Pheasant Hatch

Yellowdawg

New member
Any predictions on how the first hatch is going/went? I can't help thinking about how the weather relates to the chicks every morning when I look at the local forecast and radar. The winter was relatively mild. So far so good?
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
May was a little wet and chilly, but June has evened things out. I suspect that the MN pheasant hatch and brood survival will be pretty good unless we get some 100 year rain fall or hail.

I predict above average ... what ever that means.
 

nater

New member
IN SW MN--mild winter conditions, average spring in terms of moisture without any freak cold+wet days during the nesting season or immediately after hatch. Plenty of green out there right now. Definitely light on bugs relative to last year but nothing like the Dakotas. There will be lots of emergency haying out there this year but we shouldn't have that problem. Plenty of habitat loss with land continuing to come out of CRP. The federal cap is definitely putting a dent into what's out there. Thankful for large public complexes in a time like this.

The localized hail events will have had an impact. In the New Ulm/Mankato area, for example, we had baseball-sized hail in places from the storm a week and half ago. I've seen some solid 80's of corn, for example, that were just chewed up or had broken stalks. There were other hail storms in the Marshall and Windom areas during the nesting season but I don't think the hail was as big.

Lots of hay jockeys mowing and haying the ditches at the tail end of nesting. Probably lost some nests there too. Crossing my fingers that we see some enforcement for what's on the books and possibly new legislation to delay mowing in the future, at least on public-owned right of ways.

Fur prices are still in the toilet basically, so plenty of nest predators out there without the trapping pressure.

I'm optimistic though. I'm thinking about Nebraska for sharpies, chickens, and maybe southern NE quail if I can swing the vacation time and the survey numbers are good.
 
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Byrdoglvr

Member
I clearly don't live in the MN pheasant belt (Little north of Stillwater) but I am seeing the most pheasants I have seen in a long time. Heard a lot of crowing during mating season too. Unfortunately our group has a week trip planned for Hettinger ND in early November. Not sure if we'll scrap it for a different area or not. Our normal SD spot is listed as a disaster area from the drought also.
 

Yellowdawg

New member
Maybe just keep an eye and a ear open for reports for now?? Poorer bird numbers in that area might mean you only see a couple hundred of birds a day, especially if you have access to prime land is good. Good luck...
 
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mnbirdchaser

New member
I've saw a few nice broods on the western and northern side of the metro about a month ago. Saw quite a few baby turkeys too this past week. I think numbers will be up in Minnesota for pheasants.
 

birdshooter

Active member
Was out conditioning the dogs on a WMA near home in Wright county and had a couple nice points. One was a young rooster as I could hear his faint cackle as he flew away. looked to be about 1/2 to 3/4 grown. Strong flyers !! This area I normally don't see many Pheasants so It was a welcome sight to see.
 
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UGUIDE

New member
Any predictions on how the first hatch is going/went? I can't help thinking about how the weather relates to the chicks every morning when I look at the local forecast and radar. The winter was relatively mild. So far so good?
I get my sprayer parts in Windom. Fast Sprayers. Those guys said they were seeing some birds where they haven't seen birds in a while before. I take that as encouraging news for MN. The buffer laws and new nitrate regs may bode very well for MN roosters. Thanks PF!
 

birdshooter

Active member
Things just keep getting better and better !

Was out conditioning the dogs again on a local WMA that I hadn't been to in 10 days. Back then I had two points and 2 birds in the air. Now.. what's got me enthused is the fact that this WMA I rarely if ever produce any finds, it's more of a conditioning field than anything else. We'll.. this morning dogs go on point almost immediately (nice back by my younger GSP by the way :thumbsup:) Up goes a young bird. Dogs don't move, up goes two more. I release the dogs and two minutes later they lock up again. All hell breaks loose and 5 more birds are airborne 1 and 2 at a time. These were all young birds of this year. I'm flabbergasted ! :D I have never seen this many birds on this piece of cover in the 17 years I've lived nearby. By the way the cover this year is great. It's not overly tall as in past years, but rather hip to waist high with corn and beans across the highway. To finish up as were heading back to the truck after about 40 minutes, bang, my 11 year old locks up one last time. I walk in and out goes a hen.

What a great sight to see. I'll let them be for a bit and use other areas for conditioning. As the roadside counts depict a sizable decrease for portions of the Pheasant belt, there's no question that where you have good nesting cover you can produce a decent hatch.
 
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BRITTMAN

Active member
My observations in MN have been just as many if not more birds seen in poor areas than in the good areas.
 

Chocolabguy

New member
I saw more birds over the winter, into the spring and also this summer, then I can remember in quite a few years. I figured the hatch was a good one, because I have been seeing a large number of broods with good numbers (6-10) in each as well. So, when the survey came out, I was quite surprised. Heck, I was out working the dogs 2 weeks ago, we flushed a young rooster that was still mostly brown, but he was easily identified as he cackled at take off and while he flew across the property. He should have most of his new color by now.

So, I am looking forward to the season. Regardless of the numbers reported, I will get my dogs out and hunt. Good luck!
 
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