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Thread: 2017 Minnesota survey

  1. #11


    Kare 11 is going to have a segment on the pheasant decline - at 5:00 tonight.

  2. #12


    In this case the DNR is probably correct. Birds are out there and doing fine where habitat conditions are good. Grass, crops and winter habitat mix ... As we lose grass, nesting success drops and total brood counts drop. Broods are seen where habitat is there ... thus less habitat ... less broods

    We were recently driving through a "poor" area .... the one road I looked down between CRP and corn was absolutely crazy with birds ... adults, broods, etc... never saw another pheasant but there really was not much else for cover. Prime time too.

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by MNSpaniels View Post
    I'd like to see the percent change listed by route. It is likely that areas with significant loss of habitat, which there are a lot, can't sustain pheasant numbers regardless of the weather. However, those pockets of the pheasant range which have held on to habitat (regardless of where they exist on the "Pheasant Hunting Prospects" map), I have to believe, based on my observations, have benefited from the favorable weather. If your honey hole area has survived the plow, I suspect it will be even better this year. At least that's what I hope and seems to be what I'm seeing.
    I agree -- have always been somewhat suspicious of the accuracy of the pheasant surveys. The area I mainly hunt is almost always in the "poor" or "very poor" area according to their map but we consistently kill a lot of roosters from year to year. Last year was very good and I'm sure this year will be even better. Of course I only hunt in places with good habitat, mostly permanent public land or CRP and RIM land. I've always suspected my hunting area just doesn't survey well, due to the birds being spread out over large tracts of mainly road-less land and the presence of many nearly impassable minimum maintenance roads in good habitat which are not on the survey route. I suspect this is true in other survey areas too. And I've already seen some nice 3/4 grown broods out hunting doves this year.

    Funny, but the DNR didn't try to explain this anomaly other than to say they were "surprised" by the drop. Perhaps the weather during the survey or some other variables are in play here other than lack of habitat. In nearly 40 years of hunting pheasants in Minnesota I have NEVER seen a mild winter like we had coupled with excellent brood-rearing weather in June and July result in lower bird numbers in the fall, even in the years before CRP when pretty much all we had for habitat in WC were WPAs , WMAs, and a few private land tracts that were too either too wet or too rugged and rocky to plow up. My prediction is that if you hunt areas with good habitat that have been good in the past, you will see at least a few more birds there than last year, especially in central, SC, WC. Can't wait to test my prediction!

  4. #14


    Here's a link to the Pheasant Summit report card.


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