Broods

JO BO

Member
I have been going to the farm and watching last couple of weeks with very little seen as far as broods go. Tonight something changed, in just 1/8 mile of road I had 4 broods cross. I like that when they go from my grass to the grain field across the road as I get a perfect count that way. 1 brood of large ones ( almost as big as hen) 7 chicks. The other 3 were very similar in size. ( softball size)They could all fly a few feet 1 brood of 8 the other 2 were 11 each. So 44 total pheasants in small strip of road as there were 3 adult roosters strolling along Looks like will be a great year of production as I am sure many more are in grass and wheat field. I only watched for 15 minutes. This is SW ND
 
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Wiley Rooster

New member
Jo Bo. I was out a week ago in southwest ND. Saw similar size broods as you. Bugs and grasshoppers everywhere. 2 broods were 6 in one and 8 in the other - they were dove size. Later that night I saw two more broods. They were the size of huns. One had 5 and the second had 7. I did see hens still with roosters . They must still be trying to get a successful brood. In my area we’ve had 17 inches of rain since April 1. Unbelievable! Brood conditions are ideal!
 

JO BO

Member
Yes great conditions ...could use a little rain now. Grasshoppers are thick. Lots of butterflies and flys. Ornery biting flies. I have seen a couple roosters with hens still and some hens alone. Should be some good winter cover as it seems the farmers aren’t cutting everything. Tons of hay. Late planted crops here because of wet spring so will be later harvest.
haven’t seen any Huns yet but have seen some sharpies no turkeys yet. Hawk numbers seem way down.
 
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Wiley Rooster

New member
I have seen the same thing with the hens. Still seeing 6 to hens a night by themselves or with a rooster. I have heard success rates for the mallard hen at only 30 % for their broods making it to September. I would think the hen pheasant is better then that? Hopefullly they are 75%. Does anyone know anything on that stat for the hen pheasant?
 

esetter

Member
Turkey poults have a similar life of a pheasant chick I would think. In college we learned that a hen turkey has between 12-15 eggs in a clutch (on average). If 3-5 make it to adulthood , its a success. More die in the nest due to predation and weather than die outside the egg. Id say those brood sizes you guys have seen is a great sign! Lower predation id think. Biggest risk to the chicks now is weather. Awesome report. I hunt SE ND. Id love to hear about broods like that there.
 

Wiley Rooster

New member
So.. if you had a hundred hens. Do 50% of those hens have successful broods. It probably varies with cover and predation but it would be interesting to learn what success rate hens have of having a brood. We know by august the ones that had broods have about 6. Any thoughts or facts? Sorry Jo Bo. Didn’t mean to turn this into a hen stat. But I agree with you. I saw lots of hens that had no chicks with them
 

JO BO

Member
Went out again last night just to drive up and down the road on a quick trip to see if anything was about. Saw a clutch in my newly seeded 15 acre habitat project. ( wheat grasses.switch,alfalfa,sunflowers and cover crop barley. Hope it turns out well. saw a hen at the edge of the wheat field across the road and she started getting nervous and took to flight....as she did her brood rose with her and they reached 20 feet or so in the air. It looked like an airplane pulling a banner across the sky with 9 following her to safety. Wish I had a picture.
 

Matt D

Active member
Don’t want exact location but what general part of the state?
East river northern half of the state. I’ve heard good things from most areas though so don’t think it’s spot specific. Some small areas had some hail damage that will likely effect numbers to some degree. Shaping up to be a good year!
 

Wiley Rooster

New member
I went out this morning and in 7 miles I saw 8 different broods. 5 to 7 chicks was the average. I still saw hens with zero chicks so not sure what that means? Predation or too much rain at the wrong time ? I definitely saw more then I saw two weeks ago and more then what we were seeing a year ago. This is promising. The farmers are cutting winter wheat and starting to do their spring wheat and then 10 days from now they will start the canola. We could use some rain to finish the corn and soy beans. There is some sub soil moisture down a foot but we’re extremely dry on top. Hope it rains tomorrow. Excited for the fall. Definitely the dog days of summer going on right now. Also. Even though it’s really dry on top there was some dew on the grass at sunrise. Grasshoppers everywhere!
 

Hockeybob

Active member
East river northern half of the state. I’ve heard good things from most areas though so don’t think it’s spot specific. Some small areas had some hail damage that will likely effect numbers to some degree. Shaping up to be a good year!
Great news I hunt NC
 

remy3424

Well-known member
This is in IOWA, but I haven't had the time to be out as much as I normally am, but I went in our CRP last evening and did see a nice brood of 6 or 7 birds, they were the size of pigeons. It is somewhat surprising those chicks can live through the extreme heat and dry condtions we have had here this spring/summer. They are tougher than I give them credit for. I guess what we have had would be more "normal" for SD or KS, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised at all.
 

Wiley Rooster

New member
Yeah , the chicks are really resilient. Last year in SW ND we got some nice rains in May. June maybe an inch and the same for July and August. We had 9 days in July that were 95 degrees or higher. I thought no way when I was out at the farm would any little chicks survive this. There was really no dew in the morning. The grass was thin and dried down. I only saw one or two broods with 3 or 4 in each brood. Then we had a grass hopper hatch around July 1. The little pheasants were eating them and getting moisture from them. Our population of pheasants increased from the prior year. I thought we were having conditions like 2017 when we had barely any chicks survive. So we have to give this resilient little bird some credit.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
They can’t regulate their body temp for the first 14 days, I believe, so extreme heat early is pretty lethal…and lack of insects is as well at that stage of life…
 

Matt D

Active member
Had another farmer call me this morning. 60 miles east-northeast from the last one. Said seeing more young birds than the last few years for sure. His area has been tough hunting lately due to loss of habitat as sloughs and cattails were dry enough to get mowed and bailed. Things continue to look encouraging for sure.
 

esetter

Member
If I were to guess the ones without broods lost them but too late to re-nest? Turkeys are like that here , you'll see hens without way more than hens with? Glad they are finally getting some moisture there , last year was the first time since 2007 I didnt hunt up there.
 
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