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Thread: 2017 hunting report

  1. #11
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    Dec 2010
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    Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I wasn't aware that you can hunt ditches in IL. Was this private land?
    Yes. My buddy has permission from a number of farmers in Iroquois Co. If there is cover in the ditches there will be birds. Sometimes lots of birds.

    "To anyone harvesting wild IL pheasants, what percentage would you say have been from this years hatch?"

    4 of the 5 cocks we have bagged have been from this years crop. I'd say that is about a normal distribution. We normally kill the younger stupider ones and the wily old cocks have learned to run out and never take flight.
    Last edited by AtTheMurph; 12-26-2017 at 07:52 PM.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2009
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    Northern Illinois
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    That's good news Murph. Thank you.

    This season seemed to be a mixed bag with most of the news (I've been heard) being on the "poor" side. God willing this winter and spring will give them a window to bounce back a bit.

    The best younger bird numbers I saw this season was at Green River state park in Lee county. I also noticed that the states pen-raised roosters have cross-bred with some of the wild hens out there. Most of the wild birds I saw where noticeably lighter in color. With all the habitat improvements and basically "farming for pheasants" out there, with a few good nesting and brood rearing seasons I think their wild bird numbers will really do well. A few more food plots will really help too. Time will tell.

    Dose anyone have news on our PHA areas? What did you see as far as hens/roosters and young birds vs. older birds and bird numbers in general?

    Thanks for any info/updates!
    Nick

    Here's a couple wild Illinois roosters from Green River--you can see the lighter coloration in these roosters. This birds crop was loaded with corn;

    wild illinois pheasant 2017 by , on Flickr

    Very Young bird taken in mid-November--this birds crop was loaded with sunflower seeds. Some seed had roots/sprouts growing from them;
    wild illinois pheasant 2017 by , on Flickr
    Last edited by 1pheas4; 01-02-2018 at 12:21 PM.
    "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

  3. #13
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    Dec 2010
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    Indiana
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    26220954_10213638279823943_7735460603004735565_o.jpg

    Illinois Christmas Bulbs Courtesy of the Hudgens Family!

  4. #14
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    Nov 2009
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    Davis Junction/Northern, IL
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    Nice pic!!!! Hope you killed a few. I didn’t make it down this weekend.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehudgens View Post
    Nice pic!!!! Hope you killed a few. I didnít make it down this weekend.
    Those were 300 yards east of your patch in Milford. We only snapped a few pics before they all flew back into that glorious cover. There were 15 cocks and 5 hens. As we drove past the PF field I commented how much I wanted to see a whole bunch of birds standing in the corn to the north. Turned and looked forward and BAM! there they are.

    Did kill a couple cocks further east. One by the state line right around Hwy 18 and another NE of Milford. I should have gotten two at the last place but was lazy. We had kicked a couple cocks down to the end of a little draw, so I knew there were two there. My dog flushed one and my gun got caught in my winter coat and I didn't get it seated on my shoulder but I shot anyways.

    First barrel missed but second got him at about 45yds. Not bad in high winds with my little 20ga. At the end of the draw I knew that 2nd bird was going to be off to my left in some good bean stubble. But like lots of other times you get to the end and relax when nothing happens. I watched as my dog made his way towards where I suspected that bird was but I wasn't ready when he rocketed up into the wind and back to the beginning of the draw.

    Wish I had brought my semi auto rifle. Kicked two big coyotes out of that place and both ran out my side giving me a great chance for a dog double. Probably could have reached the closest with my 20ga but I wouldn't have dropped him.

  6. #16
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    Jan 2007
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    Spring Grove, IL
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    Bad news is I had the worst season Ive ever had.

    Good news is theres only one direction to go. I cannot kill any less wild birds.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Davis Junction/Northern, IL
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    Lets hope we get some good new with 2018 Farm Bill. Looking at $2.00 corn and no pheasants. Not good for farmers or hunters.

    Murph,

    Thanks for the shout out. My dad spent a lot of time putting that together. Hopefully there will be a couple of hundred patches like that in Iroquois County in the next few years.

    You wouldn't believe how different South Dakota looks from 10 years ago. It's unreal how many acres of CRP are gone in the last few years.......

    No habitat no birds. Very simple.....

  8. #18

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    I live in Rockford, Illinois and have seen the pheasant population go straight down over the years. I am very interested in some info regarding quail hunting and some tips as to where to go in Illinois and
    elsewhere. Just need some decent land to hit, have a great dog and plenty of walking power!

  9. #19

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    just hunted so Dakota. Saw hundreds if birds each day! Whatever is called "down" in bird population is very interesting.

    Saw more birds in 4 days than I did my entire life in Illinois!!

  10. #20
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    Dec 2010
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    Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven vecchio View Post
    just hunted so Dakota. Saw hundreds if birds each day! Whatever is called "down" in bird population is very interesting.

    Saw more birds in 4 days than I did my entire life in Illinois!!
    I've done SD and saw hundreds of birds too. reminded me of my first couple years hunting in IL (15-20yrs ago).

    The very first ditch I hunted, not far from Hudgens we kicked up close to 100 pheasants and I had 30-40 boil out of one thicket. At another spot we pushed close to 200 birds across a pretty heavily traveled country road (has a state HWY designation). there were 4 cars lined up as they allowed the birds to run across the field in single file for what seemed like 2-3 minutes. It was amazing.

    Problem is there is just not enough cover. Where ever we find cover we always find birds but those spots are becoming less and less.

    I've thought about doing my own CRP program and paying a farmer or two to put in grass then post the living hell out of it try to keep people out. Some farmers do it themselves maybe others need a little help.

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