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What happened to the pheasants? Why more geese?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mallard2, Nov 12, 2011.

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  1. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    I know this has been talked about for years, but do the arguments really hold up, logically?

    There is still plenty of cover in many places, yet no birds where there were thousands 30 years ago.

    Why thousands more geese now than 30 years ago? Same preditors, poisons, etc., would affect them wouldn't it?

    Is this a giant example of bad game management of pheasants?
     
  2. John Thompson

    John Thompson TS Member

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    DDT caused soft egg shells until it was outlawed. I live in Illinois, 40 years ago, there were fence rows between every field with plenty of nesting area. There have also been some horrid snows(Al Gore, what global warming?) which covered available food sources causing starvation.

    As for geese, the proliferation of run off ponds at housing and office developments has given rise to a lot of prime nesting areas. The grain farming expansion has allowed for plenty of available food. In Illinois, the conservation people are of the opinion that there is now a "Chicago" sub species of goose which is somewhat smaller than the Canada. This is due to inbreeding of the run off pond geese who are loosing size due to the lack of extremes seen by the Canada. These Chicago geese seldom leave the state due to open water in the south of the state.
     
  3. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    lot of coyotes in northern IL.


    tony
     
  4. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    And the droughts this summer killed a lot of young
     
  5. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    Pheasants are affected a lot more by weather extremes than geese.
     
  6. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Haybines killed off the pheasants around here.
     
  7. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

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    This past year in the midwest,,,,there were MAJOR floods during nesting seasons and late ice storms, which reduced breeding stock...
     
  8. lctrapshooter

    lctrapshooter Active Member

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    Increased numbers of birds of prey,hawks,owls,falcons,and eagles. Egg sucking critters like the coon, possums, weasels, ferel cats and the like. Loss of habitat, grasslands, marshes and fence rows. Modern farming methods, no till, mutiple crops in one year, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, weed control. Early cutting of hay destroying nests, eggs and young chicks.

    The deck is definately stacked against the Pheasant and they are not the smartest of birds. Too bad, one of natures most beautifully painted birds, is on the decline!
     
  9. Force Break

    Force Break TS Member

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    All of the above about pheasants. Now geese on the other hand manage (human) very well. Put out a goose nest and you raise geese, look at the successes in the late 70"s and 80's with nesting structures causing a boom in population. One other thing is geese are tough birds and are capable of defending themselves against everything except man.
     
  10. poacherjoe

    poacherjoe Well-Known Member

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    Ictrapshooter hit the nail on the head. 30 year's ago here in California's central valley you could drive down a 1 mile stretch of country road and see several large groups of birds.
    All the ground was irrigated pasture and the ranchers did'nt over graze the grass.Now they have it down to a science on how many cattle they can squeeze into an area and therefore nowhere for the few remaining birds to nest.
    Also the dairy's have gone to a rotation crop of oats and corn,When the oats are ready to cut it coresponds with the nesting cycle of the pheasant and therefore the birds get chopped up at harvest time.Then the predators move in and they only have to work on the fenceline because that's the only remaining cover for the birds.
    A Game bioligist also brought up the fact of Feral cat's.People in town trap cats and release them in the country.My friend who lives in the country traps the cats and releases them back in town!LOL
    I would like to see them close the season around here just to see if it would help the cause but the extreme loss of habitat is a major issue here.Almond trees are popping up everywhere and hardly any pasture is left.I can say that in my younger day's I was lucky to have some very good hunting season's that are behind me now.It's a shame for the young up and comers today that they won't be a part of it unless you want to pay 50 dollars a bird at some club.I tried it one time and never fired a shot because my lab caught all the FAT birds on the ground.Very challenging!But quite tasty.PJ
     
  11. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Just as an example of what habitat losses do, I was raised in the almond and walnut orchards of northern California. We always had pheasants walking around in the orchards because there were enough fence rows and ditches to provide nesting cover. This was even long after non-cultivation orchard methods had turned the orchards into relatively sterile environments. I watched a beautiful rooster walk right past my grandmother's house every frosty winter's morning. Ground squirrels were a terrible problem in the orchards, consuming huge quantities of nuts every year. To get rid of them the farmers pulled all the old fences out, filled in all the old (no longer used) irrigation ditches, and turned the orchards into barren, sterile environments that look like pool tables with trees sprouting up through the green velvet. There are no more pheasants.
     
  12. glock22

    glock22 TS Member

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    Grew up in ILL- Back in 50`s and early 60`s really enjoyed pheasant hunting.
    There plenty of rabbits and quail, now it`s a sad story. Too bad this
    generation won`t know what they missed! Many young people don`t have guns,
    not good! I now live in wv---great state. They will never take away guns here!
     
  13. RWT

    RWT Well-Known Member

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    Here in central Ca.
    Habitat, coyotes and hawks.

    Used to see lots of phesants, hardly ever a coyote and shot all the hawks.
    Now hardly any pheasants, lots of coyotes and hawks on every power pole in the fall.

    Robert
     
  14. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    No one raises livestock anymore and the dairy's are all but gone, so no one raises hay which was akey nesting area for pheasants. Also, all the fence rows were removed, and all the creeks were dredged. The lost of habitat, insecticides, little winter nesting, mowing of roadside ditches, and protection of prey birds all affected the pheasants. We use to have a lot, now none. CRP can help, but it requires a lot, and for a long time.

    Why more geese? City and country storm water run off ponds, and wetlands reserve projects, allow more mating pairs to breed with out competition for space. Also more food since no-till farming leaves grain spillage in the fields all winter. Use to be you hardly ever saw geese around in the winter. Now we see them all year. Their food use to be plowed under before winter. Not any more thanks to no-till farming.
     
  15. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Geese and Whitetail deer have adapted to Human activity. When I was young they called off the deer season one year becausse of low populatio, and a goose was considered a great prize.

    Now the damn geese shit all over our gun club lawns at times and we have a metro area deer season to cut down on car hits.

    But there are no carry over birds from last season, pheasnt hunting is put and take, mostly all pen raised birds.

    I don't have any answers but believe me I would rather eat pheasant.

    HM
     
  16. OldMnGopher

    OldMnGopher TS Member

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    Lots of snow and cold last 2 winters,CRP going out and $7.00 corn...
     
  17. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    No till farming.
     
  18. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Muskrats gone-doves, pheasants, rabbits and feral pigeons-same. They outta allow you to shoot Geese with a varmint rifle like groundhogs (also gone). OK, there are Crows in PA. Not much more!!
     
  19. maka

    maka Member

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    In Wisconsin we have Turkey's every where. 30 years ago if someone said there would be more Turkey's then Pheasent's people would think you were 1/2 bubble off center.
     
  20. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on the turkeys. We have to call Al gore and see why this is happening.

    HM
     
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