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    It's Spring 2020

    A huge flock of Sandhill Cranes went over us here in Auburn heading NE toward Montana. I think the weather has them fooled along with the Almond trees.
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    It's Fall

    The first flock of Sandhill Cranes went over the house here in Auburn 4 days ago. Temps are dropping and everything is going to happen all at the same time.
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    It's officially Fall

    At 6:15 this evening the first flight of Sandhill Cranes flew over our house headed SW to what looked like The Cosumnes River Preserve. Summer's over no matter what that lying temp gauge may say.
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    Rain in the North Valley

    For those of you planning to hunt the north valley, it has had some good rains in the last two days. That will result in gumbo conditions and mud measured in pounds stuck to your boots. Bring towels. Lots of towels you don't mind getting muddy.
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    Maybe there won't be a fall

    I always use the return of the Sandhill Cranes as my indicator that summer is over and fall is here. That has always happened by mid Oct in years past but so far this year, no cranes have flown over the house. I guess they've changed their flight pattern a little bit or there hasn't been enough...
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    My official start of spring

    This year is an unusual one because it hasn't been "normal" for so long. Living in the foothills, when the Sandhill Cranes show up in Oct. that's the start of fall for me and when they fly north in Feb that's the start of spring. No cranes this year but a mature Bald Eagle along with an immature...
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    For those going hunting out of state

    Gov. Brown signed a law that limits the number of shells you can "import" into the state to 50 rounds. It's my understanding that even if you take the shells out of the state yourself you can't bring more than 50back in. Not a deal for big game i'd guess but for bird hunters it could be. I've...
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    Weather for central MT. and maybe on to the est

    I just heard from a friend who had to contact the DFW office in Glasgow and was told by the person there it's been raining for two weeks and the roads are impossible gumbo now. The weather service has a flood warning for the north central part of the state through Thursday. It's snowing in Malta...
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    An indicator of NE hunting pressure

    I'm getting my stuff together to go hunting and fishing again in MT. I looked through my past hunt's descriptions and found a good indicator of how quickly things have changed in the NE corner of the state. In 2013 I hunted very small and relatively remote BMAs near the NoDak border. One was...
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    Progressive Retinal Degeneration

    All dogs can have this disorder which is genetically passed to pups from their parents. It is rapidly progressive and results in total blindness but doesn't manifest itself until later in life. My almost 9 year old Lab has it and if it progresses as usual will be totally blind within one year...
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    Now it's affecting my subconscious

    Last night, in my dreams, I drove and boated all over the Sacramento Valley. Everywhere. I didn't see or hear a single pheasant. Now they don't even exist in my dreams.
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    I guess it's spring

    It seems early and maybe the warm weather has fooled them but the first flights of Sandhill Cranes heading NE across the Sierras passed the house yesterday. Best indicator of the season change I know of. Good luck to them.
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    Wildlife area historical pheasant averages

    You may have seen this or I may even have posted this before but the DFW site has pheasant harvest numbers from the 96 season to the 2010 season when they stopped including pheasant take in their posted take listings. You can go back and see how many birds were killed on the refuges and how much...
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    Historic Calif. harvest info

    This gives an idea of the fluctuation and steady descent into the tank for pheasant hunting in Calif. Note that the numbers for 2014 may include club birds in the wild bird count so...
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    More statistics from DFW

    Others would have already found this but not given a link. Here's upland harvest data for 2014 and a link to info back into the 1940s so you can see how good it used to be and how many hunters there were. Something to do when you're not hunting...
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    I saw twice as many pheasants yesterday as I did in all of 2014

    I went trolling at the Deep Water Channel and a hen and a rooster free flew up out of cover along that Channel and landed again. That's twice as many pheasants as I saw last year in Calif. and that actually includes two days dove hunting this year on refuges. Like I said about statistics, that's...
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    Calif. study regarding pheasant population

    Describes what's gone wrong with the pheasant population in the Central Valley anyway.
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    Calif. study dealing with their pheasant issues

    I guessed this would be the place to put this. It shows what their study found and suggested actions. Calif. pheasants are in the tank. Much worse than almost anyplace else with historic good numbers.
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    A dismal tour of North Valley pheasant country

    A friend joined a pheasant Co-Op with 16,000 acres of land committed to the program north of Sacramento. We drove around looking at a large percentage of it covering more than 150 miles on the odometer. Saw scalped fields with one ranch hand spraying the only 15 plants of orchard grass remaining...
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    One of the advantages Montana offers that isn't obvious

    I recently returned from 13 days away in Montana. For 12 nights I camped out and was struck by something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. For 5 of the 12 I was probably 10 miles away from even a ranch's yard light and at least 50 miles from even a small towns lights. The rest of the...