Trapshooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I went out yesterday for a final pheasant hunt of the season. It was about 40 degrees and light rain at times. The walking was tough on crunchy soft snow about 4 inches deep. Conservatively, we saw over 500 birds, hunting 2 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. They were very wild and hard to hunt at this late time in the season.

I feel very fortunate to live in a place with such abundant wildlife.

Bruce Bowen
Sturgis South Dakota
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Bruce, what part of the state did you find the birds? I live near Watertown
and birds were really scarce. I hope to find better areas for next year.
PS- really enjoyed the photos of your setters. I have 2 setters and enjoy
them very much.

Gary Owen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
You must have stumbled on to a honey hole, Bruce!

From Aberdeen on to the east the reports I got from other hunting groups was that the bird count was very poor.

We hunted the opener in North Dakota, right on the ND/SD border in the central part of the state and managed only two birds for two days of hard & long hunting. Both states ought to think about lowering the price of their out of state licenses; $100 for 2 birds is hardly worth the trip! Worst hunting I've seen in either state for many years.

Iowa farmers have plowed up and planted nearly every acre of CRP ground to plant corn for the ethanol boondoggle. Bird reports have been poor overall there, too.

Here in Minnesota, I have captured the last two known rooster pheasants in existence! I let them out in the morning and evening to feed (leashed, of course) and hopefully I will be able to find dates for them on Match.com this coming spring and maybe they'll fall in love and reproduce. Not sure where they all would live, though; most of the ground is plowed/planted here, too. Nothing like $8/bushel corn to entice farmers out of believing in all that conservation BS, right?

Kiv
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,696 Posts
You are 100% correct Kiv. The ethanol boondoggle created the demise to lots of CRP. From 2010 to 2012, 1/2 the CRP we hunted in SD was gone. But they've also had some bad breeding conditions/weather.

Lets hope the pheasant population comes back!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,042 Posts
The weather coming down through now, is not going to help either.
 

·
Strong Supporter of Trapshooting
Joined
·
4,727 Posts
For our operation and it is corn and beans, it's not the ethanol, it's the drought and severe winter past 2 years. We have 25,000 acres, but the drought hit us hard past two years.

We've had some of the finest hunting (really it is shooting) in the past 30 years, and it has its ups and its downs.

It'll get better, it always does. Other areas east and west it was fine.

Actually it's kinds nice once in a while to work hard for the birds. We tend to take things for granted when we can limit out in the first hour, and sometimes halfway through the first field.

WW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Not long ago I flew into Sioux Falls and drove 90 miles to Marshall, Minn. and back.

Being from Penna. I was hoping to see a Pheasant. I didn't see a single bird, not even a dead one on the highway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,002 Posts
I started pheasant hunting in N W OH in the 1940's. They were very plentiful. Clark Gable hunted in Findlay,OH numerous times. Then new farming methods took over. Where winter cover used to be,now bare fields. Chopping hay at night, chopped up the birds. Fence rows & woodlots gone. Pellet fertilizers and chemicals took a toll. I'm thankfull I got in 10-15 years of great hunting. On the + side we now have deer,Turkeys, Canada Geese that nest and do not migrate south. Sad to say Pheasants forever is a losing cause.

Clyde Doll
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Your reply to the post brought back some great old memories for me Clyde. I too, used to hunt that area in Ohio in the fifties. Findlay, Zenia, Washington Courthouse, area. Great wild pheasant hunting in that area! We had a farm about 35 miles south east of there and the pheasants were scarce. Plenty of Bobwhites though; unfortunately you couldn't hunt them. State Bird!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Wow! Sorry I stirred up so much doom and gloom. I guess that's sort of the general attitude that prevails on TS.Com.

Maybe all of you should consider getting out of the car to find some birds.

Bruce Bowen
Sturgis South Dakota
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
The best hunting days I ever spent afield, ever, in 75 years of my life.... And what a great state with very friendly people....I sure do miss it.....Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
This one is for Bruce Bowen, I'm with you man, get out of the car with a good dog and you should be able to find some birds. I've been hunting SD for the past 25 yrs and have had some years where it was tough and some not so tough. I understand the bird count is way down and was hoping that the big early storm didn't hurt things more, we'll have to see about that come next June. Bruce I have seen the that many birds also in a days time, just hard for anyone else to believe it if they don't see it themselves. Just like when the ducks start to funnel thru SD. No one would believe that either. Good Hunting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Birds are abundant in MN. if you have the cover and care for their welfare all year long. Help with food plots in the winter months, wooded cover such as shelter belts and undisturbed CRP and you have the right blend. Do a little maintenance on predators and keep good cattails nearby and you have lots of birds. On closing day here in Minnesota on my farm I left with perhaps 200 roosters still alive. 220 acres with all the above. That is about one rooster per acre and a lot of birds dropped to our guns.

If you come from a state that farms fence row to fence row, burns the ditches and the slough's in the fall and mows down the tree's, say good bye to pheasants. Pheasants forever is doing a great job in MN. We have literally thousands of acres of public land in my county and virtually no hunters on it, because they all go to South Dakota. It's ok with me. All the public land, after the last 8 inch snow with 50 mile per hour winds, had 20 to 60 birds sitting out in the open fields, for every little cattail clump around. Probably saw over 1000 the last day I hunted.

Get out of the car in my area and walk for a couple of miles and you can have your 3 birds on public land. Permission is needed in our state from the landowners. Ask. Most are ok with hunting as long as you obey the rules. Ask in the Summer around the 1st of June and offer to help bale hay or whatever. Earn your right to hunt. Farms are big now. Earn the right by a day or two of work, and you land perhaps 1,000 or 2,000 acres to hunt in the fall. That works for me!! I have practiced that for years.

Primedust
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Let's have the name of that county, please! I would be more than willing to thin out those roosters before the winter does. To late for this year but having hunted MN for 40 years I want the name of this MN county so they don't die of old age. I'll get right to work there next year!
Joe O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Primedust,

Zimmie's friends must have hauled a bunch of birds in for you and sold you millions of eggs too!! LOL

Bruce Bowen
Sturgis South Dakota
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,696 Posts
Saw 3 truck loads (tractor trailer rigs) of pheasants parked at the truck stop in Kimbal. I thought they were chickens till I got closer.

Must of been going to one of them "All Wild Bird" $450/day places?

How did they catch those wild birds?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top