Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Washington - Pheasant chicks available to raise, release

The  Inland Northwest Wildlife Council will distribute pheasant chicks to people who have facilities to raise 25 or more birds for around six weeks before releasing them into the wild. 

The council provides the day-old birds in lots of 25 and charges a fee to cover costs: 
• 40 cents a hen
• $2.25 for roosters
• $1.50 for half roosters, half hens.
Starter feed is available, 50 pounds for $20.

The first shipment of chicks from Little Canyon Shooting Preserve in Peck, Idaho, will be April 29 and continue every Tuesday until late June, said program coordinator Larry Carey.

They will be available for pickup at the council office, 6116 N. Market.

Chicks must be reserved in advance: (509) 328-6429. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where's the best place in the U.S. for pheasant hunting? Wisconsin?

Written by
Mark LaBarbera

Wisconsin pheasant hunting is attracting national attention and helping local business owners, their employees and communities. Tourism industry, get ready.

Hunters that normally travel to the Dakotas and other states now talk about declining bird populations there while enjoying greater success in Wisconsin, and they are creating an economic ripple effect here. Chat rooms, web forums and word-of-mouth among avid bird hunters and dog handlers are saying the Badger State is now producing great wing-shooting opportunities for pheasant. Why keep driving westward when Wisconsin’s natural resources are closer and fully deliver the satisfying experience hunters desire?

“I’ve heard it from hunters who hunt the Bong public land in southeastern Wisconsin and from non-resident hunters from the eastern and southern U.S.,” said veterinarian Jim Rieser of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. “Word is spreading that hunters don’t need to drive further west,” he said, “when they can save the gas money and have as good or better hunting in Wisconsin.”

At Pheasant Forever’s 2014 Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee, hunters from across America made a point of thanking the volunteers working the Friends of Poynette Game Farm booth. Poynette is the site of the DNR’s state game farm that raises roosters and releases them on public lands accessible to everyone. The current DNR leadership increased production of the aging facility from about 50,000 to approximately 75,000 birds, with extra effort from the over-worked staff and volunteers. They also increased to 91 the number of public hunting sites where they released birds, usually twice a week on most properties to serve both weekday and weekend hunters. And the public noticed the positive results.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MI DNR awards wildlife habitat grants - Pheasants Forever

The Department of Natural Resources April 14 announced recipients of the 2014 Wildlife Habitat grants. A total of $737,720 was awarded to various conservation and nonprofit organizations, units of government and landowners.

Examples of funded projects include planting native grasslands for pheasant habitat at Lake Hudson State Recreation Area, planting fruit trees for wild turkey and ruffed grouse food sources in several locations across the state and improving accessibility for limited-mobility hunters and wildlife enthusiasts at Sharonville State Game Area.

The successful list of applicants, the award amount and the county in which the habitat projects will take place are:

Pheasants Forever Inc., $44,000, Lenawee County.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Early pheasant outlook is positive for MN, SD, ND

Glen Schmitt

Now that the carnage of what was considered a pretty severe winter for wildlife has mostly melted away, wildlife officials in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota recently offered a glimpse of how well pheasants fared.

While winter started early and provided some of the coldest temperatures all three states have encountered in several years, pheasants appear to have done surprisingly well.

The bigger issues for continuing to build bird numbers will be nesting success this spring, which was poor last year, and slowing down the loss of suitable habitat.

It was an extremely cold winter across the state with many areas experiencing in excess of 50 days with air temperatures at or below zero degrees.

Some areas also received record snowfall this past winter. Fortunately, the deepest snows fell outside the state's core pheasant area.

According to Nicole Davros, upland game project leader with the Department of Natural Resources, the heart of Minnesota's pheasant range — which includes the west-central, south-central and the southeast parts of the state — some of the smaller pieces of cover were filled with snow. But the bigger chunks of cattails and grassland were mostly blown open by strong winds.

"Birds took advantage of food plots and the wind also blew open farm fields for feeding," she said. "I haven't had any major reports of mortality from the winter conditions."

Most encouraging, Davros is seeing a fair number of birds along roadsides in the southern part of the state.

She's confident pheasants fared well this winter and will know for sure when the DNR conducts its annual roadside counts in August.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Montana Pheasants should have survived harsh winter in healthy numbers

The lack of snow cover throughout most of the winter, current habitat conditions and an abundance of food mean pheasants have fared well throughout most of their range in Montana.

That's according to Ryan Williamson, Region 6 upland game bird biologist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. While no firm prediction about the breeding season can yet be made, Williamson said if the mild winter continues and spring conditions play out favorably, it should be a good breeding season.

“We often get late winter and early spring snow events that can delay nesting (as witnessed in the spring of 2011 and a little in 2013), but as of now, the winter shouldn’t have had a huge impact on the birds’ bodies or habitat conditions,” he said.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 Winter harsh on Ohio's pheasant numbers

Written by

Dick Martin

Ohio’s pheasants have been scarce for a number of years. Still, at least small populations have hung on in spots where there was plenty of food and cover.

But this winter was a bad one, and according to Pheasants Forever, Ohio’s birds took a hit. The severe weather, which featured long durations of snow cover and extreme cold took its toll on our feathered friends.

“Ohio pheasants undoubtedly struggled to find sufficient food and cover during this severe winter,” reports Mark Wiley, wildlife biologist for the Division of Wildlife.

Wiley notes that there is a habitat bright spot: More than 10,000 acres in the Ohio Pheasant State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement program will be available as part of the Conservation Reserve Program this year within the primary pheasant range in the state.

With birds so scarce in Ohio, many hunters seek ringnecks elsewhere. What can they expect this fall?