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Thread: Water opportunities

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Woodbury, MN
    Posts
    67

    Default Water opportunities

    With all acknowledgement of the hardship the rain has had on the farmers, I would think the water would be seen as a positive by hunters, not a problem. Out side of crops not getting harvested, the rest should be upside. The wet spring saved us from some really low number due to drought and the hard winter. Nesting conditions were ideal with ditches seeing no mowing and heavy cover (80% of pheasants are nested and raised in ditches). Chicks had moisture during the critical first hours after hatch but not a lot of washout rains during nesting for most areas. The weeds and water produced bumper crops of bugs for them to eat. We were getting to the brink of the bad old days that we last saw in the 80s in many areas due to drought and the winter but instead are back to decent numbers.

    As for hunting conditions, with the access roads on all sides I can't recall any wet year where I though access was completely cut off to productive spots. If all access is that wet, you're going to find wet habitat anyway and birds will be concentrated in nearby areas. Water in ditch bottoms and sloughs keep them out of the thick cattails and in the fence lines and drier grass areas where you can see and get at them. Dogs should be able to scent much better compared to the dusty, dry conditions that don't hold scent and plug up their noses. I think you are going to see far more birds roosting in thickets and fence lines to dry off during early shooting hours.

    There was localized flooding in areas we hunt about 5 years ago we were actually able to road hunt mallards and pass shoot them out of the ditches and take pheasant on the other side of the road.

    Don't forget to pack spare boots, waders and boot driers and we should have a great year this fall.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Exactly. The birds are where the birds are. Not so poetic chasing them through ditches, but if that is where they are...
    Last edited by Mike da Carpenter; 09-19-2019 at 06:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Woodbury, MN
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Taken it from the perspective of the first or second weeks for the first time or traveling hunter, that is where they are found. You may see numbers in a walk-in Sat/Sun if you are the first one there but all that activity sends them into crops where you won't get them out or in cover along fence lines and ditches where they hang up before crossing roads or entering fields. If you're scouting the last hour driving around, you are finding them in ditches again.

    Different perspective than those coming to guided hunts or have accessed to land prepped with strips specifically for access. Then again many might not find the strips ready when they show up this year and will have to move 50 yards and cross the fence from their fields of golden dreams into some muddy ditches with the hoi polloi.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteRevvv View Post
    Taken it from the perspective of the first or second weeks for the first time or traveling hunter, that is where they are found. You may see numbers in a walk-in Sat/Sun if you are the first one there but all that activity sends them into crops where you won't get them out or in cover along fence lines and ditches where they hang up before crossing roads or entering fields. If you're scouting the last hour driving around, you are finding them in ditches again.

    Different perspective than those coming to guided hunts or have accessed to land prepped with strips specifically for access. Then again many might not find the strips ready when they show up this year and will have to move 50 yards and cross the fence from their fields of golden dreams into some muddy ditches with the hoi polloi.
    it's gonna be different this season, that's for sure.....lots of roads will be messy.

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