Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I had to travel to Dodge City for a funeral yesterday. Quite a bit of activity in the grain fields and we saw zero pheasants both out and back. Locals I chatted with weren't very positive about the bird numbers. One fella was down from NW Kansas and he said pheasant were down up there but quail were very good. I don't really know how much to read into all this but thought I would post with the opener coming up in a few weeks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I just got back from a week hunting quail and pheasant near LaCrosse. They had a terrible drought this year and numbers were down from the last 3 years. However, where there was water, there were birds.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
I hunted the opener, eight guys and two labs. We hunted about 40 miles north of Dodge City. We never even saw a pheasant track. Im originally from that area and have hunted there every year the past 55 years. The pheasant population collapsed in the summer of 2012 when there was an exceptional dry and hot summer. The population made very minor progress up until this past summer when the drought and heat was like 2012. The pheasant population in the area is extremely low.
In anticipation of the non existent bird population, we bought and released a few birds and chased them.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Yea, Kansas had a tough year. Colorado is even worse. It’ll be years before the bird populations bounce back from these drought years.

My brother-in-law and I combined for 5 birds on the Kansas opener and 3 birds the next day. Normally we would have a full bag both days.
 

· Registered
Me and Shotguns are like women and shoes, I have so darn many, giving details would be difficult
Joined
·
165 Posts
We have 2 full sections of CRP grass south of Ingalls (Cimarron KS area) with access to another 3 sections.
We (the two of us) have always done quite well and usually VERY well in those properties.
Except (as DF mentioned above) 2012.....and now this year. We were "cold barrel" on the opening day. Never seen that. Oh sure...there are a few, but they are 'veterans' and carry overs from last year. If ya don't think they are smart/wilder than a march hare..yur wrong. I mean, the few we saw were flying at 100-150 yards in front. Acting like late season birds on a windy day. It seemed like there was no need for a dog...unless you happened to get lucky with a golden BB on a 60+ yd shot and need help finding it. In fact, one or two we harvested during the opening and second weekend hunts were done by just a lucky flush at about 50 yrds with the dog far away.. It's plum pitiful around there.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12,840 Posts
My son in law has set aside land rented near Great Bend and he reported to me that opening day was about average; nothing great, but they limited out.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,087 Posts
The Kansas Department of Wildlife publishes a upland bird forecast each year based on roadside surveys. Some areas are better than others, but statewide the forecast for pheasants says, "Simply note, hunters are likely to find challenging conditions and should be prepared to work for birds this season."

Summarily, Iowa also conducts an annual roadside survey and predicted good hunting for most of the state.
 

· Registered
Me and Shotguns are like women and shoes, I have so darn many, giving details would be difficult
Joined
·
165 Posts
The Kansas Department of Wildlife publishes a upland bird forecast each year based on roadside surveys. Some areas are better than others, but statewide the forecast for pheasants says, "Simply note, hunters are likely to find challenging conditions and should be prepared to work for birds this season."

Summarily, Iowa also conducts an annual roadside survey and predicted good hunting for most of the state.
I would bet that most folks on this forum are CERTAINLY willing to "work for them"....but 5 hours and 'cold barrel' Ouch/Jeeezzz [email protected]!!
 

· Registered
Me and Shotguns are like women and shoes, I have so darn many, giving details would be difficult
Joined
·
165 Posts
The Kansas Department of Wildlife publishes a upland bird forecast each year based on roadside surveys. Some areas are better than others, but statewide the forecast for pheasants says, "Simply note, hunters are likely to find challenging conditions and should be prepared to work for birds this season."

Summarily, Iowa also conducts an annual roadside survey and predicted good hunting for most of the state.
Well, ya know, IMO it's time for IOWA to have a good/great year. They have struggled SO MUCH in the past few years with environments... (one of the big 3 right... Habitat/Predators/Environmentals) such as harsh winters, or spring floods, or Hail'd out, or drought...I'm glad to hear they are having a rebound year... In the mid 90s Iowa just ROCKED for Rooters... so glad they are coming back some....Yay Iowa!!!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,087 Posts
Well, ya know, IMO it's time for IOWA to have a good/great year. They have struggled SO MUCH in the past few years with environments... (one of the big 3 right... Habitat/Predators/Environmentals) such as harsh winters, or spring floods, or Hail'd out, or drought...I'm glad to hear they are having a rebound year... In the mid 90s Iowa just ROCKED for Rooters... so glad they are coming back some....Yay Iowa!!!
I grew up on Southern Iowa and I remember in the late 70s or early 80s reading a Field and Stream article that claimed that Wayne and Decatur counties in Southern Iowa had the highest pheasant population in the world.

For many years the DNR blamed spring flooding on a drastic decline in the Pheasant populations that occurred more than a decade ago. However, Iowa State University did a study and concluded the decline was due to increased predator pressure (primary a huge increase in bobcats) and in increase in farmland devoted to CPR. Apparently pheasants in dense CRP are more likely to run and burry themselves in order to avoid predators but pheasants in less dense cover like narrow grassy draws or corn fields will be more likely to run and fly to avoid predators.

As a result of pressure from small game hunters Iowa opened it's first Bobcat season. In less than a month the full quota of 150 bobcats were killed. They originally calculated that the 150 quota was about 10% of the population but when the quota was filled so quickly the DRN admitted they may have underestimated the population.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Someone on here will certainly correct me, and rightly so, but I seem to remember a study done on the east coast where all predators were eliminated, both on the ground and in the air. Only then did the numbers of birds grow quickly.
 

· Registered
Many
Joined
·
280 Posts
Someone on here will certainly correct me, and rightly so, but I seem to remember a study done on the east coast where all predators were eliminated, both on the ground and in the air. Only then did the numbers of birds grow quickly.
I don't believe ALL predators were eliminated but do believe their numbers are lower for the ones on the ground not the ones in the air though. Big problem in the east that I am aware of is so little natural habitat and very few holdovers from year to year. At least in the Northeast it's virtually all put a take. If you come across that study would love to see it if only to confirm one way or the other. Been here in the Northeast for 30 years and being from Missouri always reflected back onto the days of bird hunting back out west not realizing that has become a bygone era until reading this.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
here in the Northeast for 30 years and being from Missouri always reflected back onto the days of bird hunting back out west not realizing that has become a bygone era until reading this.
A “bygone era” would be an inaccurate label….comparable to many states in the eastern half of the country.

Change tho, hits all areas from natural causes to Progress….always has, always will.

In Iowa now, moved 26 pheasants today and a covey of quail.
It’s been better and it’s been worse.
Location?…. Between the big rivers.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
The Kansas Department of Wildlife publishes a upland bird forecast each year based on roadside surveys. Some areas are better than others, but statewide the forecast for pheasants says, "Simply note, hunters are likely to find challenging conditions and should be prepared to work for birds this season."

Summarily, Iowa also conducts an annual roadside survey and predicted good hunting for most of the state.
Wich is a devious way of saying, “Spend money on licenses, but there’s hardly any birds to hunt.”
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top