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Freezing rain!!!


strat-o-caster

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Just came back from pheasant hunting!! WOW did we see the birds this weekend. Just think if the birds could make it through one more winter, But I see freeing rain is on the way. Post if anyone notices a major loss of birds... Strat

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Talked with my Dad earlier today and he expects that the birds are taking a pounding- at least in SE North Dakota. A friend of mine at work returned from that area on Sunday and told me it was a 7 hr. drive in freezing rain....and that he expected a high mortality from the storm. The call to my Dad confirmed his thoughts. Really sad, they finally make a come back in that part of the state and now we have freezing rain this early in the winter. Those birds that survive will have a harder time getting to the food as well. A check of the weather doesn't look good either- now the cold wind comes charging in.

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Hew Lawdog, What's it like down there? Are you out of Power. Talked to relatives in Lincoln County, they have been out of power since 5:00 am today. Rain and freezing rain, now snow and strong winds. If the pheasants make it make it through the weather, what are the chances of them beign able to scratch through an inch of ice for food. I hope I am wrong, there are lots of cattails for em to lay low in and I am sure thats where they are. What we need after this is a three day thaw.

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I've got power, but its brutal here! The wind is just unbelievable, pretty much a white out from 3 o'clock on. I don't think we got much freezin rain though, the rain came and the wind blew a long time after words and dried a lot off before the snow started. But if this wind doesn't quit and soon, ALL the pheasants will be buried in the cover they are searching out. This storm is a dousy!

I live 5 miles out of town and I wasn't at all sure I was going to make it home tonight once I got out here. Took me a good 15 minutes after I got out of the city limits.

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I live in SE ND and we got a pretty good coating of ice before it switched over to snow.. it pretty much rained from 11:00 am on Sunday until roughly 9:00 am on Monday... I'm hoping to get out and hunt this weekend.. I'll let you know what I find... Sure saw a lot of pheasants out in the nasty weather... that's for sure.

marine_man

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hey guys good news on the pheasants and the storm. With the weather cutting my work days short, I was able to get out and do some hunting.

The birds were all over the place and they looked surprisingly in good shape. I am thinking that with the warm easy fall they were heathly enough to get through this storm. If we get a bunch more nasty weather like this again or even a rough spring they might not do so well.

Theres still plenty hunting to be had, and with this new snow will make it even better. I also heard from a few others that they also had success hunting after mondays storm.

my weekend plans, are now calling for both ice fishing, and pheasant hunting! woo hoo

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Its real spotty. The birds right here don't look terrible, but just 10-15 minutes north several roosters were seen dragging ice tails and having a hard time flying. That was before yesterday's 6" of new snow. The places that avoided the ice I think are still OK if the birds get a long break now where they can get to some food, but the ice is really a bad thing.

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Sounds like Lincoln, Western half of Yellow Medicine Counties really took a beating. Lots of freezing rain, very hard on the birds. Deep drifts after the snow, hunting was tough, birds were in the cats, but snow insulated the water and you get very wet very fast breaking through the thin ice. Getting this information from Friends that live in the area. Need that 3 day thaw or at least some sunshine.

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I work in Traverse County (Western MN) and they got hit pretty bad on the western edge of the county. There is 1/2" to 1" of ice on everything. There isn't a lot of snow in the fields but the ice is a bigger issue. A friend and I spread some corn in a couple fields (far enough off the road to discourage road hunters) where we saw a lot of birds and I was surprised to see that the pheasants had been chipping away at the ice and getting a few soybeans. Hopefully the weather improves and they hang in there.

As far as hunting, it is going to be near impossible to sneak up on anything with all the ice.

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Talked with my Dad last night- sounds like the birds came through the storm OK but they are having problems finding food. Lot of birds out in the middle of fields- a sign that they can't get through the coating of ice. Hey Marine Man.....I call Gwinner my home.

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We seemed to have missed on the freezing rain around Pipestone, but have got fair amounts of snow a couple of times and now they've upped the forecast for today's snow to 4-7" frown.gif I've seen alot of birds, especially this morning, on my way to Lake Benton and they seem to be in ok shape. They seem to be having a hard time finding food though. Lots of small groups in the middle of fields.

As bad as the wind can be, at least it will blow some spots clear and make it easier for them to scratch up some food. We had little wind with the last snow (3-5" I think) and there isn't suppose to be wind with the 4-7" expected tonight. It's a bad situation.

I'm afraid that the areas that got ice are really in trouble. All this snow on top will make a thaw almost impossible before spring.

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I was out yesterday in Litchfield area and got two birds, but my the dog did bring back 2 in his mouth that were still alive. Until reading this post I thought it was due to the heavy cover the dog pulled them out of. Now I am woundering if it may be that they could not fly crazy.gif I hope not. On the other hand he chased up a lot of birds that did fly and the two I got were nice and healthy.

LovenLifeGuy

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Would encourage all in areas that got hit with the heavy ice/snow to contact PF about corn for feeding. Be sure to put feeders where they're beneficial...Here is a link to our Kandiyohi County PF Web page for tips on winter feeding. http://kandipf.willmar.com/Assets/images/Feeding%20Pheasants.htm Also--here are some feeder plans. http://kandipf.willmar.com/Assets/images/Feederplans.pdf

Happy Hunting!

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Just remember if you start feeding, don't hunt there then. Don't bait pheasants! Also, try to see if the pheasants are able to get food on their own before supplementing with feed. We try to avoid it unless absolutely necessary. The last real bad winter we fed a lot and I have no doubt it helped the birds, but I wouldn't do it unless they obviously are going to need it.

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Lovenlifeguy.

Are you from Litchfield or do you know some land owners out the their.

MINNKOTA

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Lawdog...Definately agree. Feeding is only a last resort. We haven't done any feeding thru our chapter for several years due to mild winters....Seems to be more public relations than anything. Given the ice situation out west, I guess I would be inclined to put some feeders out in high-traffic areas...they don't do much good overall, but will support/sustain local populations. How has the hunting been around Luverne. We do quite a bit between Worthington and Fulda and it's been great. Heading down tomorrow thru Tuesday again....trying to burn some vacation time!

Good hunting!

JT

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There are lots of birds around, but right around Luverne we are short on hunting ground. Very little public land and it gets pounded hard. If you have private access its been good.

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Minnkota, I live in the northern suburbs. I have family in friends that live near Howard lake and in Maple lake. I do get to hunt on private land in the area when I am with them but on thursday I was on state land.

LovenLifeGuy

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I was out yesterday and my 5 month old pup found a bird that had succombed to the rain and ice. At first I thought it was a spot where something had caught one, but it was obvious how it had died when I picked it up.

I was told that in the Winsted area (not known for large numbers of pheasants usually) that 90% of the birds died from the storm. Not sure how accurate that number is, but it definitely took its toll. We were near Litchfield and on areas we had been seeing 60 to 80 birds, we saw 20. Granted there could be other reasons we didn't see birds, I think they were hit hard. Under the snow there is a solid block of ice covering the fields. Tough for the birds to get to the food. Hopefully a thaw happens soon. Many birds flushed with ice on their tails.

How bad is it out West? We had a trip planned to Benson, Graceville area the 23rd. Might have to change plans if it was too bad.

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I got out this weekend finally again and its tough around here now. The grass is so full you can hardly walk it and then in some areas there is the ice too. I did see a ton of birds out scratching in the fields. Looked like in many places they were getting down through the snow. Weather forecast shows a good warming towards the end of this week. Hopefully we'll keep that pattern once we get there. Minus 14 here right now though frown.gif

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Was down in SW MN Saturday thru Tuesday and hunting was good (BUT COLD). Birds are having no problem getting food that we could see---easily scratching down to corn/beans. Must have seen 200+ birds on Sunday...both out scratching and bunched up in shelter belts/groves. We did well once we broke up the flocks and pushed them into the grass. Birds were holding tight and the Pointers had a hay-day! My 1 1/2 year old Pointer nailed lots of birds in the cattails too....she's getting lots of good experience this year. Can't wiat for the weekend again! Why do the short work weeks seem the longest!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We hunted Chamberlain, Kennebec, South Dakota Tue.-Sat. 12/13-12/17 this past week and saw a ton of dead birds. Still a lot of live ones around and the one's we shot looked to be in great health with lots of fat reserves. We were told that further east in the Mitchell area they got more of the rain and the birds really took a hit there. Hundreds dead in almost every shelter belt. We checked the birds pretty good and noted that only 6 out of 60 had empty crops. All the other birds were plum full of feed no matter what time of day we shot them.

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