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Iowa Hunter Shoots Pheasant With 27.5-Inch Tail

pheasant tail
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

It's not every day you see a pheasant tail like this.

Upland hunters don't generally give preference to trophies, as their command over a dog takes a higher priority. The bird is usually the final cherry on top, but rarely does the size or coloration of the bird equate a greater level of success.

However, there are rare occasions in which a bird can catch a gunner off-guard.

Back in November, however, a hunter was able to harvest such a bird.

The Iowa Department of Natural resources shared a photo of the bird he shot--a pheasant with a 27.5-inch-long tail feather.

According to the DNR, the state pheasant population has seen a 45-percent improvement over the last 10 years, but last year moved that trend in the wrong direction.

Roadside counts indicated a 17-percent decline from 2018 to 2019, and the combination of brutal weather and a late crop harvest has the DNR predicting a notable decline.

However, a rooster with a tail feather several inches longer than most sheds a bright light on the future of Iowa pheasant hunting.

The season has already concluded for the 2019-20 season, but Iowa could see a few extra upland hunters next season.

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Iowa Hunter Shoots Pheasant With 27.5-Inch Tail