2021 Indiana Pheasant Hunt

AtTheMurph

Active member
Got out in Indiana finally in Newton, Benton and Warren Counties. Struck out in Newton for the first time in a long time. Bagged a bird in Benton and a first for me, got one in Warren County.

Didn't see nearly as many as I have over in Illinois but there are some birds.

Going to check out a 2-3 acre big blue stem patch we got permission to hunt. Stuff if 7-8 feet tall so probably won't get anything but dying to get in there and see what comes out!
 

RedLion

Member
It’s lean in Indiana this year. At least on my areas where I have permission. I walked 10 miles today and go two birds at the end of the day. Benton County. There are birds around but nothing like normal. It’s never great in Indiana….you earn your birds. Marked difference this year.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
It’s lean in Indiana this year. At least on my areas where I have permission. I walked 10 miles today and go two birds at the end of the day. Benton County. There are birds around but nothing like normal. It’s never great in Indiana….you earn your birds. Marked difference this year.
Out yesterday in Warren and saw 14 birds. The big blue stem patch isn't 2-3 acres but 8-10 acres. The farmer didn't even know he had it. Didn't see anything in that stuff either. SMH.

Saw all the birds in the ditches.
 

RedLion

Member
I have 3 spots that have produced birds over the years. This year I’ve only seen one bird after going twice to all 3 spots more than a week apart.
The birds I have seen are mature for the most part. I’m guessing a lot of chicks didn’t make it this year.
Ditches are about all that are left with clean farming practices.
Out yesterday in Warren and saw 14 birds. The big blue stem patch isn't 2-3 acres but 8-10 acres. The farmer didn't even know he had it. Didn't see anything in that stuff either. SMH.

Saw all the birds in the ditches.
 

Wolfchief

Active member
Here in North west central Indiana, we used to have several good private land places to hunt roosters. That was from the mid-80's to the mid-90's. Then much of the CRP went away, Pioneer Seed built a plant in Plymouth and contracted with local farmers to grow seed corn and many acres were irrigated and planted to seed.. Then when corn reached $5-6.00 that was pretty well the final nail in the coffin. I don't blame the farmers; I financed some of them. But I do miss the birds. This season so far I've seen exactly 3 roosters and 1 hen---and our season only runs to Dec. 14. Glad my son and I went West this year. We shot birds in Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota. Can't wait to do it again next year.
 

RedLion

Member
One of my honey holes had many fence rows, a marsh, a ditch, cattails in a low area. Produced a lot of birds.
All the fence rows are gone now except two even though the property is still in 7 sections of ownership. The low area has been tiled and farmed. The marsh has been bulldozed in sections.
Pheasant need all pieces of the puzzle to survive and nest. Now they can only rear young in the ditch. It’s sad to see it disappear.
But no criticism or blame to the farmers. It’s their land and they use it for agricultural purposes not my hunting pleasure. It’s just very difficult to watch the pheasant struggle and disappear. Such an amazing bird.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
I've been thinking about approaching a couple of farmers I know to see if I can entice them to plant some warm season grasses along the sides of their ditches. Some have had nice cover in the past but as government programs have gone by the wayside, they've begun farming right up to the edge of the ditches.

I cannot imagine that the little bit of added land in production is actually worth much in the big scheme of things. Just a few total acres of grass nestled up against a ditch creates everything a pheasant needs. I'm thinking that some cover along a ditch say 1/2mile long might be worth $1000/yr. For 4 guys that's only $250. I have a farmer friend who does it by himself because he likes the birds around but for others they need the financial incentive.
 

RedLion

Member
Most of the ground beside a ditch is marginal anyway. Not to mention erosion over time. So if there were an incentive they may be interested. Great idea. The worst they can do is say no.
They always worry about weeds and sometimes mow too short and at the wrong time of year. So that’s something to think about as well.

What is mind boggling is the prices of ground. Some farm ground in Clinton county just sold for $14k an acre. I don’t know what the going rate of cash rent is but that may be something to check into as well.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
My buddy in Iroquois IL get's $300/ac rent from .gov for pollination patches and crp strips along waterways. I asked him how much ground it would take to put a decent strip along a ditch we had just hunted (approx, 1/3-1/2 mile long) he said 2 acres. That's only $600! Hell, I do that for several ditches that the farmers have plowed up to the edge on.

Going to call one of them and see what he says. My guess is he will be reluctant ebcause will want a long term deal, which is what I would want too and want too.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
And $14k/ac is insane. About a dozen years ago I looked at some ground going up for auction in Benton Co. Old farmer near by that I knew said it was the best parcel in Benton. I figured maybe 8k/ac at the time. 97 acres.

Went to auction and it sold for almost 14k and buyer paid cash. Over $1.25M. I came up a little short.
 

RedLion

Member
And $14k/ac is insane. About a dozen years ago I looked at some ground going up for auction in Benton Co. Old farmer near by that I knew said it was the best parcel in Benton. I figured maybe 8k/ac at the time. 97 acres.

Went to auction and it sold for almost 14k and buyer paid cash. Over $1.25M. I came up a little short.
That doesn’t surprise me. Some of the best ground in the Midwest there and lots of money around that area. They won’t be making any more ground. What’s here is all there is. I see prices going up even further.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
That doesn’t surprise me. Some of the best ground in the Midwest there and lots of money around that area. They won’t be making any more ground. What’s here is all there is. I see prices going up even further.
Buyers were from California. They also bought a 400+ acre parcel down the road - for cash.
 
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