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CRAZYEYES

Pheasants this winter, how are they doing ?

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Arago

Just came back fron a trip from the cities to Decorah & Waterloo Iowa and back. As we are rooster hunters, we were looking for any lone phesant. Did not see a single one. Lots of turkeys and hawks. That was it. Very bleak. Lots of drain tiling still going on. At least in Iowa, they do not plow under the fields, so there is crop access. Much less snow. Iowa used to a banner state for hunting...no more. With corn fetching $7.00 per bushall all crp is bye-bye. With our winter and spring flooding, this is going to be a dismall season I fear.

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rundrave

Just made a weekend trip to Huron, SD and saw several birds all over. Saturday took a country drive and saw several birds. There is tons and tons of snow in Huron, much more than what we have in the SE part of the state, but the birds seem to be surving ok, despite all the snow.

I am sure there were some birds lost as always, but for the most part pheasants are tough birds I am more concerned about a potential wet spring than the tough winter we are having.

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Scott M

I saw my first rooster since the season closed...I've seen a few hens this winter. Overall pretty bleak.

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Transporter

Got back from out west in the semi yesterday and ran across So Dakota on 212 on Saturday. From 30 miles west of the river to Watertown when it got dark I saw over 1000 birds along the highway eating everywhere in the fields and loafing under every thicket, temps 5-10 degrees. There is lots of snow still on the ground, big drifts. Except for the two roosters that refused to get out of my way and half a dozen previous roadkills they appear to be doing just fine, habitat is where its at for living outside in winter.

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CodyDawg

In the early part of winter, I had an area where i watched a few roosters and about a dozen hens. Pretty soon it was a couple roos and 8 hens. then 1 roo and a few hens. then 1 roo. then nothing. for a long time. many people would jump to the conclusion that the winter got them.

the weather warmed up and I saw 1 roo and 6 hens recently. so some are making it and just because they dissappeared, doesnt mean they croaked.

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pureinsanity

nope, now the main thing is to get this water gone. flooded nesting cover is no good

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gador2

Havin a T-Storm right now in SW MN. Positive, all the snow should be gone over the next couple days. Negative, even more water that will make flooding(which is already bad here) even worse and take up more cover. I just hope the temp doesn't drop too fast and freeze to the birds beaks. Next year might be a deer and waterfowl season only sadly from the look of things

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CodyDawg

actually, we dont want the water gone too soon (for pheasant nesting success). we want those nests on high ground, not on temporarily dry low ground. Also, we are a LONG way from nesting season yet, so nothing to worry about yet.

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pureinsanity

just because you dont see birds doesn't mean anything. they are smart and tought. youll be surprised at how many are running around soon.

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Scott M

Since one of the topics covered in this thread is winter feeding, I figured I'd bring it back up and see how people view it under different conditions (e.g. this winter's conditions).

Frankly, I'm disappointed that the local sportsman's club has wasted thousand of dollars handing out corn. With little or no snow cover and generally warm temperatures, the birds left are foraging just fine. Why not spend the money on something better? I believe my opinion is shared by wildlife managers.

Others thoughts?

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Dave S

I share the same sentiments Scott. However the only pheasants I've seen are in close proximity to Caribou and Traxlers (scratch birds).

The deer are also foraging very well. During a normal winter with 6"+ on the ground I normally see 15+ deer passing through the yard to forage in the corn stubble. This year they're staying in the valley feeding off the abundant acorn crop from last fall.

The deer that remained after last shotgun season are the healthiest I've seen in the 10 years I've lived here.

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Dotch

I'm no wildlife manager but in years past I've fed the pheasants when the snows got deep, through ice storms, etc. This "winter" I had plenty of ear corn stashed away for them just in case. I've fed nothing save for a few ears for the blue jays & squirrels. Even they haven't eaten a lot of it, maybe a couple ears a week. The fields remain open and the amount of corn and beans on the ground after harvest in this area was tremendous. There are some roosters around yet that can be heard in the mornings and we see them occasionally. They aren't in the yard however so that's an indication to me that they've got plenty to eat where the cover is better and danger level is lower. I can understand organizations wanting to spend some money on corn but I can also see when experiencing a winter like this one, hanging onto it then selling it in the spring with the money to be put towards habitat.

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CodyDawg

My PF chapter has corn at the ready.....but it is staying under wraps for those very reasons. No need at this point.

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Musky Buck

You may want to put a few of those ears of gold out after this weather system rolls by. Had somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 turkeys really feeding heavily this afternoon before the weather. 1 tom was puffed up big time, hope this has little to no effect on the pheasants. Got a bad vibe though in the heavy wind areas and if it's wet snow or not.

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Gordie

I drove to lovely Avoca Mn yesterday took mostly back roads on the way down from Zimmerman and south of Hutchinson the snow began and it didn't let up for 2 1/2. Hours. Didn't seen one bird on they way down but I suspected the snow storm had something to do with it well on my way home I took a different route and I got to see one big plump Rudy he sure was pretty setting in thevnew fresh snow.

One bird in 424 miles of travel not that great but like I said it was a snow storm half the way down.

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lawdog

We really couldn't have gotten a bigger weather break than we have SO FAR this year. We don't need any late season freezing rain episodes and prime nesting weather will be important, but this has been a much needed break for the wildlife (what's left of it anyway after the last couple years...).

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tencountff

I've got a few left. Hope the spring is easy for them.

full-35008-18394-3_2_12.jpg

full-35008-18395-3_2_121.jpg

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tencountff

I didn't reset the time and date.

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Selmer

I drove up to Minnewaska yesterday morning from Montevideo, left around 8:15 a.m. I saw multiple birds, good gender mix, next to every piece of CRP/grass, cattail slough, and shelterbelt. On the way home from 4-5 I saw the same, except even more birds. I saw more birds yesterday than I have in the last two years, maybe combined. The snow may have concentrated the birds, but I think this has been a GREAT winter for the birds that remain, and we can make a big jump this spring with favorable nesting conditions.

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Musky Buck

This morning was crazy saw a lot of pheasants, with the forecast coming they'll be loving the sunshine and warmth, it was awesome to see and also 50-70 turkeys also with Toms all fluffed up. Lots of roosters and hens.

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Brain_Melt

I put on about a hundred miles aday doing my job in south central Minnesota and seen my first rooster in months today. he was alone but it was nice to finally see one.

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tybo

I was looking for woodcock the south of Lonsdale Saturday morning and my older setter locked up in some tall grass adjacent to the willows and alders. When I walked in to flush four pheasants flushed 20 yards down wind of us. I am sure they ran on my dogs. One was a rooster for sure. Not sure about the others but they were pretty close to each other. I hunted that spot a few times last fall and never saw a bird there so this was a welcomed surprise.

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fishadb

It will take a few good years to get the population as good as it was a few years back. But anything would be better than last year. As long as we don't get any huge rains after the hatch there should be some young roosters this fall.

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gspman

What we need now is a warm, dry spring with a perfect hatch. We need this for the next 2-3 years in a row.

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Brain_Melt

Two roosters in two days things are on the up and up

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hoppe56307

I have been seeing about a handful every day this week, but only 2 hens all week.

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Scott M

Saw 3-4 roosters this past week...pickin gravel. Will see what happens with spring weather but looks good so far, insects and blooms are gonna be early.

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