As fall hunting seasons approach, sportsmen and women will be able spread out more due to a USDA grant that incentivizes Iowa landowners to put private property into conservation. The Iowa Habitat and Access Program, or IHAP, pays people to improve natural habitat on their properties. In exchange, they allow the public the hunt on their lands.
“Better habitat should lead to better wildlife and good hunting,” says Todd Bogenschutz of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Basically some, you know, 25,000 acres of public hunting land out there that wasn’t there a couple years ago.”
In addition to hunters, upland game fowl in particular have also benefited from the program. The DNR’s annual survey found that species like pheasant and quail have maintained healthy levels for the past couple years. Back in 2011, these species were at historic lows in Iowa.
IHAP land is for hunting only. Target shooting, camping, horseback riding and professional dog training are not allowed.