The Lake Red Rock area offers great hunting opportunities! Hunters can access about 25,000 acres of forest, prairie, upland, and lowland habitats. Agricultural leased ground on government property is also open to hunting, and farmers are required to leave some standing crop as a wildlife food source.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates upland game populations through the following surveys:

Roadside Counts: Every year, the DNR conducts roadside counts during the first 15 days of August. At least one 30-mile route is run in each county during the first 1 ½ to 2 hours of the day. The routes are the same as those run since the 1960s. Wildlife surveyed during the counts includes pheasant and other species such as quail and rabbits. Casey Trine, DNR Natural Resource Technician at the Red Rock Wildlife Unit reported, “The number of pheasants counted during this year’s survey increased 35-40% over the previous year; however, even though numbers are up, the counts are still low. Farmers are seeing more birds, but we need more mild winters and dry, warmer springs.”

Turkey brood surveys: Brood surveys take place in July and August each year. A postcard survey is mailed to wildlife professionals and hunters to collect information on area sightings. Trine said, “Preliminary numbers show turkey counts are up. They had a good hatch, and weather conditions were right.”