Quick Corn Harvest Should Propel Rooster Harvest
Other than farmers, nobody watches the progress of the fall harvest season like a hunter, ringneck raiders in particular.
For roosters, there’s no bigger safe haven than the giant corn fields that dominate the Midwest landscape in October. Early season pheasants pressured by hunters quickly learn to escape to these fields and loaf away the days. In years past, row crop harvests slowed down by weather events meant these fields existed well into November, and in some places, even longer.
Much to the delight of farmers and pheasant hunters everywhere, those corn fields are vanishing quicker than teams willing to take a chance on Randy Moss. By Sunday, October 31, 91 percent of the nation’s corn crop was harvested, 67 percentage points ahead of last year and 30 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average, not to mention the earliest date since 1991 that harvest surpassed the 90 percent mark. Also from the USDA Crop Progress report:
- Minnesota’s corn crop advanced to 87 percent harvested by Sunday.
- In Kansas, corn harvest is 97 percent complete statewide.
- Corn harvest in Nebraska is 88 percent complete.
- 94 percent of Iowa’s corn acres had been harvested as of Sunday.
- In South Dakota, 81 percent of the corn is out.
- North Dakota remains the lowest reporting state with only 67 percent of corn harvested. (North Dakota is still 65 percent higher than this time last year).
This doesn’t make the act of hunting pheasants any easier, but will concentrate birds into their predictable habitat, which should increase shot opportunities. As I and two fellow Pheasants Forever bloggers are just five days out from PF’s Rooster Road Trip – in which we’ll hit five of the six mentioned states – this news couldn’t be any better. Well, except for the farmers.
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