Pheasant situation...

Discussion in 'South Dakota Flyway Forum' started by labrador, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. labrador

    labrador Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I am interested in what other people are seeing in regards to pheasant numbers across the state. Do you feel this is a "normal" down year due to: predators? weather? habitat quality/loss? something else entirely?

    Secondarily, South Dakota recognizes the problem exists evidenced by having the "pheasant summit" meetings. How big of a problem is this for the state and what can be done to stop the bleeding?
     
  2. 101winchester

    101winchester New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    West Central MN
    No rain -- No cover -- have hunted SD for 20 plus years.. didn't go out this year.. The ranch I hunt they shot 7 opening weekend.. The broods that did hatch died from lack of water/dew. I doubt the pheasant hunting will be back to decent for the next 10 years.
     
  3. KENNEDY63

    KENNEDY63 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,142
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    Brother hunted the Presho area this year. Estimated that the birds were down by 80% over last year - and last year was far from stellar. 80%.

    Drought was tough - but pheasants can bounce back pretty quickly. Biggest wildcard is the amount of nesting cover. Areas with winter wheat in the crop rotation will probably recover sooner - although dryland corn is taking over more and more ground.

    Numbers statewide will never be what they were without an expansion of CRP or a similar program and/or a corn/soybean crash.
     
  4. jpallen

    jpallen Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,082
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    NE South Dakota
    Drought was tough for sure but with the right conditions pheasant numbers can rebound very quickly. However there is lots of factors involved why they will not rebound as quickly as they once did. Habitat, more like what habitat in eastern SD, it has all but been converted into crop ground. Modern day farming has left row crop fields a biological waste land. No bugs what so ever and zero weeds at all. Loss of wheat acres, especially winter wheat acres. Winter wheat actually provides amazing nesting cover. The expansion of corn west has been the death of pheasants. Pheasant numbers in SD will never be like they were just a short time ago unless policies change drastically.
     
    BirdJ likes this.
  5. Larsen's Labs

    Larsen's Labs Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,294
    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Definitely a down year. This area of SD is not prime pheasant area, anyway but in some cases just seeing a bird has been a challenge. Even areas with somewhat decent nesting cover seem to be void of pheasants!! Poor weather during nesting, lack of cover from predators, pesticide and herbicide applications - any and all of these could be a factor! We released some bred hens this spring just as an experiment on one of the farms that I occasionally hunt on and haven't seen a bird there since. Hawks were circling and one polished off one of the released birds before we had all the birds released! Releasing birds is probably a waste of resources but we need to try anything and everything to get the population on the rise again!! LL
     
    BirdJ likes this.
  6. 101winchester

    101winchester New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    West Central MN
    One of the biggest losers is the local economies.. lots of small towns and schools had fundraisers that were geared towards the pheasant opener. I know we hit 5 fundraisers every year we were out for opener.. saved on groceries and not much cooking in the camper.. everyone loves a good meal and a chance to win something..
     
    BirdJ likes this.
  7. tornadochaser

    tornadochaser Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Location:
    south dakota
    Don't worry about the small towns. We're going to save them all in the midst of $2.80/bushel corn by increasing non resident waterfowl licenses. :doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh
     
  8. BirdJ

    BirdJ Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Pierre, SD.
    They should be putting back in MORE CRP!!! Had a good push for that a few years ago when the corn was pretty much the same price then as it is now!!
     
  9. BirdJ

    BirdJ Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Pierre, SD.
    Agree with the local economies!!! We had a drought like this a far number of years ago but the one this year was the worst I have seen. Have seen more camo. than orange in the sporting goods stores and grocery stores since the beginning of pheasant season. Just like the fishing season here this year!! Hardly much of any boat traffic "other than locals" and hardly the number of boats at the hotel and motels that has been here over the years!
     
  10. BB-Shot

    BB-Shot Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Location:
    NE.South Dakota.
    Most defiantly everything factors in it's easy times for predators of all kinds flying or walking winter and spring hard on pheasants habitat pheasants need cover to produce. I have released 269 birds in two years I see a small change this year I think it is working it's my dollar working for you. I have a small carrying capacity with small crop land around mostly grass land state land and federal land around me it's a long walk to see one. LL you are doing the right thing by hen release the hen pheasant is the one that takes the hardest hit of all factors of the subject roosters just walk, walk all day look for food run away no like you. This is bad I have someone wanting me to rise 500 next year so they can make money and I do all the work to much paper work I buy chicks rise for profit I built it to pay it forward for what I have take’ in the past not for profit. I will order 500 hens at 60 cents a peace you will hear hen twenty times when someone steps on one. Hens are so much easier to rise I am still learning my grand children schooled me for six month two years now. People can be fooled oh no roosters just hens next year will be better people from all over can be fooled in to it. I have to keep records of ever bird that leaves my pen if I would get the fifty dollar permit to raise birds the lodging would not be in town no local economies gain all under the table. I have to answer to ever bird that leaves my pen for
    someone’s profit with small return I can't do it each and everyone I rise is special to me there my escape to reality.

    My best shot of the summer the one in the pen was born 10 May 2017 did last years release work?
    002.JPG
     
    BirdJ likes this.

Share This Page