Who's going out this weekend?

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Great question !!

Honestly there's been a nice mix of young and old. If I had to put number I'd say it's close to 50/50 on first year birds to second or third year birds... maybe a hair heavy on younger side.

But I can tell you we have shot some of the OLDEST birds I've ever seen this year. 1" spurs and longer... one had 1"plus spur and another set starting about 1/4" long.. double spur!! Crazy!!

The breasts on these birds are massive!!! Like they are body builders... not fatty... thick muscle.

We have noticed an uptick in running birds after being shot. Finding most but they just aren't going down easy.
Did you or anyone you know release birds out there in the past or are these the same birds of "yesterday"?
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
I went out this morning. Flushed nothing but hen's today. One set of rooster tracks. He flushed before we could get to him.

Snow was deep where the snow drifted from the open fields:eek:. Packing snow. Birds are running right on top of it. Still a lot of cover though.

Where they were roosting last night there was a lot of pheasant droppings within their "pot/bowl" (where they spent the night). I was surprised at the amount of dropping for this time of year. They're finding food somewhere. Not sure what it is:confused:

I hope to get out on Monday.
 

petrey10

New member
Went out this morning ... 320 ac of crp. Saw 100+ wild ... not released not pen raised released early... freaking wild Illinois roosters. Yes it can happen with good habitat.

Got close enough to bag 16 as a group.... our group total reaches 94 on the year. So freaking awesome boys

Build your habitat. Get it on a good burn schedule. We don't need huge food plots in Illinois due to field corn. Keep it thick but not too thick they can't run in it. Burn portion each year to where last portion burned year 3-4.

We had ice down here for 3-4 days last week and these birds handled it well. Crp handled it well. Pray for another good spring and we could have something special
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
No one has released these birds except our fore fathers that brought them over from China
Merry Christmas Petrey:cheers:

Yeah. No I realize they're wild bird your hunting out there (though not exactly released by our fore-fathers:D--but George Washington did indeed gave it a try in New York/New Hampshire with "black necks"/Caucasus).

I was wondering if someone in the (resent) past released birds to re-populate the area once the habitat was installed.

By what you're telling me, these birds moved in from existing areas with existing wild pheasant stock. That's what I was wondering.

Can you do me a favor? I'm going to PM you and probably pick your brain a bit if that's okay.

Let me know. Thank you.
 

petrey10

New member
No birds have been added to supplement population. It's 10-15 yr old habitat in this 320 spot. Recently burned to freshen it up. We've had two decent hatch springs in a row and we try to hunt it only handful of times each year. All this equates to more birds!!!

Feel free to PM me any time
 

AtTheMurph

New member
Did you or anyone you know release birds out there in the past or are these the same birds of "yesterday"?
I killed two cocks a couple weeks ago. Both were big old bruisers with extra large breasts. Biggest two I have killed in quite a few years.
 

petrey10

New member
Been a tougher weekend... got 4 Saturday on a couple marginal newer spots for the group

This morning went back to a ditch we had great success early and saw 40-50.... saw one hen and got couple roosters. One weekend left boys.
 

ilphezhunter

New member
Got out one last time for this season this past Friday. I was able to get a couple videos from the hunt. I would like to share but don't know how. Looks like site doesn't support mp4 videos. Can anyone help?

Overall this year was better than the last 3 or 4 seasons. Got 27 wild birds this season. And last couple of hunts I saw plenty of hens to keep me excited about next season.
 

AtTheMurph

New member
Went out Sunday morning in the cold to finish off the season.

Put up 11 hens and one cock. Didn't even shoot, just was happy to see birds and get the dog some quality work. Had 9 solid points (8 hens and the one cock).

Was 5 degrees when I hit the fields. Not windy though so was decent enough.
 

petrey10

New member
Went out Saturday for last time. What a great year!! Saw 20+ birds missed a few shots bagged one last rooster to get our group count to 108 on the year. 108 wild roosters inIllinois .... wow!!

Never thought I would see those kind of numbers.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Got out one last time for this season this past Friday. I was able to get a couple videos from the hunt. I would like to share but don't know how. Looks like site doesn't support mp4 videos. Can anyone help?
You'll have to upload it on Youtube than link it here;)
 

jphunter

New member
Nope Headed out to Kansas for one last go. We were chased right back home by the ice. Got a day and a half in before though. Id say with the ice and rain and cold to let those little birds alone til next year.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Nope Headed out to Kansas for one last go. We were chased right back home by the ice. Got a day and a half in before though. Id say with the ice and rain and cold to let those little birds alone til next year.
LOL. In that case, how did your 1.5 day Kansas hunt treat you?
 

jphunter

New member
Yep had a good day and a half.. I wore my buddy and his dogs out in the first day so it probably worked out for the best. I ended up with 3 pheasants and 4 quail.
 

jphunter

New member
spent a good amount of time stomping around Illinois' mecca quail hunting spot, :eek:Pyramid...(said with much sarcasm).Ha I have been successful but its tough hunting there. I'm lucky enough to have a few private spots that allow me to hunt but they only hold a covey or two. A friend of mine pulled a permit for sangcris. It was a pretty uneventful day. Other than my Kansas trips that about did it for me this year.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
A friend of mine pulled a permit for sangcris
That's a PHA yes? Yeah, better luck next time!

Illinois PHA's seem to be getting pretty good. I hope some time in the future we can increase such areas and open them up for increased public hunting lands/opportunities.

I found that PHA's with a mix of warm season, cool seasons, and short brush cover have some good wild pheasant numbers. Been hearing about increased success on PHA's from some clients too.
 

100%IL

New member
State meeting this weekend shed a lot of light on this. State DNR is going through major overhaul of PHA's based on the research shown by a U of I grad student. I've seen the presentation many times and it shows that PHA's success rate with harvest is growing at an exponential rate.

www.inhs.illinois.edu/pheasants
 
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