Combining has began

Spoke to a good friend today, started picking peas, so combining has begun in the area of Montana I hunt. Crops are beginning to turn over, more folks will be starting in the next week or so. Should have an idea on broods on the ground in the next few weeks, but from talking to some farmers, still have not seen a lot of birds compared to just two years ago.....
Well, second terrible hail storm rolled thru the area I hunt , both storms damaged siding, broke windows, and I am sure took a toll on the chicks and adult birds. I know hail is usually narrow bands, but these storms were baseball size hail and over rather large paths. Does not look good for this fall.....


Did that supercell near Capitol in late June do widespread damage?

Do they hide in other nearby crops when their fields are combined?

The drop in CRP is disconcerting everywhere in the High Plains. I have seen the loss of CRP and the drought positively hammer my familiar rooster haunts in southwestern North Dakota since the peak in the mind mid- to late-1990's. I suspect that I will never see the numbers like I saw with back then with the back-to-back warm winters and abundant rainfall and plenty of CRP to hold and protect birds.
Seeing a few broods on the ground, nothing like just two years ago....sad. Talked to the area biologist for NE Montana yesterday, not real optimistic, said things should not be as bad as last year, but still below average. Sure was hot the past weekend, wide spread temp's in the 100's for a couple days, smoke from Canada and western U.S. has moved into area, not real pleasant right now, though temps have backed off a bit. Where I live, we had -41 actual air temp back in Jan., now we have had a high of 107 back to back is that for extremes?


Does hot weather impact the young birds if there is water around?

They survive week after week of temperatures that exceed 100 degrees in Central California, although the stock has been genetically conditioned through decades of selective breeding to survive those temperatures.

I am glad to hear that the NE MT birds might be a little better than last year. An uptick in the numbers is better than the opposite.