Habitat & Conservation  |  08/12/2021

Podcast Ep. 129: The Science of Roadside Counts with Iowa DNR’s Todd Bogenschutz

August marks the annual roadside surveying of pheasants and quail by state natural resource agencies. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Iowa DNR’s Todd Bogenschutz, the state’s upland wildlife research biologist, and PF & QF’s Jared Wiklund, the organization’s public relations manager, for a conversation about the logistics and science of counting game birds along roadsides in late summer.

Episode Highlights:
  • Bogenschutz talks about his New York roots and the South Dakota schooling that resulted in his role as Iowa’s upland bird biologist the last 27 years.  He also discusses being a Pheasants Forever chapter volunteer in Boone County, Iowa.
  • Iowa’s statewide survey is conducted by Iowa DNR staff who drive 218, 30-mile routes on gravel roads at dawn on mornings with heavy dew.  Pheasants and quail typically move their broods to the gravel roads to dry off during these dewy mornings, which makes them easier to count.  Bogenschutz explains how he uses the data from these counts to steer the state’s habitat and management decisions for upland game birds.  
  • The guys close out the conversation with a “state-of-the-state” for pheasants and quail in Iowa with Bogenschutz providing an overview of current habitat conditions, bird numbers, and public hunting access. It’s about time to start planning an upland adventure in the Hawkeye state!