I was having coffee with a couple of upland bird hunters I know this week and the talk turned to what the upcoming pheasant season might look like. We feel that we’ve seen more pheasant along roads and in fields during our routine travels than we have in the past few years.
One particular rooster that I see regularly inhabits a slough and some heavy vegetation near the junction of East State Farm Road and Newberry Access. I have seen this rooster a number of times early in the morning. He has got a pretty good life going where he is.
Just to validate what we suspected, I called Drew Larson, Pheasants Forever habitat education specialist. Larson is based in North Platte so he would see the same things.
“Some of the surveys we usually refer to, like the rural mail carrier survey, are not completed yet, but everything I have seen or heard looks positive,” Larson said. “It is all directly related to the additional moisture we’ve had this year. It created better nesting habitat and better habitat to live in. I’m hoping we continue to get the moisture we need so that there is not a need to release the CRP for emergency haying as has happened during recent drought periods. That is always devastating to pheasant populations.