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Thread: Thatís a wrap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    SW NoDak
    Posts
    218

    Default Thatís a wrap

    Well so ends the workout program known as the 2017 North Dakota Upland Bird Season. Fitbit says about 9.5 miles of prairie perusal today. Well worth it. Each of the pups locked up a rooster that fell to my ďOld Manísď 1100. Dad would have enjoyed that. Jazz also found her 10th porky of the year...a record. Again, no quills she learned that lesson well but she wonít leave the area till the porky is no more. A fine season overall. Hunting on 7 Jan in 40 degree temps beats moving snow every day like last year. More workout than usual chasing roosters this year. Only 5 roosters below my average for the year though. Which I would never have believed when the forecast for the year came in. Down 60%. Jazz beat her rookie record by two roosters. Although Jazz got many more birds than almost 12 year old Scout, 48 roosters over Old Scout is pretty decent. As they say, ďThereís never a doubt with Old Scout.Ē Time for some fresh pheasant pate and a Famous Grouse...or three. Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    NoDak
    Posts
    317

    Default

    Hi Al, good job on your very successful season! By the numbers, I was down also from last year on grouse and roosters. More than you, but hey, we sure had fun! Beats laying around the house.

    Hope you have a great year !

    Best,

    Greg
    Gregory J. Westberg
    MSG, USA
    Ret

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    SW NoDak
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Same to you. The year was way better than expected and days lasting longer is not all bad. I saw very few hunters...no more than 10 parties all year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    NoDak
    Posts
    317

    Default

    Thanks Al. I agree it was better than expected. I also have to agree about the numbers of guys out. Even on opening day, on Hwy 6 (I live in St Anthony) the number of folks going south to Flasher and your neck of the woods was down to almost nothing. In years past, all you saw was blaze orange in truck after truck, not this year.

    Anyway, take care!

    Greg
    Gregory J. Westberg
    MSG, USA
    Ret

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I am guessing I got half my normal number of birds. I do not keep count. I think I had a higher than normal percent of mature birds as well. I missed the second week with a family reunion and a Ruffed Grouse/Woodcock trip to Northern MN. I also battled Plantar fasciaitis in one foot. The old pro had some lameness and a cut from a fence that kept her benched a good part of the season. Hope to learn more at the vet this week. Fortunately this was the year that I got a new pup that picked up the slack. He has some rough edges but did very well. By the end of the season I did not feel I was at a disadvantage with the pup at all. He had some really great points. i was also fortunate enough to have a good consistent Walleye bit close to home.

    There definitely areas that seemed to have better numbers of birds than others, even if they were just a few miles apart. I seemed to have some encounters with some flocks of birds that were very wary and did not let me get anywhere near them. Then find almost nothing for scattered individual birds in the area. Every year I also get together with a bunch of guys for a later season weekend in the "prime Pheasant range" of ND. This year a few of the group stayed home. We got birds, but did not fill on any day. We had access to some good land and there also seemed to be pockets there with good numbers and some land that seemed to have very few where we ran into good numbers in the past. We had great weather that weekend and saw on person out walking and one other truck that looked to be hunting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    SW NoDak
    Posts
    218

    Default

    I shot very few young birds. Only one that wasn’t fully feathered/colored. Birds seemed very skittish all year. My assumption was this was due to reduced habitat availability. With less cover, I am sure they were harassed by predators more frequently. Pheasants also flew farther than they had in past years. I learned some things that will be useful I think in future low moisture years. For example, water availability back in May and June seemed to be more important than Fall availability. As little as a quarter inch more of rain back in the Spring seemed to impact the number of birds in an area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I saw an average number of hunters it seemed; October weekends generally had groups on every piece of public land I saw. Bad part is there are fewer pieces to hunt every year due to loss of habitat and posted land. As always, hunter numbers go down as the weather gets cold. Bird numbers were definitely down but could be had with some miles on the boots and a good dog. Definitely was not a year where you were going to leave town at 9 with 4 guys and be back by noon with limits. I doubt we'll see much of that soon unless grass conservation comes back. It seemed the majority of the birds I shot were young birds, but maybe a slightly higher ratio of older birds - I shot one on New Year's day that was about twice the size of the 2 young ones I shot that day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    CRP sign up needs to come back in a big way.......the locals i talked to while hunting Iowa said there was a huge sign up this fall.......will still take 2-3 years for it to produce.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
    CRP sign up needs to come back in a big way.......the locals i talked to while hunting Iowa said there was a huge sign up this fall.......will still take 2-3 years for it to produce.
    That does not seem to be what I hear; most of the stories I read are that a very small fraction of the farmers that want it in ND & SD get approved nowadays.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zoops View Post
    That does not seem to be what I hear; most of the stories I read are that a very small fraction of the farmers that want it in ND & SD get approved nowadays.
    i heard the same thing from the Daks too.......something different going on in Iowa? Not sure why those guys would BS me? we'll see.

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