Overall Outlook:After the better part of a decade of fantastic pheasant numbers in the Midwest – bird numbers aided by a strong Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – pheasant hunters will be finding fewer ringnecks during the 2011-2012 pheasant hunting season.
Tough weather, from drought in Kansas to hard winters in the Dakotas, did its fair share to hurt pheasant populations, but it’s the 5 million fewer CRP acres than there was just four years ago that made sure pheasant numbers were bound to decrease, which they did in every major pheasant producing state. Pheasants Forever is advocating for a strengthened CRP and other federal conservation programs in preparation of the upcoming Farm Bill, but cannot do it without your support as a Pheasants Forever member.
Despite the decline, there are still millions of pheasants roaming the grasslands, fencerows and field edges in the heart of pheasant country. South Dakota will again be in a class by itself, while Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota look to be next best. In other states, boot leather will have to wear thinner in the fields this year. But as veteran uplanders know, any day hunting roosters is a day well spent. Remember to always consult official state hunting regulations for rules and season dates, and please carry Pheasants Forever's code of conduct with you into the field this fall:
As a member of Pheasants Forever, I believe in conserving wildlife and protecting the environment. I promise to leave the outdoors a little better than I found it. I will hunt safely and treat hunting on public and private land as a privilege. I will always ask permission before hunting private land. I will obey all game laws and insist my companions do as well.
See The Original Pheasant's Forever Article