Pheasant numbers?

Win97

New member
I see that there is no post for this state. I was just wondering why.If the harvest numbers are true for Ohio we are one of the better states to hunt in.I for one do not belive the numers are that high. What is you opion?
 
those numbers you read were the state public releases that the conduct. Trust me as a resident of ohio there are few pockets of wild birds to hunt.
 

Win97

New member
birdhunt I do and have done so since 1987 and have missed only two seasons in that time. Yes I know we have some birds but so few around where I live you hate to kill to many for fear of being none next year. You have to hunt wisely so you can get a whole season of dog work out of a area.
 

huntsem

New member
The published numbers for the pheasant harvest in Ohio are misleading and deceptive. The Ohio DOW and DNR does little to promote land or agricultural management practices that would support wild pheasant populations. They do next to nothing to encourage wild pheasant stocks. The limited put and take pheasant numbers and the upland land management on most wildlife areas in Ohio are sort of a joke considering the comparative size of the State and the number of hunters interested in bird hunting. If it wasn't for federal CRP programs it's likely that Ohio wouldn't have a single wild pheasant. Ohio's DNR is more focused on managing Ohio's natural resources as an industrial system that caters to large scale agribusiness, resource extraction, real estate development, and tourism. If you're a bird hunter in Ohio and you don't have access to a privately stocked honey hole you're out of luck, unless you want to bag one or two $20 turkeys a year. Then Bang once and...your done for the season.

And some wonder why the future of hunting is in jeopardy...
My poor bird dog...

I'm glad I live close to Pennsylvania. Last year Pa. stocked over 100,000 put and take Pheasants statewide. That's SEVEN TIMES the number of put and take birds that Ohio stocked last year. Pennsylvania also has allot more co-operative private landowner / hunter permission agreement land to hunt on. Pennsylvania does a MUCH better job of serving the interests of hunters than Ohio does.
 
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gobucks

New member
On a good hatch year you can do good on the WPA's if you have good dogs. I'm very lucky to have a buddy that has CRP and my folks just enrolled 35 acre's this past year. I'm trying to talk my neighbor to enroll CRP since he's getting ready to retire from farming and has no kids that will take over his farming.
 

FLDBRED

Active member
gobucks,

Do you have a hunt-able population of WILD pheasants in your area? How about quail?
 

gobucks

New member
There's a good poopulation of pheasant on the private CRP, only seen a few quail and there's no season on quail where i live. This year was a horrible hatch, combine that with the bad winter we had and the one honey hole we have at a friends parents where we normaly jump two dozen to at times 50 birds on 25 acres we jumped maybe 15 this year. And we had a dog for the first time. It didn't help that there was a 100 acre bean field on until the last week of season.

If interested i'm part of a Quail Forever chapter we just started up this fall in southern ohio. We have a banquet on march 31 and its $70 a couple or $50 a single. That included meal, open bar til chow time and one membership to QF. Its in Mcarthur,Oh (near Athens). Leave me a message with your info if anyone wants a ticket.
 

huntsem

New member
gobucks, I'm surprised to read your reports of flushing up to 50 wild pheasant on a days hunt in Ohio. I've spent some time traveling around to work on projects in various parts of Ohio, always looking for signs of pheasants and asking folks I meet about pheasants when I do. My observations and the responses I receive are that pheasant populations in much of Ohio are few to none. I NEVER see any along the roads, dead or alive, and believe me I do look. Are you sure that most of these birds you are seeing aren't being stocked by a few local landowners or hunting clubs? What county are you hunting in?

What's a WPA?
 
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gobucks

New member
This year we were screwed due to the bean field being on for the entire season. It was last month I drove by an hour before dark and there were in that 12 to 15 bird range in the weat field next to CRP. And a couple more next to the guys barn. What really helped my buddies property is he had neighbors that had around 100 acres of grown up fields that were never farmed and in the second year of my friends CRP program someone started farming the larger portion of it. Those birds just moved down the road. These are all wild birds, i'd say there's a good 200 acres of grass within a mile. I've talked to a couple guys that work for PF and I'm one of a handful of people that has told them of the sucsess of the CRP and bird numbers, and one of the others wasn't to far from me. Circleville area.
 

huntsem

New member
Yes, I've heard some reports of clusters of wild birds in CRP along the Scioto watershed but I've also heard it's next to impossible to get permission to hunt them. You are lucky to have access to that area for sure.
 

FLDBRED

Active member
Does Ohio have a Pheasant Plan in place to help bring back wild birds? What type of numbers do you guys stock?
 

Scottinohio

New member
Several years ago in a question and answer column in the pointing dog journScottyal,the question was asked about ODNR pheasant plans. The response was "they cant even spell upland". I didnt even hunt Ohio this year.I went to Ks. They have a 4 bird limit and free walk in. Scotty
 

Scottinohio

New member
For a pic of a 8 bird limit go on the Kansas forum and go back to the post there were a few birds. I think that Pheasants forever isw a good org but what good does it do the little guy who cannot get permission to hunt? That is why I no longer buy Ohio hunting licenses. Scotty
 

huntsem

New member
I've read exchanges with ODOW management stating that pheasants are a non native species in Ohio so there is no emphasis placed on assisting their populations. Ohio does have some programs to help promote wildlife habitat that would assist upland species in general but not specifically pheasants.

There have been some programs aimed at promoting wild quail populations in Ohio but from what I have seen they are very limited in scope and in my opinion somewhat mismanaged. An example that I'm familiar with in N.E. Ohio was the attempt to establish a wild quail population at a public hunting area where wild quail were trapped and transferred to there from Kansas for several years. Unfortunately the last two winters at end of the program saw the worst period of heavy sustained snows in a long time for the region and in my opinion the likelihood of success looks grim. Especially when you also consider that this same public hunting area was continually quite heavily hunted for small game, (including stocked pheasant) deer, turkey, grouse, etc. through to the end of February (not quail of course) My thoughts were that the quail flocks in this case should have a sanctuary and not be busted up late in the season. I wrote last year and asked the about the status of the quail population there and was told they have moved out into the surrounding areas of private land. Call me skeptic but I also see little evidence of upland habitat development on private land in that region.

In Ohio when you travel across agricultural areas it's most common to see edge to edge, right up to the road, modern farming practices with little cover left for wildlife around active farms. The few remaining populations of wild pheasants left in Ohio usually cling to the edges of CRP water drainages that are established in certain regions to try help keep industrial type ag poisons and bacteria levels down in the State's rivers and streams. In Ohio I've seen several wetland "mitigation" projects where land developers destroyed lush wetlands and compensated with a mitigated "make believe" wetland of seasonal wet woods that would never compare to what was lost. I've also seen long time wetlands on farm properties tiled and drained dry, filled and plowed over. It seems like things or people have to start turning up dead or dying from poor resource management before the ODNR starts to get serious about the importance of diverse wildlife biologies and habitat structures.

I could go on and on.

From the perspective of an upland and small game hunter I think Ohio ODNR pretty much sucks. It has for a long time. There's really not much coordination for any kind of long term or wide spread habitat managemant plan for pheasants. Go to the ODOW web site and look for yourself. If you find something let me know.

I guess the squirrel hunting is pretty good, at least we still have that.
 
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FLDBRED

Active member
That doesn't sound to good at all! I keep telling the boys in Pa. that they are lucky, but some of them just don't get it! At least the PGC is trying!
 

OldDublin

New member
Ohio's days as a pheasant state, and it used to be pretty good, are gone and will not return.
The ODNR deserves little of the blame, comparable to farming practices and nearly 12 million people...and counting.
More could always be done by the ODNR certainly but state-owned ground is limited and gets pounded as most are naturally close to population centers.
As well, deer and turkeys the ODNR and hunter's darlings, require very little management, again comparably.
Deer feeders of course, feed the nest predators and the coyotes are not considerate enough to feast on coons to a level that would help offset the damage the deer hunters bring.
Private land has a few carry-over and wild pheasants...shot one 2 years ago and felt a bit bad, but private is tough regarding access.
Some of the CRP is good, some can be too thick and some simply is not concentrated enough around areas with birds to really matter.
As with the ruffed grouse, build-it-and-they-will-come is a falsehood...gamebirds will not spontaneously generate.
Quail is a lost leader other than for a precious few counties along the river....and there, weather cycles are a killer.

Very easy to blame any DNR but a good look will discover they don't often run the show with a free hand and are pulled many directions...often by third-party lawsuits.
Pennsylvania is lucky, as someone said...in their gamelands program and in the PGC funding which has been boosted to the stratosphere by the recent Marcellus Play...let alone their CREP acerage in the Susquehanna/Cheasapeake drainage.
Ohio legislators and voters were not wise enough to have an equal DNR funding scheme.
Blame for lack of gamebirds in Ohio....visits many doors.
The largest portion of blame may simply be the enormous number of doors.
 
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FLDBRED

Active member
That sounds pretty bleak for sure,and I hate to hear it. To be honest with you it sounds like even NJ might have more opportunities for the upland hunter, and that's sad considering what Ohio once was! Is there any chance on improving the put-n- take program through a Pheasant Stamp system?


Nice pictures Scott!
 
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have access to some private land to hunt ringnecks in Ohio. Of course I have to wait until after deer gun season so as not to disturb the deer.

I savor my Ohio bird hunting like a rare single malt.

It is a two hour drive for me to my hunting spots in Ohio, and a two hour drive to SGL in PA. I prefer PA.

I am a native of PA and I tell my buddies back home how lucky they are. They think I am lucky because I live in Ohio! Big deer. BIG DEAL! Rats with antlers.
 
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