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UGUIDE

Pheasants Wintering Well in 2008

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UGUIDE

Read Pheasant Hunting Story and Webcast by clicking on link

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bcifish

Phesants wintering good in the far north zone Clay County hope they don't get plowed under this sommer.

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Sko

Pheasants are doing very well in southwest Minnesota. No snow all winter, except for December. They are spreading out now again and looking very fat and sassy. I actually some one rooster "playing around" with a hen the other day. That one must be a little confused. Even if we get a harsh blizzard now in March, they should be fine. They have not been stressed and as I said, well fed. The key, and it always is, is the spring. If it is cool and wet, this large population of carry over birds won't mean much in October.

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Jarrod32

A few of us were just talking about this the other day...how it seemed to be a good winter for the pheasants. It is hard to imagine that the hunting could get better than this past fall, but with a good spring breeding season, we might have just that...

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lawdog

I don't know what part of SW MN you are looking at Sko, but I know pipestone and Rock counties have been snow covered almost every day since December. We got snow and it never left. I think this winter has been MUCH tougher on birds than the past few. Snow cover mixed with EXTREME cold/wind is not a good recipe for pheasants...

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Dotch

As one heads east and north across southern MN, there isn't as much snow until one gets into SE MN proper where the snowmobiling has been excellent. Fields in SC MN have been clear for quite awhile. Only bad thing is we have to wait for the snowpack to the south in IA to melt down before we warm up much. Hopefully we don't get hooked by a couple blizzards or worse, several ice storms in the meantime. So far, the pheasants continue to be in good shape. Their winter cover has remained open enough so many of them are spending a lot of their time there. Not seeing near the numbers along the roads as a couple weeks ago. Even though it doesn't feel like it, they know spring is coming. Hopefully for them it is a dry warm one.

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Sko

Lincoln and Lyon counties is where I have been seeing the birds. Many! I cannot imagine that Rock and Pipestone would be having issues. Yes, you might have had more snow, but those birds are able to get down to the ground and get what they need for survival. I think they are OK as well. What hurts birds the most is lots of snow early, more snow after that, then a big blizzard in March. Or an ice storm. We have not had any of that in SW MN. We get a big blizzard now, they are going to be able to handle it. Our biggest concern is CRP. I have seen some grass plowed up already...

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123fish

I'm with lawdog on this one. With the snow we have had and the constant winds a lot of cover has been filled in that was available the last few winters. I think the birds are getting plenty to eat but they are also a lot more vulnerable to predators this winter. I know on the last day of the season this year I found three separate spots where hens had been eaten by either a fox or coyotes. There are still birds out there maybe just not quite as many as last year at this time in the far southwest corner.

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JIGGIN'

The biggest threat will be the loss of CRP and the current farm bill that is up in the air. Wait to see a lot grass get plowed under soon if not already... Grass=pheasant habitat.

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UGUIDE

Just pulled in to pheasant camp last night in Charles Mix SD. Woke up to 6" of new snow and roosters fighting outside. Late this evening I saw a couple 25 bird flushes as they lifted out of milo food plots into roosting cover. Temporary inconvience for these birds. Mating is on the mind and the roosters are getting stupid.

The roosters looked a little thinner than usual and I am wondering if that is effect of winter or just younger birds.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Fathom
      Set up deeper on rock reef for the rest of the weekend and only managed one fish (26" eye), missed a couple others. We wanted to stay deeper due to all the traffic on the lake. We did enjoy a good time at Fishing for Ducks, we saw a nice walleye pulled through the ice but it only measured 27.5". Talk about a bummer for that guy!
    • Jarrid Houston
      Roads to the islands always need to be taken very cautious and I would encourage going with someone who knows the area..  I believe they were shutting down the highway H extension due to this recent weather we just got?  Plenty of fish and opportune situtations in the bay.
    • cookie129
      Another crazy busy weekend is in the books. I really enjoy giving out my fishing/what's happening on the lake reports but finding the time has been tough. To say its a grind is a understatement.
       I can tell you again as the season winds down I'm never ready for it to end, as I truly love being out there in my trucks, moving houses, plowing the  hillmen highway, giving advise, helping other fishermen when they do something silly, Driving into a snow bank, dropping there gun down a hole or any other important object like there keys. Every year all the workers seem to get a little grumpy as fighting mother nature, going from sun up to sunset takes a toll physically and mentally. It also seems I ruffle a few feathers every year and its never my intent  so I have to chalk it up as a long season. If I stepped on anyone's toes it sure was not planned or intended as all most every day plan a turns to plan b and c. Mother nature dictates where I go sometimes as well as any plowed roads that can make our job easier. The cookie shuffle worked very well this year as I tell everyone that gets lost in my maze of trails. I'm not a road engineer.
       Man did we get overwhelmed with wheel house's this past weekend, any fish coming from southwest had to go threw a gauntlet of hooks to find my fishermen.
       I had two wheel house's  that I set up at the end of the hillmens highway and was surprised how bad they did. I guess I should of went south not east? The nw road has gotten to much to maintain, there's one lone house out that way that will need a new trail made .
       Its all started Thursday as jonnny boy and I prepped for the weekend with Joe, Zack, Adam and   his crew arriving fro florida. Zacks birthday wish was fishing red lake, they had a blast. They went to westwind where they enjoyed a fish fry, plus they took home a few fish with a couple even getting a ride in florida fish house as we moved a small distance to put it on fresh ice for there last night sunday. Last year when they came we landed on the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie mother load? I think  they had dreams for a year of repeating that. Every year is different and again this year was no exception.
       Ben who proposed in old Minnesota to Shawna 8 years ago were in old Minnesota with there two adorable kids. Louie the fishing machine and his little sister Willa plus there friend Nelli.
       They had a blast also with Shawna getting a elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie to boot. They also managed to take home a nice batch of upper red lake walleyes.
       Hunter and his two buddies were in north Dakota. It was slow but they also managed to take home a batch of fish.
       Charlie and Rizzo were in montana , They were very serious about there fishing and went home with there 8.
      Jeromy and his gal were in north Carolina Saturday, sunday . They also managed to get there 8.
       Sunday was a very tough day as we had all 5 houses re rented. I was planning on moving all of them so we battled mother nature the whole time as a ne wind with 2 inches of snow made it impossible to see. At one point I was getting sea sick as I struggled to see, With the sky, horizon and the lake all the same color. wow what a struggle.
       It took us  7 1/2 hours but we got every thing cleaned, moved.
       Mother nature has given us another bout of snow so tomorrow I will let every one know how the houses did the last two days as its time to check the fluids and fire up the fleet
       
    • nickeleye
      Figured I should report back... I fished prime time on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. No action. It didn't help that I forgot to grab the vexilar on the first outing, but it didn't help to have it on the second outing either! ha! Marked a few but couldn't get them to bite. Used a GPS chip to punch some holes over structure, but when I came back with the vexilar, they weren't quite as deep as I hoped. Thanks for the pointers BrianF
    • LucasLongCaster
      Around this time last year this thread was started by @Royal_Dutchman. I got my trip planned for April but by the look of the extended forecast it's not looking to promising, especially compared to where it was at last year on Feb 23rd. 
    • osok
      Been a brutal hard water season for me as well, figured it was a continuation of my fall fishing luck. 
    • Wanderer
      Thanks guys.  I checked out Modis for ice coverage and Navionics to help understand how things are laid out.  Knowing what areas certain fish prefer and those typical depths is a big plus.
    • urbaniceteam
      My wife and I are hoping to get up to Mille Lacs this Saturday and spend the night on the ice.  Does anyone have any last minute availability?  All the resorts I've contacted are booked. Thanks!
    • Borch
      Lots of nice fish!  Central Mn is cranking out some nice panfish.
    • eyeguy 54
      I did till about 2 then just had to go for a bit. LOL 
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