are no place to drop one without a dog.

    Avatarcyclonenation10
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    Quote by: osojefe

    Good to read these reports. I’m new to the area (Boone County) and because I don’t have a dog (and am by myself) have limited myself to road hunting and ditches. Saw a few roosters early in the season in the late afternoons but nothing since. I love late-season pheasant hunting in the thick stuff but will have to pass this year–those cattail swamps are no place to drop one without a dog.

    I’m going to school here in Ames. I’ve got my bird dog staying with me. I try and get out about everyday for atleast an hour or so before or after classes. Let me know if you would like to go sometime!

    Avatarosojefe
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Quote by: cyclonenation10

    Quote by: osojefe

    Good to read these reports. I’m new to the area (Boone County) and because I don’t have a dog (and am by myself) have limited myself to road hunting and ditches. Saw a few roosters early in the season in the late afternoons but nothing since. I love late-season pheasant hunting in the thick stuff but will have to pass this year–those cattail swamps are no place to drop one without a dog.

    I’m going to school here in Ames. I’ve got my bird dog staying with me. I try and get out about everyday for atleast an hour or so before or after classes. Let me know if you would like to go sometime!

    Thanks–I’ll PM. I live in Boone and can kind of set my own schedule–would love to meet up.

    Drew

    AvatarSADIEHAWKINS
    Participant
    Post count: 198

    Well just got back from my daily hunt. By my phone I walked 3 1/4 miles today. Should of had a limit but my pup got a little anxious and busted 5 birds on me. I hunted a spot its more known for deer hunting and the non residents kind of over look it It was against my better judgment to put the pup down with the mom dog. It was windy and dry when the big dog got on a track the pup would jump in front and with running birds the chase was on. She going be a good one just needs a little time. She s not even 5 months yet.

    bluedirtbluedirt
    Participant
    Post count: 90

    Been an ok season. Hunting almost all private ground. Not seeing as many birds as expected, blaming it on warm weather & corn still in the field until last week. May be totally wrong, but thinking warm weather is the reason both roosters & hens are running like racehorses this year. Cautious to say, a little cold weather/snow will really improve hunting here in N. Central Ia. FWIW, would also say we are not seeing as many hunters around as in previous yrs.

    alan_50501alan_50501
    Participant
    Post count: 1499

    Now that I’ve got all my mowing and leaf mulching done I can get out and hopefully get me 1 or 2….There’s a place over by Fonda I may hit it tomorrow or Thursday you need a dog to hunt it which I don’t have but I’m still gonna go walk it….

    Fort dodge

    AvatarMount-em
    Participant
    Post count: 140

    Has not been very good at all here in Fayette county. Public and private.

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