Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Iowa Pheasant, Quail, Rabbit, Dove and Partridge Harvest All Increased In 2018

Pheasant hunters’ harvested nearly 320,000 roosters in Iowa during the 2018 season, which was the highest harvest total since 2008. In 2017, hunters harvested an estimated 221,000 roosters.
“The 2018 roadside survey showed our pheasant population was 39 percent higher than in 2017, so we were expecting an improved pheasant harvest,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “We’re glad to see the increase in hunter success, but based on our pheasant population, we should see harvest numbers in excess of 500,000 birds. The primary factor holding our harvest totals down is the lack of hunters. Even with a positive forecast last year, we saw a four percent drop in the number of pheasant hunters.”
The harvest and participation estimates are based on the results of a random survey of licensed hunters following the 2018-19 hunting season.
Iowa’s quail harvest followed the same trend. Hunters harvested an estimated 47,000 quail last year, which was the highest total since 2007. The quail harvest increase was also expected based on the August roadside survey.
“For comparison, we had a similar quail population in 1995, but five times the quail hunters. They harvested an estimated 250,000 quail,” he said.

Monday, August 5, 2019

New York State DEC accepting applications for FREE sponsored pheasant hunts

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that the DEC is accepting applications for sponsored pheasant hunts.
The program enables interest groups to obtain pheasants for use in sponsored hunts to engage more people with the outdoors, especially youth, women, novices, veterans, and people with disabilities. Applications to participate in the program are due Sept. 1.
“Sponsored pheasant hunts are a perfect opportunity for experienced hunters to introduce novices to New York’s longstanding tradition of pheasant hunting,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Participants are taught important skills, hunting safety, and ethics, and have a memorable experience outdoors thanks to the time and commitment of the volunteers who put these great hunts together.”
Sponsored hunts are free, non-competitive events coordinated by a group, club, individual, or organization. Dedicated local sportsmen and sportswomen share their expertise with beginning hunters in a supportive environment. This program gives individuals the chance to embark on a lifelong pursuit of hunting and outdoor enjoyment.
In addition to the pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York State, staff at DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm raise 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts across the state. DEC provides up to 50 game-farm-raised pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge for these hunts.
Read the full article for more information

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Apply now for the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener women’s mentored hunt

Women who are new to the sport of pheasant hunting or interested in learning more about the sport of hunting are encouraged to apply for a mentored hunt taking place during this fall’s Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in Austin, Minn. The application deadline is June 28. 

Under the guidance of experienced women mentor hunters, successful applicants will learn the skills necessary to pheasant hunt during the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 11, and then take to the field on Saturday, Oct. 12. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the festivities of the weekend event, including a community banquet, hunter’s breakfast and wrap-up lunch. 

Applicants are required to have a firearms safety certificate and if selected, purchase a small game hunting license and pheasant stamp. A lottery will be used to select from applicants. 

For more information and to apply for the mentored hunt please see the original Grand Forks Herald post

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks begins new "working lands" program to boost pheasant habitat



East River landowners can begin enrolling their cropland in a new "working lands" program that's part of Gov. Kristi Noem's Second Century Initiative to boost pheasant hunting in the state.
In the new "Second Century Habitat Program," participants will agree to establish a perennial grassland cover on cropland acres for five years and will receive from the state free seed and a one-time $150 per acre payment at the beginning of the contract, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department announced last week.
The program provides "a short-term working lands conservation alternative to cropping marginal lands," the GFP Department said in the announcement. The program is open to all cropland located in eastern South Dakota, as well as Stanley, Jones, Lyman, Tripp and Gregory counties, according to the GFP. The initial goal is to enroll 5,000 acres in the program and GFP staff already has some landowners on board.
The focus at the program's start is on those areas because it's the primary pheasant range, although the habitat will benefit a diversity of species, said Tom Kirschenmann, the deputy director of GFP's Wildlife Division. But the intent is to expand the program into more areas of the state as they find more money for the program, he said.
Read the rest of the Argus Leader article

Monday, June 24, 2019

North Dakota 2019 Spring Pheasant Count Up from Last Year

North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from the same time last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department’s 2019 spring crowing count survey.
R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide. The primary regions holding pheasants ranged from up 14 percent in the southeast and up 17 percent in the northwest, to down 8 percent in the southwest. The count in the northeast, which is not a primary region for pheasants, was up 33 percent from last year.
“We are still seeing the effects of the drought of 2017 that resulted in low chick survival,” Gross said. “Typically, a spring pheasant population is composed primarily of yearling roosters with nearly as many 2-year-olds, and currently we have very few 2-year-old roosters.”
Gross said hens should be in good physical shape for nesting season, and despite a cool spring, precipitation has helped supplement the residual grasses to produce ample nesting vegetation.
While the spring number is an indicator, Gross said it does not predict what the fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in late July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population. “Barring significant storms or prolonged cold temperatures in June and July, we could be set for a good hatch,” Gross said.
Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a two-minute period during the stop.
The number of pheasant crows heard is compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.
Read the full ND Game and Fish article

Monday, June 17, 2019

Idaho proposes changes to pheasant hunting rules

The proposed rule would allow the state to require people who hunt at pheasant stocking areas outside of its wildlife management areas to purchase a $20 permit. In southern Idaho, the department stocks pheasants on several of its wildlife management areas and requires hunters 18 and older to purchase a WMA permit to pursue pheasants. The proposed rule would allow the state to charge the same fee of adults who hunt pheasants in places other than WMAs that are stocked by the department. The revenue from the permits would help offset the cost of stocking pheasants.

Read the full Lewiston Tribune article

Friday, June 14, 2019

SD Governor's Pheasant Hunt moving to Sioux Falls in 2020

SIOUX FALLS (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the annual Governor's Pheasant Hunt is moving to Sioux Falls and will become a sportsmen's convention open to the public next year.
Noem says the 2020 Governor's Hunt and Sportsmen's Showcase will be based at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. She says moving the annual event from Pierre to Sioux Falls will turn it into a national showcase for South Dakota's business opportunities.
The Argus Leader reports that next year's event will include a public sportsman industry vendor fair, a banquet for state leaders and business prospects, a public concert and pheasant hunting in southeastern South Dakota.