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hanso612

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On the down side, the pictures in the report from the Dakotas of the bunched up birds and ice encrusted pheasant reminded me alot of what I was reporting from the deer opener. We kicked birds out of drifts that might have been tombs.

On the flip side, and as reported in the article, we found no evidence of dead birds the following weekend. Usually preditors/scavengers leave tell tail signs. We found none.

On an up note, looks like the weather is getting back to normal. With all the corn from the opener, the bad weather over deer season, and the extended season-the late hunt should prove to be worth the trip. There should be lots of roosters around that on a normal year would be in the bag by now.

Do you guys agree or disagree? Think numbers in SW are down considerably or have we just not taken full advantage of the opportunities yet? Hans

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1) too many pheasants for suitable habitat in western ND. There are birds that are living where they cannot survive long term and thus susceptible to ice storms.

2) winter habitat in western ND (except river bottoms) is not too great for pheasants. Bird populations are high because winters are very mild by ND standards (ND's banana belt) and summers are warmer and drier = typical lower winter mortality and higher reproduction.

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Boilerguy, I'm seeing lots of birds too. I thinkl we are on the same page on this one. It's reports from others that have me guessing. Hans

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I was in SW MN yesterday. My observation of the overall bird numbers is down a bit from last year. I hunted all public, flushed approximately 30 birds, one group of 10, bagged the only rooster I saw. You guys seeing the same ratio of hens/roosters? Buckbrush and cattails were holding the birds yesterday in the 15 degree weather.

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Actually I have been seeing a lot less hens this year compared to last year. I agree overall birds are down a little where I hunt compared to last year but when I'm on birds I have been seeing a pretty good number of them being roosters.

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I thought the numbers were down in SW MN the entire season, but after this past weekend I would have to disagree. I don't know if all the hens were in the remaining corn all year or what, but this weekend we saw more birds on our property than we have seen in years past. 5-6 hens for every rooster we saw, and we saw a lot of roosters as well. These numbers could be a result of our terrible shooting, but it looks very promising.

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winniewalleye777, I would tend to agree with you. I don't know that I have ever thought the numbers were down by any big means, but maybe the same and then factor in the later than last few years harvest date and a lot of people notice that. Not knocking many people in SW where I live, but many hunt the first 3 weeks of the season, then loose interest, or weather turns and they don't make it back out, or whatever, so thier filed of view of the entire season is slanted. I would agree with you, I wouldn't say we have an increase in birds in my opinion, and I wouldn't say we have a decrease either. Good numbers in my books no matter how you look at it. We could go back 10 - 20 years and see the difference for sure. Habitat is where it's at.

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