Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kansas Pheasant concern - Birds' population decline an issue for hunters and economy


On average, pheasant hunting brings in $75 million per year to Kansas, so a decrease in pheasant numbers across the state is a concern for pheasant hunters as well as the Kansas economy.

Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has teamed up with Pheasants Forever in Pheasant Tour 2014, with efforts to educate the public, decision-makers and conservation partners about the declining pheasant population,

In 2010, Kansas saw one of the highest pheasant harvests since 1992 — about 1 million pheasants. But in 2013, the pheasant harvest was under 200,000 birds, Jim Pitman, single game coordinator of KDWPT, said.

During a meeting Tuesday in the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Auditorium at Garden City Community College, Pitman and his colleague, Jeff Prendergast, small game research specialist, spoke about ways to increase the pheasant harvest, and proper ways to produce substantial amounts of pheasants.

"Our biggest limiting factor here is producing more birds," Prendergast said. "We need to have the habitat on the landscape to help those birds survive through the nesting period and through the brooding period, and through the fall where they can move around and substantially escape predators."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pennsylvania Franklin County's reintroduced pheasants doing well so far

Game Commission hopes to introduce hundreds of birds to recovery area

Franklin County's first colony of ring-necked pheasants is in a family way.

On a short walk from the barn into the tall grasses, Brandon Black flushes four fledglings and two hens. A rooster disappears around the corner of a mulberry grove.

"Things are going real well," said Black, a wildlife biologist aide with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In fewer than five months, the Franklin County Wild Pheasant Recovery Area has come to life with eggs, broods and roaming roosters.

It's still too early to let sportsmen and their dogs into the field, or even to determine the survival rate, but there are indications that the birds like their new home.

Black is tracking 20 birds in the summer heat and humidity. More than four months ago in near-zero wind chills, the Game Commission released about 70 pheasants, many with radio collars.
"Our plan was to get 300 birds," he said. "Unfortunately that didn't happen."

The Game Commission relocated most of the birds from Montana. Trappers from the commission were not familiar with the new territory and weather warmed during the operation, Black said. Cold weather is needed to draw pheasants to the bait.

The hope is to add 300 pheasants to the Franklin County Wild Pheasant Recovery Area next year. The area is the most recent of four WPRAs in Pennsylvania. Startup was hampered when states were reluctant to part with their own declining stocks of wild pheasants. A Crow tribe in Montana has agreed to allow the Game Commission trap its birds.

Flying the pheasants from Montana worked well and is likely to be repeated next year, according to Black. It's cheaper and the birds are in captivity for a shorter period.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Seneca SD preserve operator seeks increase in pheasant bag limit to 30 pheasants per day per hunter

The operator of a Seneca pheasant hunting business asked Tuesday that hunters be allowed to take 30 roosters per day at South Dakota preserves.

The current limit is 20. It was increased from 15 in 2009.

Sal Roseland presented the draft of a petition seeking the rule change from the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission.

“Our total goal today was to get the conversation going,” said Roseland, who is part of the Roseland family that runs an 18,000-acre farming, ranching and hunting operation that is about halfway between Aberdeen and Pierre.

The standard daily limit is three roosters for hunters who aren’t on preserves.

Jim Dailey, who operates Dakota Ridge preserve near Clear Lake, joined Roseland in speaking to the commission.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pheasant numbers increase across N.D. for 2014

North Dakota's spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department's 2014 spring crowing count survey.

Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was up about 6 percent statewide from 2013, with increases ranging from about 2-9 percent depending on the region.

Kohn said the increase in the numbers statewide surprised him a bit.

He said last fall, there were not a lot of juvenile roosters taken during the fall season, usually an indication of a poor production year.

But going into a relatively mild winter, Kohn said, with the exception of the extreme southwestern part of the state soil moisture was ample across most of North Dakota.

That led to good residual cover for pheasants going into this year's nesting season which, unlike last year's wet and cold spring, was closer to normal in terms of timing.

This spring was cool as well, but recent rains could turn out to be more problematic than a year ago.