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sawgrass

Hunting Public vs. Private Property on Pheasant Opener

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sawgrass

We have several guys that own a couple hundred acres out in Western Minnesota and there are lots of pheasants around. One of the guys wants to not hunt pheasants on our land on opener but rather hunt public lands because he feels that we will then be able to save our land for more birds later in the year. My take is that I paid a good chunk of money to be part of this land and only get out there 3-4 times a year so I’d like to hunt our land. Plus, I’ll have my son with me.

I also believe that pheasants move around from location to location and that ‘saving’ our land for a couple days will not have any material effect on the number of birds that may make it through winter and have more chicks come spring. I feel that winter will pose the most dramatic effect towards their survival. I’ve also heard that it doesn’t take that many roosters to breed a multitude of hens. Not sure if I’m making sense. We have some great cover and crazy me, I’d like to hunt it our land on opener. I just want to be able to show my buddy that it will make no difference if we hunt our land vs. public land. Any thoughts?

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Eric Wettschreck

They move around and hunting a certain chunk doesn't "Burn" it like shooting geese on their roost.

If it were my land I'd hunt it.

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DRH1175

Depending on where it is I would hunt both. What I mean is that I would get to a good public land spot early and hit it as soon as legal. Then later in the day after the birds have been pushed to the corn. I would hunt your spot. Best of both worlds. Hunting land will not ruin it for later. I have been to the same spots numerous time in the same year and everytime shot birds. Pheasants do not migrate and can honestly only move so far. They will not fly to another town. The more the close public land gets hit they may use your land as a safe haven. Waiting for you guys to hunt them. I have found that if you hunt the same spots once a week or so. You will find plenty of birds everytime you hunt it. They are not like deer, or geese. Pheasants do get smarter over the season but I don't believe they will vacate. If you have Food water and cover they will always be there. Good luck and have fun

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riverrat56

Well I wish I had your problem.......All I ever hunt is public land and I know some of it gets pounded all year long, seams like there is always birds there in December in the thick stuff and no matter how many birds are shot there is some the next year.

Last year I shot 9 birds off a WMA during the course of the season and saw at least 10 shot by others with me or that I talked to, no worries there will be birds there again this year.

I don't think pheasants roost in the same spots every night, not from my observations, and if you shoot them now or shoot them in 2 months there still gone next spring....

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ScottND

I thought twice before posting but I can't help it. Not all of us can afford to own hunting land and have to rely on public. Hunting public before your own just sounds plain selfish to me! mad.gif

Why else would they want to do this besides hoarding confused.gif

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madtown04

If it were me i would definately hunt the public land before the private land. In western minnesota you should have no problem filling out early if you hit the public land as soon as it is legal, assuming that you have a decent dog. I would have to dissagree with the earlier posts saying that birds dont get "burned" off a spot. think about the ratio of hens to roosters you see mid season on public land.(It can get as bad as 5-1) and i dont know if you've ever hunted "virgin" land mid season (about 1-1, sometimes better ratio). Pheasants arent dumb, they will go to where they are not getting absolutely pounded and stay there. Opening day public land is going to be just as good as your private land anyway.

That's just my two cents.

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LuciandTim

Won't even see my private land spots opening weekend. Public, public and more public land grin.gif

I have very few private land spots and the ones I do have I save for a "rainy day". The majority of the season I hunt WMA's due to my lack of private land options.

Either or I still shoot birds.

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First Ice-Mike

I live in Western MN and we own lots of private land - mostly agricutural, but a lot of pheasant holding cover also. There is also a vast amount of public land around us - in fact our farmland is adjacent to a lot of it (which also means we deal with some tresspassing issues from time to time.) My money goes toward the public land just like any other person - I have every right to hunt the public land like anyone else - it is not selfesh - I say hit a good public spot first and then hunt your private land- we do it all the time.

FI

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Sportland_Bait

In my experience in heavily hunted areas the birds will move to lesser hunted pieces of land as long as there is adequate cover and a solid foodsource. Mostly it just depends on what is around your piece of land. If the neighboring land isn't hunted they may take up residence there. It just depends on what is around you and hunting pressure. A small amount of hunting may not have any affect? Also with a couple of hundred acres of land a group of guys you may need to hunt other pieces too, just so you have enough land for everyone. Sometimes it doesn't take too long to cover a couple of hundred acres. I'd say hunt both.

Jason Erlandson

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riverrat56

I guess my theory was to avoid the crowds, ya sure on opener public and private are equal, but theres 4 trucks on every public spot around me that day.

Later in the year I look for public land that has cattail sloughs with no other private cover around for a good distance that is thick enough to hold birds.

Saw over 200 birds get out of a grove that 2 guys made a drive through last year on public land, they had no dog so they shot there 1 bird that they got a shot at somehow...... I went over and helped them find it with my dog and then they posted up the end of the slough while I went thourgh. Every group of birds I flushed was 1 to 1 hens and roosters if not better sometimes there was 7 -8 roosters in the air, I could only shoot out to the side but I managed my 2 birds and 2 partridge as well as those guys getting 3 more.

My point is that public land can be just as good as private if you look for it but why deal with the hassel on the opener?

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almostthere!

Saw,

I have the perfect solution. Let your buddy hunt where he wants and you just head on out to your land with your boy. Why should a buddy ruin a good hunting experience for your boy? It is your land. If your buddy chooses to be selfish by hitting public land first, just to save your land for later, let him. You just take your boy to your land and have the hunt of his life.

This situation of yours is a perfect example for teaching your son hunter etiquettes.

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Chuckster

First Ice, long time no talk buddy. Any birds in your area this year? I think I will be hunting public land this weekend and would have to agree with the posts that public is just as good as private. Sure public land gets hit hard the first few weekends but I have found many spots that when they are left alone during the week for a few days that they will be holding just as many birds as private, but they key is to get out a day or so early. As far as birds being pushed out of public land while being hunted, where do you think the birds from the private land go when they are pushed? On another note, keep your dogs at close guard this weekend with all the vehicle traffic that is going to be going on, I had a bad experience last year that I would prefer to never go through again, right First Ice?

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First Ice-Mike

What's up Chuck? Yeah - not fun having a dog hit by a vehicle - kinda ruins the hunt. There are some birds around - don't think I'll be able to hunt this weekend cause I have to work, but I know Rhino is going to be shooting holes in the sky........... give him a call if you're in the area. Later

FI

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First Ice-Mike

Quote:

If your buddy chooses to be selfish by hitting public land first, just to save your land for later, let him.


This is not selfesh - I'd hunt both......... It's a perk of being a landowner.

FI

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wasssit

I wish i had money to buy land. Pheasant opener is a big day, I think you should hunt your land with your kid.

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island guy

Just got back from a nice drive around the country side. Started out a bit before sunrise. Every public area I drove by had vehicles parked in the lot. Just standing around watching the clock and staking out their area.

It reinforced why I never do openers of any kind. Can't stand the crowds. But that's just me.

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joe_stack20

island guy....I agree with you....thats why I am thinking about chasing some Ruffies this afternoon ....should not be as crowded

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Huskiedevle

That is exactly why I am posting on this thread at 10:39 am right now, instead of being on a road looking at packed parking lots, at some WMA's.The dog is really bugging me today, so I may have to get out later on to let him run around a bit.Nothing against folks who do the opener, it's just not a big deal for me.

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