Roadside Survey

BRITTMAN

Active member
Ouch!

Slide continues. 2019 vs. 2018 is pretty bad.

Several things.

I found that 2018 was pretty far off the DNR mark, hunting success was better than predicted and much better than 2017 (across quite a few areas that I hunt) - even though their maps stated the opposite. Most days were really good last year. Exception was an area where birds should have been up, but were scarce.

DNR has really no impact on population other than providing some winter cover (keep the base from hitting zero). Weather (winter and breeding) trumps all.

DNR is good in providing nice places to hunt (permanent and WIA) ...

Late hatches most often missed. Here's to those late season nesting hens that do not give up !!!
 
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birdshooter

Active member
From the survey.

Severe late-season winter snowstorms, heavy spring rains, and resulting flooding throughout much of the core pheasant range likely impacted nesting
activity during the 2019 breeding season.
From late January thru first part of March old man winter really put the hurt on the birds.
 
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I do like how MN is able to steadily add permanent habitat with a lot of help from the Land & Legacy Amendment and groups like PF. It is incremental for sure but in a generation it will be impact-full & important. Really need to get the IA amendment done and wish the Dakota's could move that direction as well. Next step for MN will be figuring out how to generate some dollars to maintain all those acres and provide higher quality/more balanced habitat.

Hopefully the modest increase in farm bill CRP acres and the recent general sign up will at least replace the acres set to expire at the end of this month.
 

jmnhunter

New member
downtown bang-- those are encouraging points; hopefully we can renew in 2025 or whenever its set to expire.

Last years opener was pretty good for us, although we were in a good pocket of habitat; I would be curious to see where the roadside surveys take place, although i'm not sure they publish those; and also how often--if at all--they change the routes up. If they have the same routes from 64 years ago, alot of that habitat could have changed around there, although i suppose its an indicator regardless
 

gimruis

New member
Its gotta be so wet out there right now. And at this rate, its gonna be until December before the crops are harvested.
 

nater

New member
downtown bang-- those are encouraging points; hopefully we can renew in 2025 or whenever its set to expire.

Last years opener was pretty good for us, although we were in a good pocket of habitat; I would be curious to see where the roadside surveys take place, although i'm not sure they publish those; and also how often--if at all--they change the routes up. If they have the same routes from 64 years ago, alot of that habitat could have changed around there, although i suppose its an indicator regardless
The roadside routes have intentionally been the same (more or less) since they were started. That continuity allows the DNR to track trends over time without a confounding variable caused by significant route switching . They do change if a road segment gets paved - alternate paths through gravel in the same general area are subbed in.

Roadside routes function better as a landscape-level indicator of habitat, moreso than as an indicator of production where there is habitat (although it gets at that to some extent).

IMO - there was minimal winter mortality (despite conditions), a lot of early nests failed or had chicks die, and there was a good number of successful re-nest/late nest attempts. In August I was seeking a lot of young chicks and smaller broods. In general, where there was habitat, there were birds. I'm guessing we're in for a late corn harvest but with today's equipment, a few days of warm/dry weather at the right time is all it takes for the landscape to be cleared. Maybe not by the opener, but I doubt any of us on here are the opening-weekend only types.

Flushed a rooster double walking back from the duck marsh yesterday...hard to believe we're 2 weeks out!
 
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