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LOTWSvirgin

3 Bird limit

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What do you think of the 3 three bird limit. Pros and cons about it? I dont know how I feel about it yet. I think wuth the weather we are haveing it kind of sucks to be a pheasant.

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So would it be better off if it was in your freezer?

My guess is that there aren't many people out and few of them are going to score 3. No big deal.

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Birds are still doing fine up to now, wind is blowing enough snow off the fields for them to feed easily. As far as the 3 bird limit goes, it is not an issue in my opinion. You can't bank them or save them for next fall. Average life span is 11 months for a pheasant. I just shot my first 3 bird limit in MN this past thursday. If I am lucky I will get it done one more time before January 1. The other 5 times I have been out in December I have averaged .66 birds per trip. That was one trip with one, one trip with two and three with Zero.

The three bird limit was a three hundred and two mile round trip from home. I liked the fact that I could shoot the extra bird on that trip, if not the three of us would have been done by 1:30. The last three birds took us to the end of the day. We had 5 in the first two hours, 4 we shot, one caught by one of the dogs. The 6th bird we saw flying from a bean field to the cattails and watched it hit a high line wire tumbling to the ground about three feet off the gravel.

We saw plenty of birds inbetween but none that were huntable given the location, private property or being in the middle of a stubble field.

At about 3:45 we watch about 30 birds fly back down into the cats and it was game on. Late enough in the day that they sat tight and let us get closer than the 75 yards they did earlier.

Only saw one other group of guys hunting in the 7 hours we were out.

With this snow we are getting, this late season hunting is not for the weak of heart. It is a tough, calf cramping, leg burning, falling down in the ditch in waist deep snow, catail fuzz in your mouth and eyes, cold wind in your face, can't feel your chin or cheeks anymore, found the only weak spot in the ice in the whole darn slough up to your knee good time. I can't wait to go again

smile

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I've hunted alot, all public land.

The limit could just as well be 20. The additional number of Roosters being killed is minimal.

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I agree the impact is minimal, guess I am luck being out twice and 3 bird limits both times - public land only.

This weather is proof - you cannot save or bank these birds. Just hope Jan and Feb are nicer than Dec. We are not starting off winter too good with two blizzards and weeks of cold temps. Some areas I hunt in ND have been hammered too.

Bright side I guess is ruffs are still heading up in 2009.

Grouse face a five bird limit all season long. I would like to see the MN DNR go to a two bird limit for December. (even though on a total population basis it makes little difference)

- I have a personal limit of one bird per cover in December.

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Personally I'm against it and would rather it be back to 2 birds/day.

I agree. If I shoot it, it's dead, no chance for next year. Maybe you can't "bank" pheasants, but no matter how cold it is out side, there chances are better than in my freezer...

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Its great. It takes a lot of work to get a 3 bird limit in MN. I did a solo trip last Thursday and got a 3 bird limit (and a coyote) with below zero temps. It was a great trip for me the dogs. I will remember it for a long time. There are to many roosters pushing the hens out of the good cover. I am seeing about 25 roosters to every one hen I see.

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This change in limit only really effects private lands. I hunt mostly public land and my average day is one bird per day of hunting. I only shot two two bird limits last year off of public land. This was by myself and I walked from nine o' clock until around four both times. A multiple two bird limit is near impossible on public land. I am pretty sure that I won't be shooting any more pheasants with this three bird limit. When I hunt private, a limit is pretty easy to come by and one more bird per person can easily be done, especially when they are all bunched up in the cattails during late season.

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The other 5 times I have been out in December I have averaged .66 birds per trip. That was one trip with one, one trip with two and three with Zero.

smile

In the areas that I've been hitting, that's about right.

I know there's places that would be better, but with the end of global warming, I haven't made it out to them yet smile

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From the perspective of a guy who has only ever hunted with a 3 bird limit (Iowa), I'd be bummed if it were only 2. Too many times we'd be done before the dogs even had a chance to get out and run much.

Biologists claim that you can harvest up to 90% of your current rooster population without a significant impact on the future population...it's all about hens surviving and having good weather for the hatch. We're in the midst of a very tough winter for this early in the season. In the past I have watched roosters dominate hens in competition for the little bit of food that can be found. That handful of extra roosters may make it to next season, but if they run hens off of the food source and some starve as a result, there will undoubtedly be fewer birds the following season.

I hunt private ground for the most part, but very little of it exclusive. Haven't had a 0 bird day yet, a few 1's when I only had an hour or so to hunt, but mostly 2's and 3's. Don't think the 3 bird limit will have any sort of negative impact on your 2009 population.

And on a final note, although I don't begrudge those who do, I choose not to chase pheasants in these harsh weather conditions. What I fear most is moving the hens from cover and possibly causing some of them to die to exposure. When we get this much snow and cold, I opt for a late muzzleloader deer hunt or a good day of ice fishing.

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Who says you cant bank them? You think the new ones spring up outta the ground? Science might say lots of stuff about producing lots of chicks with few nests, but I`ll put my money on more birds. Because the Wx wont matter, more nests will be more flushes.

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I love the new bird limit lets the dogs get more exp and everyone has more fun (except the birds)

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You can't bank the Roosters. I am all for more hens next spring. But Roosters, many studies say you can't harvest to many. And the way I shoot most outings it is not even a remote possibility.

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I have always questioned the comments about the roosters chasing the hens off the food or best cover, but I have to say I saw evidence to support it on Friday. I was hunting with a friend and we harvested 2 roosters that were flushed within minutes of one another and no more than 10 yards apart from one another. One was a more mature rooster and the other was clearly a young bird. When cleaning the birds, the crop of mature bird was bursting with food (as full as I have ever seen a crop before). The young bird had some corn in its crop, but nothing compared to the mature rooster. Based on where these birds were shot and the timing (late morning), I am assuming they had equal time to fill their crops. The mature rooster had the majority and I am guess many of the other birds in the area had lesser amounts of corn compared to him.

I know I making assumptions about certain things and this is by no means scientifically sound, but an observation that I thought I would share none the less. I hope a few hens ate better that afternoon before the weekend storm.

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I have an acquaintance who witnessed it first hand last year in a very dramatic way. He lives next to some great winter cover...heavy hedge rows with great undercover. With the bad winter we were having, he made the decision to feed the pheasants in this area to get them through an exceptionally tough period of time. He watched two roosters, 1 in particular, not allow hens to feed day after day. After a period of time, and seeing several hens that looked in very rough shape, he made the decision to shoot the rooster. He feels strongly it saved the lives of several hens as they soon were regulars at the feeding station.

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There will always be a few birds that survive, but there are studies out there that estimate overall hen survival per week of rough weather. The loss begins to build week after week ...

You cannot bank pheasants (even hens). You can assist their chances of survival with habitat (and I suppose by shooting roosters).

But those pheasants and flocks of pheasants living in marginal winter habitat will die if this rough winter continues. Remember the winter of '96? Huge areas of MN lost most of their pheasant population ... we are nowhere near that point yet, but we are heading in that direction if Jan and Feb are not warmer and less blizzards...

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I like the 3 bird limit. If I'm fortunate enough to get on 3 rooties this time of year and not blow the shots, I am very happy to take an extra bird. They are mighty tasty freshly battered up and fried like chicken fingers. hmmm hmmm!

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And on a final note, although I don't begrudge those who do, I choose not to chase pheasants in these harsh weather conditions. What I fear most is moving the hens from cover and possibly causing some of them to die to exposure.

You hit it on the head why I don't like the three bird. The hens are the future for next year, with a three bird limit guys are just going to go out and run them around that much longer. If its a BIG cattail slough, the hens will just go to another part of the slough but if the cover is marginal, and you're running those hens up on a fence line at 4 PM on a 10 degree day, that hen has a tougher time. Plus pheasants are a flock bird, if they can they'll group up and then you have 10-20 sets of eyes to watch for predators, when they're continually harrassed and split up, it has to be tougher for one hen than it is for 10 hens to avoid predators.

I AM glad that they waited until Dec 1 to implement the 3 bird limit, that way they don't get slaughtered the first couple of weekends so it leaves more for late season hunting. In a sense you are 'banking' those birds for later in the year.

I've had situations in the past when I've been hunting a big slough and get my second bird when I'm a 45 minute walk away from the truck but hey thats part of the hunt, I get the satisfaction of unloading my gun and enjoying the walk back.

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Better to kill the roosters, as many as possible. You should have 10 hens or more per rooster.

Hardest thing on a hen in winter is a ROOSTER especially when food runs short. Watch them run the hens off food all day making the hens sit exposed to predation much longer and obtain much less food energy, if foraging in ag fields not so much in food plots.

I would feel thats harder on them than chasing them out of a slough twice a week in December since the usually fly to heavy cover and don't land where they will die, unless your in some really poor habitat. The birds I pushed out recently all fly to common landing areas (they stay flocked up) and still have food available in food plots to recharge. The deer will have the food plot empty by mid January.

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Personally I'm against it and would rather it be back to 2 birds/day.

How about this - what if it were nice out and 50% of the pheasant hunters were still out shooting their 2 bird limit....now with the weather and as said earlier in this post, bird hunting now is not for the weak....truly how many guys are going to go out and get 3? If it were nice out more birds would be getting killed with the 2 bird limit than now when you can get 3. Starting it at Dec 1 is not going to do a thing to the population.

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2 DA Gills, have you been getting out much. Between the holidays upcoming and the bitter cold haven't been finding much time to get out (went fishing a couple of times also). Wish the wind chills would come up a little, woulld like to get out once or twice more before year end.

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