Archive for the ‘Pheasants Forever’ Category

Dog of the Day: “Mack”

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Mack

Sam Mahn and his 2-year-old English springer spaniel, “Mack,” found this rooster on a post-work, public land pheasant hunt near Glencoe, Minn.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Don’t Miss Your Shot at Pheasants Forever’s Gun of the Year

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Gun of the Year features custom engraving based upon Jim Hautman's "Busting Out" Print of the Year

The Gun of the Year features custom engraving based upon Jim Hautman’s “Busting Out” Print of the Year

Each year, Pheasants Forever produces a custom engraved, limited-edition Gun of the Year. These collectible works of art are specially produced to support the organization’s habitat conservation mission and can ONLY be found at participating Pheasants Forever chapter banquets.

 

The 2014 Pheasants Forever Gun of the Year is a Remington 11-87 and features a beautifully engraved receiver capturing Jim Hautman’s 2014 Pheasants Forever Print of the Year, “Busting Out.”

 

Although we all know a gun is only as good as the person operating it, the Remington Model 11-87 offers the unquestionable reliability and versatility that you would expect from anything carrying the Remington name. Added to this, Pheasants Forever’s special Gun of the Year comes stock with a 28” barrel, 2 ¾” or 3” shell capability, and the distinction of having only 150 produced.

 

“We are extremely proud to add Pheasants Forever’s exclusive Remington 11-87 to the selection of items chapters use at banquets to raise funds for local conservation efforts,” states John Edstrom, Pheasants Forever’s director of merchandise. “Considering the partnership we have with Remington and the strong reputation of their brand, we are confident this gun will break clays and drop roosters for our members with both speed and style.”

 

With more than 600 Pheasant Forever chapters hosting banquets nationwide and only 150 guns to go around, don’t miss your shot at owning one of these exclusive collectible shotguns! Ask your local chapter if the custom Pheasants Forever 2014-2015 Gun of the Year – the reliable Remington 11-87 – will be at your upcoming banquet.

 Gun of the Year_2

Minnesota Continues Pheasant Country Trend, 6% Increase in Roadside Survey

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Pheasant Prospectus Map.  Courtesy of Minnesota DNR

Pheasant Prospectus Map. Courtesy of Minnesota DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced today their annual August roadside survey indicated a 6 percent increase in pheasants over last year.  The increase comes in spite of the state’s severe winter and very wet spring.  In fact, heavy rains hit Minnesota’s pheasant range in mid-June during what is normally the peak of the pheasant hatch.

 

Pheasants Forever joins the Minnesota DNR in its message that habitat continues to pose the biggest threat to the state’s long-term pheasant population.  According to the DNR, the 2014 pheasant index is 58 percent below the 10-year average and 71 percent below the long-term average.  Weather and habitat are the two main factors driving pheasant populations.  Weather leads to annual fluctuations in roadside indices, while available grassland habitat for nesting and brood-rearing drives the longer-term trends.

 

Like most states in pheasant country, Minnesota has witnessed a large conversion of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands to row crop production in recent years.  In fact, there have been 665,663 acres once enrolled in CRP in Minnesota that have expired from 2007 through 2013.  Most of those acres are no longer in grassland habitat, which is largely responsible for the precipitous decline in the state’s bird numbers from a time just a few years ago when the state set pheasant harvest milestones not experienced in some 60 years.

 

“Minnesota pheasant hunters should be extremely thankful to have the base of permanently protected Wildlife Management and Waterfowl Production Areas we have in this state,” reported Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever’s state coordinator for Minnesota.  “Add 15,380 acres of habitat improved through the Outdoor Heritage Fund and these permanently protected acres are the foundation upon which we can build up our pheasant numbers.”

 

Related Links

Minnesota DNR 2014 Roadside Survey Results

Minnesota DNR 2014 Prospectus Map

Information on hunting pheasants in Minnesota

Dog of the Day: “Beacon”

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

 

Beacon

“Beacon” is Ashley Boutell’s German shorthaired pointer. “In celebration of all the children going back to school yesterday, I took this picture of Beacon’s ‘first day back to school,’” said Boutell.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Iowa Roadside Survey: Region-by-Region Pheasant Breakdown

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

IowaRoadsideMap

This year the statewide index is 17.4 birds/route, a 151 percent increase from the 2013 estimate. This year’s statewide count is the highest seen in over 6 years dating back to 2008.

Based on this year’s statewide index, Iowa pheasant hunters are expected to harvest between 200,000 and 300,000 roosters.

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Dog of the Day: “Dakota”

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Dakota

“Dakota” is Kyle Boyd’s 4-month-old German shorthaired pointer. “Looking forward to his first season this fall,” Boyd says.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

S.D. Pheasant Brood Survey: Region Breakdown

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

SDbrood

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has completed the annual pheasant brood survey and the results show a 76 percent increase in the statewide pheasants-per-mile index from 2013: 2014 Pheasant Outlook.

Despite the 76 percent bump this year, South Dakota statewide pheasant numbers are still a long ways from the recent modern highs of the mid-to late 2000s, checking in at 53 percent below the long-term average. The statewide pheasant-per-mile index is similar to 2002 when hunters harvested 1.26 million roosters.

Additional South Dakota pheasant resources:

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

Dog of the Day: “Kota”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Kota

“Kota” is Tom Sweet’s pheasant and duck hunting machine. “Here’s Kota proving the benefits of a properly-managed Waterfowl Production Area,” Sweet says, “Kota was 2-years-old at the time of this photo, hunting on opening day in North Dakota.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Positive Pheasant Forecast Needs to Be Tempered by Reality

Monday, August 25th, 2014

A rooster pheasant flushes and glides to heavier cover on Sand Lake NWR in South Dakota. Photo credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS

A rooster pheasant flushes and glides to heavier cover on Sand Lake NWR in South Dakota. Photo credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks just recently completed their annual pheasant count. While the results won’t be available for a couple weeks, from everyone’s observations it appears as though pheasant numbers could be up from last year’s dismal count. If that’s true, that will be good news not only for South Dakota pheasant hunters but also for the countless businesses that benefit from the millions of dollars in revenue the tradition generates annually. Pheasant hunting is a true bellwether of the high quality of life South Dakotans have come to cherish. Supporting the habitat necessary to this time honored tradition benefits all South Dakotans economically, in clean waters and quality of life.

But if there indeed is an increase in pheasant numbers, that good news needs to be tempered. The “pheasant crisis” South Dakota has experienced over the past few years has not been solved. The findings will simply mean that a winter, spring and summer conducive to survival rates for adults and their broods have ticked the pheasant count upward. Next year may bring a far different set of circumstances.

The long-view for pheasant success in South Dakota calls for a stop to the upland habitat loss of recent years. Photo by Matt Morlock / Pheasants Forever

The long-view for pheasant success in South Dakota calls for a stop to the upland habitat loss of recent years. Photo by Matt Morlock / Pheasants Forever

If South Dakota truly wants to increase and stabilize its pheasant population, the issue of declines in pheasant habitat must be addressed. While tough winters and wet springs play a role in population changes, it’s the loss of habitat that’s responsible for the long-term decline of pheasants in the state. This habitat loss is the result of CRP and native prairie conversion, as well as drained wetlands and cattail sloughs. Since 2006, more than 450,000 acres of grasslands and prairies in South Dakota have been converted from wildlife habitat to row crops.

That is why I and many others are so hopeful about the upcoming recommendations of the Governor’s Pheasant Habitat Work Group. The Work Group has a unique opportunity before it to make policy recommendations that will permanently increase and stabilize pheasant populations by addressing the primary problem – habitat. There are dozens of different programs and practices that can be implemented to create higher quality habitat including: CRP, buffers, pollinator plots and cattail sloughs, as well as preserving all the areas that are difficult to farm that often have a lower cost-benefit ratio. There are also opportunities to better manage tremendous existing habitat throughout South Dakota, such as Waterfowl Production Areas, Game Production Areas, school lands, tribal lands and roadside ditches, for wildlife that is already on the ground.

Without addressing the problem of declining habitat, South Dakota will face a future of lower pheasant numbers, punctuated by population crashes as dictated by harsh winters, wet springs and/or drought. The resulting “boom-bust” cycle will not only have a negative effect on South Dakota’s time-honored family tradition of pheasant hunting, it will be devastating to businesses and their employees ranging from motels to restaurants to guide services to sporting goods stores. When populations are healthy, pheasant hunting brings $223 million into South Dakota each year and creates 4,500 jobs.

South Dakota has a unique opportunity to not only significantly improve pheasant habitat for the long-term, it can show that through creative management practices that farming and wildlife can be compatible. It does not have to be an either/or situation. Both industries are vitally important to this state and I believe South Dakota’s inherent can-do attitude will make it possible to have a strong agricultural industry and productive wildlife habitat that will not only produce an abundance of pheasants and other game, but also help assure cleaner water and healthier grasslands.

I am looking forward to seeing the official results of the road count and what I hope will be good news. I am also looking forward to the recommendations of the governor’s task force and the subsequent actions of policy makers that will hopefully help to assure that South Dakota will forever be known as the “Pheasant Capital of the World.”

-Dave Nomsen leads Pheasants Forever’s new Regional Headquarters in Brookings, S.D.

Dog of the Day: “Lacey”

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Lacey

“Lacey” is Shawn Garvey’s 6-year-old English setter. “She lives to hunt,” Garvey says.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s online editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.