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Thread: Illinois Habitat Hubs

  1. #1
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    Default Illinois Habitat Hubs

    Feel free to add to this thread what you think, observed, etc regarding Illinois habitat hub areas positive or negative.

    To those who work on such areas to improve the habitat and increase the acreage/areas thank you!

    Anyway, there seems to be a few positive trends within Illinois' habitat hub projects that I've noticed. With that said, in no way are the "hub" areas a cure-all for habitat loss throughout the state, but I feel over time, with a few good years of nesting and broad rearing seasons these areas have good to great potential for wild pheasants. This will particularly be the case if well placed (year round) food sources (especially winter food plots) and shelter belts (for lofting/dusting/brood rearing) are implemented in and around these areas.

    That said, the nesting, brood rearing, and winter habitat within habitat hub areas has improved greatly. I've seen a nice mixture of warm season grasslands, with cool season and Forbs mixed together, sections of short woody/brush cover, and in some areas wet-lands/cattails. All within close proximity to one another. Such areas seem to have the best bird numbers.

    Another positive trend to consider is the purchasing and converting land into habitat (by private land owners) around habitat hubs due to an increase in game and improved hunting opportunities. This is resulting in habitats becoming "linked" with one-another, or, at least within walking/safe traveling distance for pheasants and other wildlife.

    Also, a good number of roadside ditches were either left alone (un-mowed) or delayed mowing until late summer around the hubs. These improvements are small in comparison to the big picture, but every little bit helps. If we get a nice increase in CRP within the next farm bill, I can see these areas only increase in habitat and wild birds
    Last edited by 1pheas4; 01-14-2018 at 04:07 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

  2. #2

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    Iím not familiar with that term, Nick. Whatís the scoop?

  3. #3
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    Default

    Think of it like a tire for a bicycle. In the center of the tire is the hub, then the spokes, then the spokes connecting to the tire/rim.

    The hub (center) would be a large grassland, the spokes smaller fields/habitat/grassy areas/hedgerows, then the tire/rim would be smaller grasslands connecting (somewhat) the "spoke" habitats. Does that make sense. lol

    The process has been very slow as far as "spokes" and "rim" but number of "hubs" have been put into place. There's a habitat hub program designed to help increase pheasant numbers other habitat organizations/departments have also implemented such areas that they too are also serving the same purpose by producing grassland habitats.
    Last edited by 1pheas4; 01-21-2018 at 11:27 AM.
    "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. #4

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    Sounds similar to the SAFE focus areas.
    Any of the established hubs located north of I-80?

  5. #5
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    I think your correct about the name SandPrairie. I believe there's one or two SAFE areas north of 80. I'll have to search for the site map again and take a look. Though, there are hubs all over north of 80 (not SAFE) due to county conservation depts. and the DNR implementing grassland improvements/land conversions. Some of the areas are amazing.
    "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

  6. #6
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    Indiana
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    Is this the "Bee Pollen" patches the farmers were talking about in Iroquois Co? I have seen quite a few small patches that look like CRP that were never there before this year. I know they were all planted and had to be for habitat because of the mix of grasses.

  7. #7
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    Davis Junction/Northern, IL
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    Any long term habitat projects are positive in my opinion. I have seen many of these pollinator fields show up in Iroquois county in the last 2 years. Cover is veeerrry sparse in the first year. I'll have to see what these fields look like in years 2-5. I have a lot of optimism that they are going to help. I'm heading to South Dakota on Saturday to hunt for 5 days. Hoping for a good trip.

  8. #8
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    I'm glad to hear you're seeing some new pollinators out there.

    If there's a very large habitat hub (large grassland field) near by the pollinator fields (you're seeing) they may very well be apart of the habitat hub plan/project.

    Either way, it's upland habitat and as we know every little very bit can help including delayed mowing or leaving our roadside ditches un-mowed all year to help link such habitats together.

    Let us know how these fields look in another year or so.
    "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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