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Old 08-28-2010, 07:50 AM
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Default Choteau birds

I used to hunt the Choteau area a lot for birds. Then, when the CRP contracts started to take a decline, bird numbers went down some and the BMA areas declined a bit. I've heard pheasant numbers have rebounded well there. Does anyone have reliable confirmation of this? It would be nice to revisit some old haunts this fall.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:04 AM
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Never mind. I'm going anyway to some BMA properties near Choteau Oct. 21 and 22, as a detour on the way to NE Montana. I'll post what I find there.
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:49 AM
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Talked to some friends yesterday who said the bird numbers seem to be down a lot in the area. Hardly any pheasants being seen alongside the roads.

Sage grouse hunt in two weeks! Heard there are a lot of "chickens" this year in WYO.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:52 AM
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I'll be in Eastern and Central Montana this week I'll give a report.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:35 AM
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Much appreciated mnmthunting.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:41 AM
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Cancelled my planned hunts in the Choteau area. My ranchers said their bird numbers are down again from last year. And last year was poor for them. Even if there were suitable numbers of birds to hunt, I figure why bother them. Just let them be. I'll spend all my time hunting roosters up in the NE corner of the state in late October.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:48 AM
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jsdriggs, I just spent a few days Sharptail hunting in Roosevelt and Sheridan Counties. I hunt mostly grasslands for Grouse some in the CRP.
There is cover in the grasslands like I've not seen in that country, usually poor pheasant habitat with the short and sparse native grasses. Now with all the rain they have had this Summer there is cover everywhere. Sweetclover and weeds lots of places shoulder high and very difficult for dog and hunters. Last year with the dry weather much of the CRP was baled, not so this year. It's tall and thick to say the least.
The dogs flushed pheasants in the grasslands where I've never seen a pheasant. There's is going to be pheasants but scattered far and wide. Maybe find some concentrations of birds, I don't know.
I saw plenty of pheasants but covered a lot of ground. Looked to me like the hens lost the first nest from wet cold weather but had a good second try. The chicks are very small for mid Sept. Don't think they will have much color by opener.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:40 AM
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That's kind of what my hunting partners and I have been thinking. Lots of young birds this year. There will have to be some selective shooting to bag a brace of mature birds. God, I can't wait!
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:04 PM
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Know this is old but I'll be looking to head to the Choteau area in November to do some hunting. My son who is at Malmstrom will be joining me. Should I look for other places in the central part of the state to hunt? I have a deer tag as well. Looking to run into pheasants and sharpies along with waterfowl. My nephew who hunted that area in the past said that the area around Freezout is decent. Thanks all!
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:43 PM
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Well, I haven't been there for four years. We hunted the BMA's all around Choteau. Mostly north. There are some public lands that can be good. Plan ahead, get your BMA book for area 4, then order maps for each BMA you might want to hunt. Then you have to call the landowners for some of the BMA's and reserve your dates. CRP hunting mostly.

I'll be interested what you find if you go. Forecast for birds in the area is calling for a slight rebound. It used to be real good there.
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