Tough winter so far in Iowa for pheasants and quail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tough winter so far in Iowa for pheasants and quail

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BOONE (AP) -- State environmental officials say they are worried about how early ice and snow covering much of the state will affect Iowa's game bird populations.

Todd Bogenschutz, a wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says ice is nearly an inch thick in some areas. That makes it impossible for pheasant and quail to scratch through and find food and shelter.

In a normal winter, records show that Iowa gets an average of 25 inches of snow, but some areas, especially in northern Iowa, have already gotten up to 30 inches this winter.

Bogenschutz says if ice conditions persist too long, the state could experience high bird mortality

He says that in most situations people should not feed the birds because it concentrates them in one area for predators.

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