North Dakota report


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Well, I just got back from hunting central North Dakota. Virtually all the corn is still in the field. I was told by someone who manages pheasant property that if the temps stay above 25 degrees that the pheasants don't come out of the corn to roost at night. If that is the case then I see why no-one is seeing many birds. We had some luck some days and other days it was terrible. I can't put my finger on why a piece of property you hunt one day is great and then you come back two days later without anyone else hunting it and the birds are not there?!?!

One positive light to the season, if the winter is kind to our birds, with all the corn in the fields and tons of places for them to hide I am envisioning large numbers next year! I can only hope. If we aren't shooting birds this year and they make it through the winter, and they have a good spring, we should have a fun fall in 2020.
maybe if it is "dirty corn", but there isn't much of that anymore with the high tech farming that goes on these days...I own a piece of land that is all habitat, and it is surrounded by cropland...corn or beans...rotates annually, but 2 sides are always corn...birds always migrate out of the corn back onto my land late afternoon/early evening...clean corn is dangerous for birds...predators can run those rows and the birds are vulnerable...that's why windy days the birds stay out of corn for long periods of time...they can't hear so well, so they come and go from the corn, back into their "loafing" cover (crp, etc)...on calm days I will hear roosters crowing in the corn sometimes until dark...every morning when I go for wildlife drives I routinely see the birds heading from the crp back to the food sources, corn, beans, etc...maybe I am wrong, maybe they do roost in corn, just never seen that...ever.
As far as 2020, some bird carryover could occur, but for a marked increase we need a good hatch...may/June are critical...we need optimal, wet weather in June is a killer for chicks...but too much heat and dryness is as well! 2017! We need a Goldilocks early summer...not too warm, not too cool, not too wet, not too dry!
Joel, I hunted with a dog that came from your kennel last summer...actually I found the litter and directed Dave to you last summer 2018...Sam is his!!!! Good dog...🤩


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Joel, I hunted with a dog that came from your kennel last summer...actually I found the litter and directed Dave to you last summer 2018...Sam is his!!!! Good dog...��
That's right You are from up around Duluth. I did hear from his owner, he is pretty happy with the drive and energy of the dog. That is what I like to hear! Happy customers!!! BB I heard about the pheasants staying in corn from a farm that I hunt in SW North Dakota. They shut the operation down this fall because they couldn't get the birds out of the corn. He told me on nights when it never got below 25 they had no birds in their cover. They manage all their land for cover so they usually have tons of birds for groups to shoot. I hadn't heard that before either but this is a farm that makes money off of selling hunts and they shut down for the season! I am hoping for that perfect spring and summer. I want another banner year or two when lots of guys can shoot limits of birds.
Yeah, Sam is a really good dog...about a year and a half now...MAJOR ENERGY!!!!! That whole pheasant in the corn thing...strange...something about that makes no sense to me, I have been chasing these birds for 40 years, the last 27 VERY intensely...always known pheasants to roost in grass, tree belts, cattails, etc...if the corn is weedy, it could serve that purpose, I suppose...again, something a bit fishy about that...if there are birds there, in corn, then go hunt them in the corn! My .02 says there is more to that story...regardless, happy holidays!!!!


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Birds one day and not the next. If you push birds to another location and they have what they need and are not bothered, why go back ?

In ND, many corn fields have smaller sloughs inside. If they are not underwater this fall, they can hold the roosting birds. They do not necessarily need to go back to large blocks of grass or cattails. Birds also can move after sunset and actually closer to dusk. Most people are back at their residence or on the way to the bar when it gets that late. I have also watch birds walk across a lightly snow covered plowed field into roost cover rather than fly ...
This year I was able to hunt a variety of areas in several states over extended periods of time. Heard the same stories, that they are in the corn, wait till the corn is in, etc. Well in one area I hunted I was there while the corn was harvested, there before any was cut, there while it was cut and there when it was barren. I saw the same numbers every time. Watched as 2 combines cut the last of it, expecting to see birds flock out, but nothing. Cover was good, but disappointing numbers. I also hunted some areas late that I have hunted for years and again although the crops were in the numbers were disappointing. Soooo I don't think that the standing crops were the only issue, sure there are some birds in there during the day, but I also can remember them flooding out at last light to the crp. Didn't see that this year. Another telling factor is the road counts, our scouting always include a factor of dead birds per mile, area of most birds, equal best area to hunt. Hardly saw any dead birds on the roads this year.
you bet, that is true Brittman...i am trying to figure out the "if it is over 25 degrees" part of the rationale...even if it was cold, they would roost in the sloughs within the corn if there was a slough in there...even when there is 100% corn standing, we always have great hunting the last 45 minutes of the day, as the birds ALWAYS come out of the corn at dark to roost in the grass...I think that outfit had something else going on down in SW ND...something fishy...again, if there was cover in the corn, you'd go hunt it! You wouldn't shut your operation thought, anyway.


Gave it a try last Saturday, only flushed four from cover adjacent to the standing corn on posted land. There were plenty of birds in/around that corn and in/around surrounding farmsteads. Don't see any sign my neighbors are in a hurry to harvest corn & sun seeds. Hoping it freezes hard enough this week I can shift focus to digging some out of cattails...