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Thread: December pheasant hunting should not be allowed.

  1. #91

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    Refuge issue:

    If birds are pushed, DURING THE CURRENT SEASON, into adjacent refuge property with poor habitat, there will be more birds there at the END OF THE CURRENT SEASON. But NOT after 5 years at THE BEGINNING OF THAT 5th SEASON.

    If birds are pushed, DURING THE CURRENT SEASON(and subsequent seasons), into adjacent refuge property with decent habitat, there will be more there at the end of the current season AND many more at the beginning of the 5th season.

    My point: If you push birds into bad habitat, you get nothing long-term. If you "push"(or transplant) them into good habitat, you get more and more birds IN THAT GOOD HABITAT, long-term.

    Moral of story: Get birds into existing good habitat OR create NEW good habitat. But cutting limits in BAD habitat just doesn't work. You have to "push" or transplant the "last survivors" of BAD habitat into GOOD habitat.

    The season for pheasants in Georgia has been closed for.....for.....for....EVER. Are there any pheasants in Georgia? Nope........reason is simple. No habitat. Transplant "millions" to Georgia? - there will be -0- in less than five years even with no open season. This is a bit extreme but you can't force pheasants to live where they WON'T. Just can't do it. Guns or no guns.

    Pheasants need GRASS.........and LOTS of it. Oceans of it......from one horizon to the other, with a checkerboard of crops. Tall, thick grass - the turbo-charged octane booster of pheasant numbers. Oh, they like windbreaks too. Don't want those hens getting too stressed out(or passing away) before the nesting season.

  2. #92

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    I will also add this axiom:

    Where there are LOTS of birds, there is LOTS of hunting pressure.
    Where there are VERY few birds, hunting pressure is extremely light.

    We don't see huge caravans of out-of-state hunters filling up motels in Missouri all for a chance to get one of those last five Missouri roosters. I would suggest that the pressure in MO is already extremely light, just like it is here in Michigan. And Michigan might even have a few more birds than Missouri. Might be a toss-up.

  3. #93
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NW Missouri
    Posts
    614

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    Quote Originally Posted by RK Special K View Post
    From what I've gathered from biologists who should know, if an adult pheasant is lucky/smart enough to dodge lead, predators, vehicles, etc., less than 1% would reach their 3rd fall hunting season. Almost all pheasants die of "old age" before they reach their 3rd fall season. As we know, many make it to their 2nd fall season but the "old age", natural die-off gets almost all the rest between the 2nd and 3rd fall season.
    How reliable are spur lengths in aging birds?

  4. #94

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    More reliable:

    Pick up a bird with your fingers by the bottom beak. Let it hang for a second or two. If that bottom beak bends, it is a spring bird. If it stays sturdy and does not bend even with a bit of bouncing, it is a 2-year old bird. And the chance that it is 3 years old is less than 1 in 100.

    Unless it is obvious, I do this with almost every bird. Using this method, I find that about 15-25% of the birds are 2 years old. The overwhelming majority are spring birds. And almost all of these 2 year old birds die of "old age" before they reach their 3rd hunting season.

    Strong bird numbers rely heavily(if not entirely) on the number of hens and their success at raising them to adulthood(late summer to early fall). This depends on habitat and weather. Habitat being THE most important factor in long-term sustainability of numbers.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NW Missouri
    Posts
    614

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    That's interesting. I will try it next year.

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