Ohio Division Of Wildlife Pheasant Hunt Survey

huntsem

New member
Who all filled out pheasant hunting survey reports for days hunting pheasants in Ohio and what were your results and / or recommendations if any?

I filled out 3 reports for 3 days of hunting stocked birds on public land in NE Oh..
3 days hunting , about 2.5 hrs. each time out - 1 bird flushed and shot each of two first hunts, 0 birds flushed 3rd hunt. I quit hunting pheasant in Oh. after that as I felt I was essentially wasting my time since my averages for hunting in Pa. far exceeds that of Oh.. Pheasant hunting in NE Oh. is pretty depressing really.

My recommendation to the ODOW for the one thing that could be done to improve pheasant hunting on public land in Oh. is to emulate Pa.'s pheasant stocking and public hunting area habitat management programs. Any crops planted on public land in Pa. must leave at least 20% of the crops standing throughout the hunting season. In Oh. they all get cut down to pretty much bare earth.


I grew up hunting wild pheasants in NE Oh. .. very very sad what the State has allowed to happen here. Some people wonder why the interest in sport hunting is in decline. I don't think it's too hard to figure out.

Incidentally Pa. stocked more than 200,000 birds this fall throughout the state...Ohio stocked 15,000...

If it wasn't for deer and waterfowl hunting I probably would quit buying an Ohio hunting license.


*
*
 
Last edited:

FLDBRED

Active member
It's sad to see Ohio in this kind of shape as far as upland hunting goes. Growing up I always thought of Ohio as a decent pheasant/quail destination.

The pheasant stocking program is very expensive. Do you guys think there are enough upland hunters left in the state to support a Pheasant Stamp that would help to offset the costs?

How did your wild quail trap-n-transfer program go? If I remember correctly it had some early success.
 

Matt D

Member
I too filled out the survey cards and also put on there as a suggestion to look at PA as a model for future upland game management Maybe if enough of us suggest that someone will take notice.
 

huntsem

New member
I haven't heard much about the quail release project in NE Ohio.
I asked about it a year or two ago and was told the quail released in Columbiana County moved into the surrounding properties. We had a couple of bad winters with extended snow cover at the end of the project and that didn't look good IMO. I also think it was a bad idea to conduct the release project in a public hunting area as the quail would be likely to be pressured and coveys broken up late in the season as small game and rabbit hunters and dogs hit the area throughout the hunting season.

The DOW pheasant hunting online survey asked about opinions regarding a pheasant stamp and fees. I would gladly pay for a stamp if the DOW did a better job with upland habitat management and increased stocking numbers.
 

mdeadpair

New member
It would seem to me that ohio needs to create stamps to pay for all the non-hunting expenses that our lincenses are paying for now. I'm not opposed to a stamp,but the money would just get watered down into other things.
 

FLDBRED

Active member
NJ was faced with the same problem years ago. They weren't sure enough hunters would support a Pheasant Stamp and worried the whole pheasant stocking plan would cease to exist. Well they now charge 40 dollars for a Pheasant/Quail stamp and stock over 50,000 pheasant and 10,000 quail. In short it worked. In Pa. it looks like the Pheasant Management Plan is having the desired results, in that pheasant hunter numbers are increasing.
 

huntsem

New member
I've heard that in Ohio funds from hunting and fishing license fees and other state income resources like fees from extractive industries (oil, gas, timber, mining) go into a general fund in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Supposedly these funds are divided up to include categories not directly related to hunting and fishing activities. Things like camp grounds, state parks, state resorts, etc., also receive a share of these funds. I'm not certain of all of this but it wouldn't surprise me. I've heard that in Pa. such funding resources mostly go directly to the Game Commission. The interest in sport hunting as a percentage of the population has been in a steady decline for quite a number of years and more so in Ohio than in Pa.. so for the state of Ohio to shift allot of funds to non hunting activities makes some sense. IMO the major influences for declines of wildlife populations in Ohio, especially upland game birds, are powerful influences from industrial agriculture. In a sense those industries operate against the better interests of wildlife, especially upland birds. It's not a stretch to see where the intersts of upland hunters could be viewed as problematic in states like Ohio that heavily supports the agriculture industry. I think that hunters in Ohio should have a better understanding of exactly where all of the funds from a pheasant stamp would go before they buy into it. If a $40 pheasant stamp would significantly improve the upland wildlife habitat and hunting in Ohio I'd gladly pay the fee.

*
 
Last edited:

tript2009

New member
I'm also in agreement about a pheasant stamp: the major problem I have is this. Since the state sets the release dates well in advamce, you get an overwhelming amount if hunters out only on those release dates. If you go out the afternoon following this madness, not only are you hunting a significantly reduced population of birds, you're also likely hunting one that has been crippled. If the DOW were to spread out the releases, to better spread out the herds of people coming out, I think the hunts would be more enjoyable. I don't feel comfortable taking my dog out until after all the first hour shooting is over, and trying to hunt anytime after ten the thanksgiving release is almost a waste: we went out for four hours yesterday and 6 today and didn't see a thing, except for three pheasant carcasses, likely from crippled birds at the last release.
 

huntsem

New member
Me too. I don't go out early on the release days for similar reasons. It sure does suck to take a good bird dog out and hunt for hours and hours and miles and miles and find that you are lucky if can flush a single bird. Right now I think some wildlife area managers just do whatever is quickest and easiest.

Someone who lived near Grand River wildlife area once told me that he's seen the birds released along roads without much regard to whether they flew into the public hunting area, roadside ditches or adjacent private lands that are closed to hunting. In years past I shot most birds in that area on adjoining private land where birds were forced but which is now posted as no hunting. More should be done about this such as; making more efforts to get nearby landowners to allow hunting with permission, develop the deeper interior portions of the wildlife areas to provide better food sources and cover so most of the birds are released and tend to gather further from the outside boundaries. If food plots are left standing deeper within the wildlife area throughout the season birds will tend to gather there. When there is standing corn, beans and good bird friendly cover right across the street from a public area that's been pounded hard or has crop fields cut down to nothing it's not hard to figure out where a good portion of the birds will tend to hang out.
 
Last edited:

mdeadpair

New member
you know,they used to give pheasant chicks to any farmer who wanted to participate. The farmer fed and released the birds on their farm. With all the crp ground that is available,this would help with populations and save the state money per bird. More birds,more license money,more bird money, etc.... I know a lot of people, self included, who won't get near the state public hunting areas. There are not alot of birds in Madison Co. So I do little hunting here. I do mostly preserve hunting. It's a bit costly,but I'm not hurting the wild population. I really enjoy bird hunting, I think it is worth the extra money. I would be willing to pay for a stamp, IF, the money was used properly.
 
Last edited:

FLDBRED

Active member
Do you think releasing the birds right after legal shooting hours would help? You could then hunt them the next morning. Im not sure if NJ does this anymore, but years ago they would ask for volunteers to help with the releases. The large main truck would bring the crates to the Wildlife Management Areas, from there the volunteers would load their trucks and jeeps and drive to different areas of the Public land and release the birds. At the next stocking date the main truck would then pick up the empty crates and give new crates with birds. This was done After legal shooting hours. It really spread out the birds and helped with everyone not concentrating on the same area every stocking date.
 

tript2009

New member
I think we all seem to have one thing in common: we all want to see substantial change to the way the pheasant hunting program has been going. Maybe it's time to start some talks with a couple of the PF chapters during the off season? Also, if anyone is interested in hitting the preserves out in Bucyrus, let me know!
 

Prairie Drifter

Active member
Pitman-Robertson funds are funds delegated to the states from a tax on hunting equipment. These funds are portioned back to the states based on a matrix that considers population, state acreage, license sales and a number of other things. Federal law requires that these funds be spent on wildlife management and those expenditures are audited by the USFWS. On lands that are purchased using PR $, any income is considered "Program Income" and must be offset by the same $ being removed from the state apportionment. The feds have set parameters that control how those funds are spent and every $ is coded within codes that reflect what species or habitat was benefitted by the work or expenditure that was made.

Now consider a stocking program. I do not know how that is perceived in the federal system, so I won't discuss that. However, any pen-reared release system is subject to the same "natural" losses as any other. In almost every research study that has been done the mortality of pen-reared birds is 90-95% in 30-90 days. That being said, it is most efficient to release the birds as close to the hunt as possible. To release the birds very long in advance, the losses are so great that the cost of birds in the bag would exceed the $40 of the stamp. Further, the research done on pen-reared release over the past 100+ years has concluded that there is a very minute chance that released birds survive to add to the following year's production. Too many of the things we "CALL" instinct are actually "LEARNED" from the hen.

You mention crops being harvested on the areas where birds are stocked. I don't know how that is being looked at by the local manager, but food stocks in bird season are far too late to be important for "producing" birds. They may well aid in bird survival or even bird harvest, but by the time those food crops have matured, production has ceased. If you critically evaluate wildlife areas as to their production capability, what is generally missing is nesting and brood-rearing habitat. I work in Kansas and know from experience that plant succession is a bigger problem the further east you are. Plant succession is a function of moisture to a large extent and the greater the growth potential, the harder it is to stay ahead of woody invasion. When we all burned wood, it was easier. When prescribed and wild fires were more frequent, it was easier. When the woody seed stock was less, it was easier. Unfortunately, we are a victim of our predecessors on many of these properties. When they were purchased, many were either bare or fairly naked as plant stock was concerned. Early managers planted them with a mixture of annual, perennial, and woody plantings trying to manage them for a multi-species wildlife mix. Unfortunately, those plantings were successful beyond their originators dreams. The plant communities on many of those areas ( the riparian oriented ones evolved faster and further) has now far exceeded the adaptive niche for upland birds. Unfortunately too, IF ground is cleared of woody cover, it is often put into ag production which again is less "productive" for upland game production if not done properly.

Finally, Pheasants Forever is not in the business of working with put and take release systems. They are charged with managing their money and time to improve the potential of naturally producing "wild" populations. As hunters, you need to educate yourselves as to what pheasants and quail need as habitat to maintain wild populations and focus any work or spending on improving those habitats. The LAST habitat type you should be spending valuable time and money on is food plots! You can't feed them if you haven't first nested, hatched, and brooded them!!! Habitat can be managed forever! Released birds are on the clock from the minute they are put in the crate!
 

huntsem

New member
I'd like to see the details involved in all of those studies regarding the survivability of stocked pheasants.

It's common for me to flush stocked birds in Pa. through to the end of February in some areas that have good cover and some food. If there's any corn around it's all the better. I've seen some photos of the Pa. Game Farm pheasant pens that include natural cover and food crops so the birds are better able to adapt. I've also read about studies that showed pheasants raised free range by bantam hens had much better survivability in the wild.

Leaving standing food crops throughout the winter and managing the fields to provide more varieties of food and cover benefits many various forms of wildlife.

Limiting the use of pesticides and less mono culture fields and vegetation also have a very beneficial effect on wildlife including pheasants

There's allot that can be done to improve the pheasant hunting in Ohio that isn't.

No pheasants to hunt equals less pheasant hunters which equals less support for organizations like pheasants forever.

Pa. Pheasant Farm
http://wnep.com/2012/09/14/game-farms-bounce-back-after-flood/

[/URL][/IMG]



*
 
Last edited:

mdeadpair

New member
I read where Pa. had some real success with relocating adult S.D. birds. It would be interesting to see the cost numbers compared to raising pen raised birds. I would venture to say the $/bird that survives the winter would favor the S.D. birds.
 
Top