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Thread: how many acres is enough to start a pheasant habitat

  1. #1

    Default how many acres is enough to start a pheasant habitat

    Im in NE Ohio Medina COunty we own a 50acre farm 18 woods rest hay fields the back field is 15 acres boardered on one side by a 15 or so acre woods the ohter a 3 - 4 patch of trees and scrub that butts onto a big corn / beans field I was pondering if the back 15 acre field wouldnt make nice pheasant habitat seems plenty of food with the corn / bean field if I were to cut the hay late or even put in a meadow good nesting and the woods with some brush piles placed in it would be good winter cover... I dont know why OHIO cant keep birds and snow and cold aint a reason if Wisconsin and lord Iowa or SD can have em we ought to be able to too...

  2. #2
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    some soil types will not hold pheasant for some reason, do u have pheasant in that county/area?

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    I don't know about NE Ohio but NW Ohio back in the 1970's had a strong population. I hunted there many times, and saw lots birds. As far as habitat size, If you are working on a project on an island, as in there is very little or no habitat in the area surrounding it that support pheasants, than it takes a large block of ground to make an impact. In areas where there is supporting habitat in the surrounding area, very small tracts can dramatically enhance the overall population. I'm sure the habitat experts on here can tell you the why's and wherefore's. Good Luck.

  4. #4

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    we are in Medina county North east to north central Ohio I was told that up til 77 / 78 there was a real good pop here now I tend to think we have potential we mow the hay late and let the bobolinks get done we only thake 2 cuttings with 2nd done late august so hay will always bee there... corn / beans are close and anothe 100 acres of hay across the street

  5. #5
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    Hay fields are OK as far as nesting pheasants. Cut hay fields are poor habitat.
    Standing uncut grassland is the best. If you cut the grasslands don't expect to have year round pheasant populations.
    Wood land is poor pheasant habitat. Scattered brush and brushpiles within the grasslands makes for good pheasant cover.

  6. #6
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    Anything is better than nothing. To have the greatest impact you should spend some time researching the habitat needs of pheasants at varying times of the year and evaluate the land surrounding yours. Then plug the lowest hole in the bucket.

    The PF website(s) have a lot of good information on the key habitat needs of pheasants (nesting, brooding, winter, food source). I have far less land than you to work with, but I've already measured some small amount of success via additions of brooding cover and a winter food source placed near my neighbors land who doesn't do anything purposely for pheasants, but has suitable winter cover for them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by arch_cpj View Post
    we are in Medina county North east to north central Ohio I was told that up til 77 / 78 there was a real good pop here now I tend to think we have potential we mow the hay late and let the bobolinks get done we only thake 2 cuttings with 2nd done late august so hay will always bee there... corn / beans are close and anothe 100 acres of hay across the street
    Arch, MNMT is right. I heard once that 20 acres of habitat could carry a population of birds for a township (that's 36 sections). Source was Iowa DNR. I tend to agree but only in regards to the quality of that 20 acres.

    At a minimum you would need 20 contiguous acres of dense high quality undisturbed diverse nesting cover. I put all these words in the previous sentence becuase they are important and critical. other wildlife will also benefit from these acres.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1GB View Post
    Anything is better than nothing.
    1GB, I respectfully disagree. Not that you have the same attitude as farmers but this strikes me as the mindset that some farmers have and say like "leave a little for the birds" as if that was sufficient and they were making a real difference. We need to come to grips with fact that pheasants and other wildlife need ALOT and that leaving a little is nothing more than a feel good delusion.

    Jim Wooley wrote an excellent articel in the last issue of PF magazine about the myths of pheasan stocking and what a vast waste of time of money and energy that is where results are concerned for sustainable native pheasant populations.

    More people need to take a stance like Jim on just what are rock bottom minimums for sustaining wild pheasant populations.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGUIDE View Post
    1GB, I respectfully disagree. Not that you have the same attitude as farmers but this strikes me as the mindset that some farmers have and say like "leave a little for the birds" as if that was sufficient and they were making a real difference. We need to come to grips with fact that pheasants and other wildlife need ALOT and that leaving a little is nothing more than a feel good delusion.
    I think that our interpretations of my original phrase differ. My intention was that doing *something* at least presents an increased chance over doing nothing. I never meant to imply that doing a small deed will guarantee success. I certainly agree that more is better.

    I also think its unclear from the original post if there are birds in the area already or not. If there are not, yes the minimum is important and far greater IMO than what the OP has proposed setting aside for habitat. If there are already birds in the surrounding area, anything will only add to what is already present. I was assuming that there are at least a few birds in the area.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1GB View Post
    I think that our interpretations of my original phrase differ. My intention was that doing *something* at least presents an increased chance over doing nothing. I never meant to imply that doing a small deed will guarantee success. I certainly agree that more is better.

    I also think its unclear from the original post if there are birds in the area already or not. If there are not, yes the minimum is important and far greater IMO than what the OP has proposed setting aside for habitat. If there are already birds in the surrounding area, anything will only add to what is already present. I was assuming that there are at least a few birds in the area.
    1GB, I agree. I thought that might be what you were referring too. It is of utmost importance to have some seed birds in any vs. trying to establish from nothing which is a much different scenario. I know PF will not release trapped birds without a fairly significant committment to quality habitat acres in that area of release.

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