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2019 Pheasant Reports

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GFP brood survey is out as of today, you can find it here: SD GFP brood survey


My take on the numbers being down %17 is pretty good considering the winter we had and wet spring/summer. 


I typically don't read too much into the numbers as I will be out no matter what. A few observations that I have seen this off season is that we did have a wet spring and that caused a lot of issues for farmers getting crops planted. But just about every rural area across the state had issues with too much moisture. On one hand you know that's bad for nesting conditions. But another factor we know has been lack of conservation and losing habitat at a significant rate.


Well this year a lot of acres that were typical row crops didn't get planted at all. What I am seeing is that instead of fields being turned over this spring, many were left sitting and they just ended up as acres and acres of weeds what ever else could grow there. These are prime areas for nesting and cover that typically wouldn't be.  Out where I live none of the fields near me in SE SD got planted. I have heard and seen pheasants in places I have never seen them in before. I saw some of those fields got disc'ed up late summer and some sort of cover crop was planted but there still is a bunch of weeds and grasses growing too.


I am hoping that there were some late hatches, and I am still seeing young broods of birds that are not very old yet and were likely missed in surveys. Going to be a late harvest regardless have to factor that into your early season hunts also.


Prairie grouse numbers are about the same as last year, no decline but not a big increase either. Should be able to shoot a few if your willing to put in the work to get them.

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