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CRAZYEYES

Pheasants this winter, how are they doing ?

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CRAZYEYES

I have'nt spent much time out in farm county since pheasant season ended and just wondering what some of you guys are seeing. Looking at a snow depth map it looks like it might be a tough season next fall. The snow was already pretty deep in a lot of areas back in december and the cover was getting pretty well buried and since we've had a lot of winter with above average snows, below average cold and and a heck of freezing rain event just before new years. Just looks bad IMO and its only the first week of feb.

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MuleShack

I am looking forward to see what some of the more edgumacated people say about this, but I would think that snow depth gives them more protection from the elements but also prohibits finding food.

At anyrate, i hope it doesn't take too much of a toll on the birds.

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mixxedbagg

Deep snow is not good for pheasants. They have to eat. In areas where they are being fed and predators aren't nailing them, birds will remain. In other areas, it's gonna be real tough.

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paceman

I have been seeing quite a few along the roads in the Morris area. They are usually near crp fields and swamps. I think the snow is hard enough that they are walking on top of it pretty good but I do agree that the deep snow will bury the food. Lets hope we get a warm spring.

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CodyDawg

The snow depth is not as important as the length of time we have significant snow cover. Past 120 days and the birds start dying. Cross your fingers for a thaw.

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muc33

We have had lots of snow and lots of wind in SW Mn, I hope it's better than I think for them. But gotta be a little scared. Yikes!

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jparrucci

Pretty sure my pheasant hunting trips are going to turn into grouse hunting, it isn't looking good at all. On the bright side at least I have an excuse to finally go to SD

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pureinsanity

Thank god for crib feeders and an very nice shelter belt at my fathers house. His slough is just pure white now. but his shelter belt is holding the pheasants very nicely. I don't see us losing many at his house this year.

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harvey lee

I have a few spots of thickets by swamps and a creek that I fox hunt. These spots have had Pheasants Forever feeders there since the late fall.

I was seeing birds at these feeders all winter up until about a month ago. Some spots with a dozen or better for birds.

I drive by these spots 4-5 days a week and have not seen one bird for a month.

I do believe they are taking a very hard hit this winter in my area.

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sticknstring

Avian predators, especially owls can be really hard on pheasants. If you get a few that key in at a feeding station, they usually get plucked off one-by-one until there's none left.

I put out cracked corn in our backyard and have up to 10 birds coming in daily, mainly roosters. I know there were 20+ birds including a pile of hens going into winter so I'm a little concerned. I haven't seen any hawks but I know there are coyotes & fox around. Might be time to invest in a varmint rifle.

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brittman

It is really bad across much of the pheasant range. Deep snow in the sloughs and few if any open spots in the fields. Just bad all around.

Repeated cold temperature cycles.

Avian predator : OWLS. Most shelter belts do not provide the same level of cover and protection from birds as cattails do. Owls will take plenty of birds this time of year. They are territorial and will keep coming back until their quarry is gone.

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Dotch

After today a warm up is in the offing. Fields will start to open up again. A lot of the boys and girls here are sleeping in the spruce and pine trees. Makes it tough for an owl to get at them. The pheasants stay in the brushy plum and sumac cover on the edge of the yard during the day. Our feeder is placed there. Watched a few days ago as a red-tail made a dive at them. There was too much cover for it to penetrate and the pheasants outside of it easily moved in underneath. Placing feed out in the wide open would appear to be a death sentence here. Overall I'd say the birds are doing better than I would've expected. We still are seeing 15 - 30/day and more hens now than earlier in the winter.

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Stringerless!

Driving some gravel between Hugo and Flake I saw a small group of hens the other day. 6-8 birds. No roosters. Put on quite a few miles. Not good.

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lawdog

Honestly this is two back to back horrible winters for pheasants. They absolutely can not be doing good. We have had constant deep solid snow cover pretty much steady since end of November. No real breaks and very little if any open spots to find feed/cover. It will take a few great springs and some mild winter to recover. We get anything less than perfect nesting conditions this spring and next fall will be a near complete wash in my opinion...

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dogs

Spent a few days in SW minn. this week putting 150 miles a day on the back

roads very few birds maybe seen 50-60 and all but 8 were in 2 spots. More deer than Pheasants

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Stringerless!

Drove my same route today.( Back roads home from Otter lake dog Park ). The spot I saw the 8 hens in a few days ago only had 1 hen . I did see a lone rooster sunning about 5 miles up the road.

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hockeybc69

The 5 that have been coming in feeding on the spillage from my bird feeders at home are all gone. I started dumping a little corn too. Havent seen them in days now.

We were down to a lone rooster for the last week+, and he has now disappeared.

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Arago

Very worrisome indeed!

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CRAZYEYES

Doesnt sound good.

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eckum54

Well I'm going to the game farm on Monday so maybe I'll miss one or two as an investment for next season

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Jaspernuts

I live in aroud the Mankato area and I have not seen one bird this winter. I cannot ever remember not seeing a bird during the winter. Had 5-10 birds in a grove behind my backyard and they are gone.

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MuleShack

I just saw 7 of them south of town on Friday in an area that I haven't seen a bird since November.

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harvey lee

I saw my first bird, a hen for the past maybe 1 month.

Not good at all.

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Tom7227
Well I'm going to the game farm on Monday so maybe I'll miss one or two as an investment for next season
Don't waste the dough. Join PF instead.

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pureinsanity

Well I'm going to the game farm on Monday so maybe I'll miss one or two as an investment for next season

You are better off not missing. That bird wont make it to spring if you miss. Not only that the fox, coyote, or eagle that gets the kill will be mad at you for giving them an appetizers of a meal. Game farm birds are TINY. Ive been to a game farm twice, and that was because it was a free hunt. I wouldn't spend the money to hunt a game farm unless I was really bored or rich!

Or join PF! 25 years coming up for my county chapter.

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harvey lee

I will say this, the game farm's are a great way to hunt birds all season. It's also a great place to get a young dog on birds.

I have belonged to Ph for 25 years but the game farms are a great way to extend ones season.

PF can only do so much as the gov's farm policies like CRP will do more than anything. All the feeding and nesting and woody cover is great that Pf does but we really need the farm policies to allow the cover like we had in the 60's to really get the birds population up.

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CrappiesNCats

I don't usually see birds around New Prague, but I've seen more in the last month than I did all of last winter.

Saw a mix of 20-30 birds along 19 yesterday and on the way home saw about 10 more.

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pureinsanity

I don't usually see birds around New Prague, but I've seen more in the last month than I did all of last winter.

Saw a mix of 20-30 birds along 19 yesterday and on the way home saw about 10 more.

To be honest the np area has lots of birds. I know several private places where the birds thrive. but there is also lots of places that hold birds that are public. I know the golf course holds lots of birds. But you gotta know someone to get on there.

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eckum54

Harvey has it exactly right...needed to get my new dog on some birds and this is a great way to do it...also I saw the comment that you shouldn't go to a game farm unless your board or rich...well this also is imo a bad representation. First for 4 guys to get 20 birds it cost 65 bucks each. Now I don't know about you but to me for a day of good times this isn't a hell of a lot of money, second the birds that golden meadows puts out aren't small birds by any means, and if you don't believe me go there once and prove wrong because we had several with 3/4 to almost an inch long spurs. All I can say is that I had fun and it was a great way to train my dog and put some rounds through my new shotgun

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lakesbison

I drove from breckenridge to wheaton to elbow lake last week,

i saw 3 here, 5 there, 3 there, all of them out on the road (i have a bad feeling thats the only way they can get food) ive never seen so many on the main roads i guess is what i am saying.

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