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Thread: Illinois Pheasants Forever Meeting 2017

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Northern Illinois
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    Nest raiders were really not the issue, avian predation on chicks and full grown birds was the biggest predation. Nests lost due to predators was low, I think less than 10%.
    Good. Very good.


    Average brood size for this study was 13.6 chicks per brood for nests 1-4 which was absolutely shocking to hear, they said really minimal degredation in numbers during renesting. I can tell you my dad has seen broods in our area (which is about 45 miles away) as large as 15.
    Wow. That's huge! We may have a separate issue up here then. Our broods seem to be much smaller for some reason. Even areas with very good food supplies, they seem to still be averaging 6-8 chicks



    Birds would venture into fields to eat but would always return to roost. The ones that did permanently move actually did not use linear habitat (waterways or ditches) to do so. They usually moved in June/July when the crops are high and can really shield them. And of those 8, the furthest distance traveled was ~1 mile. One thing to note, birds will only permanently move when they are upgrading habitat. A bird will not move from native warm season grasses to brome
    .

    Okay. Yeah, that's what I've been seeing up here too. Bird just don't want to move. Prior to the "crash" they'd cross open fields in the dead of winter, in groups too. That's no longer the case In the spring roosters would always cackle in the open. No longer. They cackle in thick cover and run. At least that's the case up here.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    I have hunted these same areas the last 10years... I can say the last two years have been amazing growth in numbers. I really hope crp prices can stay up so we continue to see increases in acreage. My county put in a ton in 2016. But we are near the cap and new enrollment is tough

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100%IL View Post
    In the '60s we had 250,000 hunters harvest 1.1 million birds in Illinois. 2015 saw 15,000 hunters harvest 29,000 birdon).
    My dad often talks about opening day of pheasant season here in N. IL. "All you saw were pheasant hunters,but today you'll be lucky to see one".

    Along those lines; I enjoy listening to men who hunted wild pheasants back in the 60's and 70's. They tell stories of "many" pheasants. The strange thing is, they only hunted pheasants. Once things dried up they put their shotguns away and that was that. To this day they no longer hunt.

    Everyone of them though, if I asked them to join me on a wild pheasant hunt, would take me up on my offer. Without hesitation. I think pheasant hunter numbers are here, and would return to the field if we turned things around. 15,000 pheasant hunters in a "pheasant country state" is bad news. Brutal actually.

    Petrey10; the way this winter is going things we may be in for another good season next fall. Obviously we have some time before then but so far so good. I'm glad to hear about more CRP going in
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

  4. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    112

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    Winter really doesn't matter.... just stay away from extreme blizzard and extreme ice and we are good. The habitat protects them from it.


    Decent to great springs are what we need. Honestly maybe global warming helps us in bird numbers.... the last two springs here have been great springs for birds

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    Yeah. A good spring can do good things to bird numbers. I think in our case (up this way) we could use a spring or two with "dryer" conditions. Not a drought, but dryer. Spring after spring too much of our habitat has been too wet. In part, this is due to low areas not being farmed, therefore the birds nest in lower areas that tend to get too wet or flooded out.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

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