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Thread: The only good news to report.....

  1. #1

    Default The only good news to report.....

    Good news, we have had some decent moisture the past couple weeks, temps are also cooling off, reports of temps in the upper 20's in some places here in Montana. Bad news is bird numbers are still low, very low. I was over where I do most of my bird hunting, talking to folks I know and looking around myself. One man I know took his son out to their farm for youth season this past weekend, saw 3 pheasant hens, 4 huns, 0 grouse. Usually this far will have hundreds of pheasants. A lot of locals were hoping for a big bounce back, but will not be in the area I hunt. Locals who hunt doves say the same thing, terrible pheasant and hun numbers, areas that avoided hail storms will have a few grouse. I am sure Montana FWP will release a few birds on opening day in certain block areas like they always do, that way people who do not know any better can say " we found birds". Folks I talked with are already saying they won't bird hunt when pheasant season opens in a week and a half. I see occasional huns, grouse and pheasants where I live when out with my pups, but nothing to get excited about. Not looking good for the future of pheasant hunting in my part of the world.

  2. #2


    Luckily the part of the state I go to was spared the worst of the drought last year, and also the hailstorms. Iím hearing there are more Huns this time and less grouse and pheasants. No pheasant releases in part of state I go. Iím sure we will find plenty of birds to keep it interesting but will probably Prarie dog hunt and drink more to ease our pain!! Lol

  3. #3


    Well, season for pheasant opened last weekend, it was as poor where I hunt as expected. Most locals did not even bother going out with the low bird numbers. Yes, there were still folks who came hunting. I have heard from friends across Montana where usually bird numbers are quite good, but this year I have yet to speak to anyone who says they have run into good numbers of pheasant, heck even huns or grouse. Spoke to a friend who ranches and farms in central part of Montana, usually covered up with huns, has seen very few birds. If you want and come work your pups, come on out, but please put the gun away. Most the fun is watching the pups do their magic, and right now bird populations need OUR help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016


    We hunted the central part of the state, bird numbers were definitely down. Hunted all public and got into decent amount of birds, I would say around 40 or so throughout the day. Dogs tore it up, all 3 of us limited on roosters by noon. Most the roosters were this years hatch, I would say 7 of the 9. Weather couldnít have been any better. No huns or sharpies but we were only looking for pheasants. Probably wonít make it back this year due to other hunts. I never understood the put your gun away theory, shoot the roosters and help the hens flourish, less competition in the winter, and better reproduction. Your never going to kill all the roosters. Anyway, from what we saw itís not entirely doom and gloom.g

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    North Dakota


    My buddies over there have been doing well, not the worlds best season but they are getting good exercise, getting into places others won’t walk because it’s a one way trip, you know hunting and getting birds. I’ve never heard the call for a de arming. For others on the fence come to MT, SD, ND, there’s more birds here than in most places. What if it gets worse every year for the next decade? This could be remembered as a great year. It can’t be easy every year.

  6. #6


    Birds are down, way down.That being said, there are still some to be had, but it takes a good dog, and a lot of walking, and scouting.

  7. #7

    Default Hi line

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosemaster View Post
    Birds are down, way down.That being said, there are still some to be had, but it takes a good dog, and a lot of walking, and scouting.
    Just finishing a trip along the hi line. Pheasant numbers are down from last year, which was down from the year before,etc. you get the picture. One motel l stay at does not bother to put out there bird cleaning table anymore since no one shoots any. That being said I managed a few, mostly young birds, where last year they wer all old birds. Guess we need to get used to the new normal and be thankful for what we have.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Great lake state


    Might have to switch to waterfowl.

  9. #9


    Hopefully things will cycle back, that said, you guys know when you are out there hunting, your not alone.....hawks and eagles migrate to fields they see hunters in, perching on trees, power poles, fence post, hoping you scare birds up, they become much easier prey for those hunters also... and they are not to choosy about hens and roosters. Also, I have lived in pheasant country my whole life, very good country, I can honestly say I do not recall seeing roosters run off hens from bin sights where birds conjugate in hard winter weather, another excuse some use to excuse their hunting. BE A CONSERVATIONIST FIRST.

  10. #10


    Yeah, I noticed that too
    Young birds mostly, I got one 5 year old bird
    Got off the snide on shaptails, and huns, but not seeing many. Getting some birds,but I've hunted a few places that were real spars

    It's still fun, great weatherį!!!


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