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Thread: Ohio Division Of Wildlife Pheasant Hunt Survey

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011


    Do you think releasing the birds right after legal shooting hours would help? You could then hunt them the next morning. Im not sure if NJ does this anymore, but years ago they would ask for volunteers to help with the releases. The large main truck would bring the crates to the Wildlife Management Areas, from there the volunteers would load their trucks and jeeps and drive to different areas of the Public land and release the birds. At the next stocking date the main truck would then pick up the empty crates and give new crates with birds. This was done After legal shooting hours. It really spread out the birds and helped with everyone not concentrating on the same area every stocking date.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014


    I think we all seem to have one thing in common: we all want to see substantial change to the way the pheasant hunting program has been going. Maybe it's time to start some talks with a couple of the PF chapters during the off season? Also, if anyone is interested in hitting the preserves out in Bucyrus, let me know!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Cunningham, Kansas


    Pitman-Robertson funds are funds delegated to the states from a tax on hunting equipment. These funds are portioned back to the states based on a matrix that considers population, state acreage, license sales and a number of other things. Federal law requires that these funds be spent on wildlife management and those expenditures are audited by the USFWS. On lands that are purchased using PR $, any income is considered "Program Income" and must be offset by the same $ being removed from the state apportionment. The feds have set parameters that control how those funds are spent and every $ is coded within codes that reflect what species or habitat was benefitted by the work or expenditure that was made.

    Now consider a stocking program. I do not know how that is perceived in the federal system, so I won't discuss that. However, any pen-reared release system is subject to the same "natural" losses as any other. In almost every research study that has been done the mortality of pen-reared birds is 90-95% in 30-90 days. That being said, it is most efficient to release the birds as close to the hunt as possible. To release the birds very long in advance, the losses are so great that the cost of birds in the bag would exceed the $40 of the stamp. Further, the research done on pen-reared release over the past 100+ years has concluded that there is a very minute chance that released birds survive to add to the following year's production. Too many of the things we "CALL" instinct are actually "LEARNED" from the hen.

    You mention crops being harvested on the areas where birds are stocked. I don't know how that is being looked at by the local manager, but food stocks in bird season are far too late to be important for "producing" birds. They may well aid in bird survival or even bird harvest, but by the time those food crops have matured, production has ceased. If you critically evaluate wildlife areas as to their production capability, what is generally missing is nesting and brood-rearing habitat. I work in Kansas and know from experience that plant succession is a bigger problem the further east you are. Plant succession is a function of moisture to a large extent and the greater the growth potential, the harder it is to stay ahead of woody invasion. When we all burned wood, it was easier. When prescribed and wild fires were more frequent, it was easier. When the woody seed stock was less, it was easier. Unfortunately, we are a victim of our predecessors on many of these properties. When they were purchased, many were either bare or fairly naked as plant stock was concerned. Early managers planted them with a mixture of annual, perennial, and woody plantings trying to manage them for a multi-species wildlife mix. Unfortunately, those plantings were successful beyond their originators dreams. The plant communities on many of those areas ( the riparian oriented ones evolved faster and further) has now far exceeded the adaptive niche for upland birds. Unfortunately too, IF ground is cleared of woody cover, it is often put into ag production which again is less "productive" for upland game production if not done properly.

    Finally, Pheasants Forever is not in the business of working with put and take release systems. They are charged with managing their money and time to improve the potential of naturally producing "wild" populations. As hunters, you need to educate yourselves as to what pheasants and quail need as habitat to maintain wild populations and focus any work or spending on improving those habitats. The LAST habitat type you should be spending valuable time and money on is food plots! You can't feed them if you haven't first nested, hatched, and brooded them!!! Habitat can be managed forever! Released birds are on the clock from the minute they are put in the crate!
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    N.E. Ohio


    I'd like to see the details involved in all of those studies regarding the survivability of stocked pheasants.

    It's common for me to flush stocked birds in Pa. through to the end of February in some areas that have good cover and some food. If there's any corn around it's all the better. I've seen some photos of the Pa. Game Farm pheasant pens that include natural cover and food crops so the birds are better able to adapt. I've also read about studies that showed pheasants raised free range by bantam hens had much better survivability in the wild.

    Leaving standing food crops throughout the winter and managing the fields to provide more varieties of food and cover benefits many various forms of wildlife.

    Limiting the use of pesticides and less mono culture fields and vegetation also have a very beneficial effect on wildlife including pheasants

    There's allot that can be done to improve the pheasant hunting in Ohio that isn't.

    No pheasants to hunt equals less pheasant hunters which equals less support for organizations like pheasants forever.

    Pa. Pheasant Farm


    Last edited by huntsem; 01-19-2015 at 02:46 PM.

  5. #15


    I read where Pa. had some real success with relocating adult S.D. birds. It would be interesting to see the cost numbers compared to raising pen raised birds. I would venture to say the $/bird that survives the winter would favor the S.D. birds.


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