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Thread: Extreme Cold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
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    194

    Default Extreme Cold

    Hoping this extreme cold will not hurt the pheasant population too much, but depending on what kind of cover the birds did or didn't find it is certainly possible that it could severely hurt numbers in certain pockets. Here in southern Minnesota, it was brutal overnight last night. Close to -70 windchill, and as cold as -31 air temp this morning. The 10 minutes I spent outside in the yard doing a few chores yesterday evening was the most brutal cold I've ever felt on my body- there's no way I could have been outside for an extended period, no matter how well prepared.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    Hoping this extreme cold will not hurt the pheasant population too much, but depending on what kind of cover the birds did or didn't find it is certainly possible that it could severely hurt numbers in certain pockets. Here in southern Minnesota, it was brutal overnight last night. Close to -70 windchill, and as cold as -31 air temp this morning. The 10 minutes I spent outside in the yard doing a few chores yesterday evening was the most brutal cold I've ever felt on my body- there's no way I could have been outside for an extended period, no matter how well prepared.
    By all means be safe!!! These temps are no joke!!! I'm trying to plan my trip for the fall to SD for 2019. Very interested to see what the numbers look like later in the year........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
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    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ditch-chicken View Post
    I'm trying to plan my trip for the fall to SD for 2019. Very interested to see what the numbers look like later in the year........
    I think across the entire upper Midwest, we've so far had a very favorable winter that should increase bird numbers for next year. Until this week... I fear that this kind of cold is the cold that could potentially lower bird numbers for a few years to come? All it takes is 8 or 9 out of 10 hens in an area to not be in sufficient cover and die in this kind of cold. Or am I underthinking how hardy the birds could be?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    362

    Default

    Not much snow cover around here so they should have feed and a good fat cover. They can hole up for a couple days and wait it out.

    Down in those cattails it should be pretty reasonable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    Default

    Unfortunately these are the type conditions/temperatures that kill birds. I have to say we most likely lost birds last night and more to come tonight.

    Similar temperatures hit the mid-west (I believe) in 95/96. We lost a huge portion of our wild bird population(s). God willing we'll have a better out-come this time around. Time will tell how they handled this.

    Also, food sources/access to food and having a full crop unfortunately do not make much of a difference with these kind of temperatures. The killer is the freezing of condensation from their breathing or blowing snow. Moister can freeze so fast it begins to form ice within the nostrils and/or throat of the birds. The end result is suffocation of the bird.
    "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
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    833

    Default

    These temps are brutal, went out to tend my pigeons and wood boiler, was out 10 minutes and my beard and eyelashes were iced. That being said if there isn't a heavy snow load that has beaten down the habitat, then the birds will be able to survive. If habitat is beaten down then this weather could have severe impact.
    River - 2 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 4 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 5 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  7. #7

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    I think they will weather this event ok...prefer that it didn't happen, but I read an article by SD GFP this am and it talked about the big factor is availability of food, and I don't think the fields are overly covered with deep snow and ice currently...there has been drifting, but not in the middle of the farm fields...I was just out in my area a week ago for a funeral and it didn't look too bad...we had just gotten some light fluffy snow, nothing that would hinder food sourcing...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    It looks like this cold snap will start breaking up around here tomorrow. Thank God it's not going to last a full week.

    I'm sure most of you have seen this in the past but just in case below is a link with some photos of birds that where killed by red-ice. The video is no longer up but you can see in the photos how red-ice kills pheasants.

    Notice how the break on one of the birds burst/busted outward from the condensation build-up forming/freezing within his airways.


    https://www.ultimatepheasanthunting....Winter-Exposre
    "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

  9. #9

    Default

    Much more deep snow + the cold in the late 90s events. If the cattail sloughs and other winter cover are filled with snow, they have no where to escape the elements.

    Brief cold snap or two may kill birds that are already stressed, but overall this winter seems to be relatively mild.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
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    [QUOTE=benelli-banger;249545]the big factor is availability of food, and I don't think the fields are overly covered with deep snow and ice currently...there has been drifting, but not in the middle of the farm fields..[QUOTE]

    You are correct about that. Last sunday morning was what now feels like a balmy -12 outside and the (corn) field behind my house had about 3 dozen roosters and 1 dozen hens all out in the middle of the feed pecking through the snow. I watched them with binoculars and they appeared to be as happy and healthy as could be. We've got a large slough across the road from us that holds decent cover.

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