Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, the nation’s largest upland-themed event, will be held February 14, 15 & 16, 2020, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in the Twin Cities. The three-day celebration of upland habitat, hunting and conservation annually draws more than 20,000 supporters and will be presented by Federal Premium Ammunition.
Minnesota is ground zero for Pheasants Forever, the nonprofit wildlife conservation organization having formed in Saint Paul in 1982. The Kandiyohi County Chapter of Pheasants Forever was the first local affiliate for the budding group in 1983. Today, there are 72 Pheasants Forever chapters, 2 Quail Forever chapters and more than 22,000 Pheasants Forever and/or Quail Forever members in Minnesota, making it the group’s largest membership footprint by state.
See more on Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic 2020
Friday, March 15, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019
Monday, December 3, 2018
Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
ABERDEEN, South Dakota - Cattail stalks slapped our ears and grabbed our boots, adding a physical challenge as we hiked and hunted in the prairie pothole region of South Dakota.
But the greatest test at the moment was visual.
As our group pushed through the center of a dense slough, winged forms boiled skyward from the eastern edge.
"Look at that," said Anthony Hauck of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, as we stopped to admire the sight well out of shotgun range. "Got a few in here, don't you think?"
As we continued the crunchy march, more waves took flight.
Flap, flap, flap, flap, then glide, glide and flap some more into the distance.
The difficulty for my Wisconsin eyes was accepting that the birds were in fact the object of our quest: ring-necked pheasants.
A flight of several dozen, perhaps even 100, birds from a field elsewhere in the Midwest would have had to be a different species. Red-winged blackbirds, for one.
But we weren't just anywhere. We were in the pheasant capital of the world.
Last week I joined a group for two days of pheasant hunting near Aberdeen.
The group included: Hauck, director of public relations for Pheasants Forever; Tom Hanson of Orvis; John Kruse of Northwest Outdoors Radio; Andrew McKean of Outdoor Life and Powderhook; Matt Soberg, editor of Ruffed Grouse Society magazine and a freelancer for Project Upland and Covey Rise Magazine; and Jared Wiklund, public relations specialist for Pheasants Forever.
Our timing was notable, too.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
By Marcus Traxler
Efforts to improve public hunting areas are underway for local Pheasants Forever leaders.
The Community Based Habitat Access Program (CBHAP) is up and running in Mitchell, with two sites on board and three more soon to be fully committed, as well. That will amount to 300 acres of public access areas near Mitchell by the end of June, bolstered by the efforts of the CBHAP. The initial goal is for the Mitchell area to have about 4,000 acres implemented in the local program, which aims to improve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP. Grasslands enrolled in CRP are seen as some of the most important lands needed to help cultivate the pheasant population in the state, and the number of acres enrolled in the program have decreased in recent years, as have South Dakota's pheasant numbers.
Dan DeBoer, a Pheasants Forever farm bill biologist based in Mitchell, said they're looking for donations or partnerships with area businesses to fund additional land for the program.
"The idea behind it is that the more public access we have, the more hunters we have here in our area and the more money that is spent here with local businesses to help our economy," DeBoer said.
Mitchell's program got off to a big start because of the $150,000 commitment made in December by the Mitchell Pheasants Forever chapter, Pheasant Country, which DeBoer estimates will help fund that 4,000-acre goal.
The funding provided by the CBHAP is meant to "sweeten the pot," DeBoer said, along with the CRP and walk-in funding provided by South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.
"The big advantage is that we provide another financial boost to that program to allow landowners the chance to have it make sense for them," DeBoer said.
The program is based off the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition, which has committed $100,000 since 2016 for 1,464 acres of public walk-in hunting areas. DeBoer also cited figures from GF&P research, which indicates that for every $1 invested into a walk-in program, $15 returns to the community in local spending.
Friday, September 7, 2018
North Dakota’s roadside surveys conducted in late July and August indicate total pheasant and Hungarian partridge numbers this fall are similar to last year, while sharp-tailed grouse numbers are down.
The 2018 grouse and partridge seasons open Sept. 8 and continue through Jan. 6, 2019.
Original ND Game and Fish article
R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants observed per 100 miles are down 2 percent from last year. In addition, broods per 100 miles were unchanged, while the average brood size was up 27 percent. The final summary is based on 278 survey runs made along 101 brood routes across North Dakota.
“Even though survey data suggests pheasant production was certainly better than last year, hunters will still notice the lack of production from 2017 in the overall population,” Gross said.
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were down 32 percent and broods observed down 29 percent from 2017. For every 100 survey miles, observers counted an average of six broods and 45 pheasants. The average brood size was 5.2 chicks. Despite the population decline, Gross said the southwest still holds the most pheasants in the state.
Results from the southeast show birds are up 63 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 77 percent. Observers counted five broods and 40 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.8. Gross said while some areas of the state show a large increase in percentages from last year, such as in the southeast, it is important to keep in mind this is based off a low population in those areas in 2017.
Statistics from the northwest indicate pheasants are up 9 percent from last year, with broods up 4 percent. Observers recorded three broods and 26 pheasants per 100 miles. Average brood size was 6.5.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat with lower pheasant numbers compared to the rest of the state, showed two broods and 19 pheasants per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.8.
Sharptails observed per 100 miles are down 49 percent statewide from 2017, while partridge are up 7 percent.
“Hunting will be slower than last season in most of the state, and all indications are that hunters will see significantly lower numbers of grouse statewide,” Gross said. “There will be localized areas of good hunting opportunities, but in general hunting will be fair at best.”
Despite increases in sharptail lek counts this spring for eastern North Dakota, brood survey results show statewide declines in number of grouse and broods observed per 100 miles, and a slight decline in average brood size. Observers recorded 0.8 sharptail broods and 6.8 sharptails per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.55.
Although partridge numbers have shown a slight increase, Gross said the majority of the partridge harvest is incidental while hunters pursue grouse or pheasants. Partridge densities in general, he said, are too low to target. Observers recorded 0.4 partridge broods and 4.4 partridge per 100 miles. Average brood size was 7.03.
The 2018 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 6 and continues through Jan. 6, 2019. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Sept. 29-30.
Original ND Game and Fish article