As Iowa’s pheasant population continues its slide, dog rescue groups are worried about an increase in abandoned hunting dogs.

From this story in the Chicago Tribune:


_Animal rescue group members say they’re worried about an increase in abandoned bird dogs this season as Iowa’s pheasant population dwindles. “We’re nervous about the hunting season,” said Janelle Ford of Omaha, Neb., who founded the Great Plains Pointer Rescue group that works to find homes for abandoned German shorthaired pointers in Iowa and Nebraska.

__”We could see a rash of abandoned dogs when hunters find few, if any pheasants.” The Iowa ring-necked pheasant hunting season begins Oct. 30. The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids reports that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources expects a 23 percent decline in the pheasant population this season compared with two years ago. Through the first nine months of 2010 the group has rescued 94 dogs, Ford said, more than the 90 pointers rescued through all of last year. She blames the decrease in the pheasant population and the recession._

I have to admit that I’ve been sort of looking around for a nice, started English setter to go along with the new pup, but I simply haven’t seen many older bird dogs for sale or for free in my area. I suspect that may be due to a decent quail season forecast for this year. I’m sure things may be different in areas with poor bird numbers. Any increase in abandoned or free-to-good-home hunting dogs in your area?