The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 27, 2013

John Cross: A Field of Dreams on the Iowa Opener: CRP


A few minutes later and just two hours into our opening day hunt, a rooster climbed into the wind and I intercepted it with a load of No. 4 steel to fill my three-bird limit.

Now, even in the best of times, a limit of ringnecks is a noteworthy event. But in view of the tough times Iowa ringnecks are in right now, it was particularly gratifying.

More important, it underscored the importance of good pheasant habitat.

In spite of the kinds of challenges nature can throw into the ringneck mix, if there is quality habitat, there will be birds.

There is that famous phrase, one uttered in a popular movie about baseball that coincidentally was filmed right here in Iowa: “Build it and he will come.”

An opening day limit in the worst of times for Iowa pheasants underscores a similar truism: Plant grass and they will come.”

Into all of those fields of dreams.

John Cross is a Free Press staff writer. Contact him at 344-6376 or by e-mail at



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