Bird sightings

AtTheMurph

Active member
Getting some good reports from Iroquois Co. Lots of birds being seen. Buddy saw upwards of 25 along a road near Buckley and several groups of a dozen N. or Milford.
 
Drove down to Ashkum along I-57. The combines were out picking crops, and I saw 4 pheasants between Herscher and Ashkum. Another guy we were going to eat with was coming from Watseka. He likewise reported seeing several birds along the road between Watseka and Ashkum.

The other thing I would say is if you live along the I-57 corridor that Beans & Barley in Ashkum was a nice surprise for a a small town place. Incredibly well thought out rebuild of an old "Hen House" restaurant that was kind of mind blowing frankly, and the food was pretty good, and they had a nice selection of craft beers.
 

ehudgens

Active member
First trip to Milford. Really didn’t see a lot of birds but didn’t hunt that hard either. Did a lot of driving around to do some scouting. Weather was beautiful and was lucky enough to scratch out a limit.
 

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AtTheMurph

Active member
Got out last Friday with four other guys and a total of three dogs. Hunted NE of Milford in Iroquois Co at 5 spots. 3 LONG ditches, one 10ac patch and a shorter ditch. We put up 60-70 birds in total. At least 2/3rds were cocks.

Have two cocks hanging in my garage after going 2 for 3. Still cannot believe I missed the first shot on one. Shocked me! LOL. First ditch got up 25-30 birds. 2nd long one only 10. 3rd long one only 5. Short ditch 3. 10 Acre patch I saw 18 and there is a good piece of brushy cover/small trees that block my view of the other side. Those two guys said they saw 15-20. That little piece is always lucrative.

6 cocks taken in total.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
Went out Fri to a place on the border in Indiana by Sheldon. 1 lone hen..... Hit a couple of patches NE of Milford that always look like primetime habitat but we never seem to find birds. As we drive up I spot what I think is a cock about 100yds along the edge of the Switchgrass. Buddy in car thinks it's a clod of dirt.

It's probably 10ac of the best cover you can imagine. Finally see fours hens get up leisurely ahead of us and land maybe 30 yards in front of one of our guys. Good sign! Got up all four on nice points, flushed 4 or 5 more hens then got up one cock, then another then another that I was able to bag.

Spotted a coyote a hen and cock at the other spot.

Headed down to a place in Vermillion County that I have been on one other time. Exact same things happened. Cock gets up in the same place, lands in the same place. Flushes again and goes back to the same place. I didn't shoot at that one but the other 3 guys all unloaded twice. Not a feather. I think it's the same cock from 5 years ago. Wears bullet proof feathers.

Picture is of a cock I shot in Illinois (left) and one in Indiana (right) on this same day. Probably not many people can say they did that.
 

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AtTheMurph

Active member
There were 7 but couldn't get them in the picture before two took off. All cocks.

Across the street from Hudgens Switchgrass Property in Milford, IL.
 

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ehudgens

Active member
Made 7 trips back to Iroquois County this year. Hunted by myself 3 times with a buddy or two the other 4. Killed a limit 5 out of 7 times. Had a limit each time I hunted by myself. Only 1 bird short the other 2. Best morning I had was with a buddy, we had 4 by 8:30. All in all pretty pleased with the year. I didn't see real big numbers, but every place that should have birds definitely did. Maybe not a ton, but at least a few. Did get into a few nice groups of 10, and one group of over 30 yesterday.

Just a couple of observations, I have never seen so many hawks, owls, and now bald eagles. I jumped 4 owls and 2 hawks out of one CRP patch yesterday. Wonder how they are impacting pheasants, and especially broods in the spring. I'm a little worried about some of the CRP strips on the drainage ditches coming out. Seems more is coming our than going in. Really enjoying and appreciating every hunt with my setter. He's pushing 11, so I've got to think about getting a new pup in the coming months. Had a fun season. Hunted sharptails and huns in ND, pheasants in SD, and ruffed grouse in WI. So I got in a some great hunts this year. Can't wait for next fall.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
Made 7 trips back to Iroquois County this year. Hunted by myself 3 times with a buddy or two the other 4. Killed a limit 5 out of 7 times. Had a limit each time I hunted by myself. Only 1 bird short the other 2. Best morning I had was with a buddy, we had 4 by 8:30. All in all pretty pleased with the year. I didn't see real big numbers, but every place that should have birds definitely did. Maybe not a ton, but at least a few. Did get into a few nice groups of 10, and one group of over 30 yesterday.

Just a couple of observations, I have never seen so many hawks, owls, and now bald eagles. I jumped 4 owls and 2 hawks out of one CRP patch yesterday. Wonder how they are impacting pheasants, and especially broods in the spring. I'm a little worried about some of the CRP strips on the drainage ditches coming out. Seems more is coming our than going in. Really enjoying and appreciating every hunt with my setter. He's pushing 11, so I've got to think about getting a new pup in the coming months. Had a fun season. Hunted sharptails and huns in ND, pheasants in SD, and ruffed grouse in WI. So I got in a some great hunts this year. Can't wait for next fall.
I got out Sunday, only 3rd time this year. Me and buddy and my dog. Had 19 points. 17 hens and 2 cocks. Let the cocks go too. Didn't hunt any of the really good places but everywhere but one held birds.

We kicked at least 6 or 7 owls out of one switchgrass patch. I'm not sure I'm worried bout them or not. Not sure if they kill pheasants or not. I do know that the hawks are bastards. Seen quite a few of them and have in the past kicked them off of fresh kills. Never done that with an owl or coyote.

I heard you made it to the bar in Milford for a cocktail!
 

ehudgens

Active member
I got out Sunday, only 3rd time this year. Me and buddy and my dog. Had 19 points. 17 hens and 2 cocks. Let the cocks go too. Didn't hunt any of the really good places but everywhere but one held birds.

We kicked at least 6 or 7 owls out of one switchgrass patch. I'm not sure I'm worried bout them or not. Not sure if they kill pheasants or not. I do know that the hawks are bastards. Seen quite a few of them and have in the past kicked them off of fresh kills. Never done that with an owl or coyote.

I heard you made it to the bar in Milford for a cocktail!
My day was like that on Wednesday. At least 20 hens pointed. Didn't see our first rooster until the 3rd spot and it got up wild. Had my cousin with me, and really wanted to get him a bird, so took him to one of my honey holes over by Cissna, and we killed 3 in 15 minutes. He wanted to know why I didn't take him there first lol.

I did make it to the bar. Only had 2 beers, had to hit the road.
 
Saw my first pheasant of the year will driving down IL-78. I believe it was just South of Prophetstown. Nice health looking rooster picking gravel.

Hoping for a good year. Haven't seen or heard any of the quail on my property yet. I sure hope they survived that week of super cold snowy weather we had last winter. Sure makes me nervous.
 
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