Posts Tagged ‘PLOTS’

Rooster Road Trip North Dakota Recap

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

I’ve personally had North Dakota circled on my Rooster Road Trip calendar thanks to an omnipresent billboard campaign featuring the ring-necked pheasant that ran all summer in the Twin Cities.  That campaign billed the state as “Legendary” and today North Dakota lived up to the slogan.

A billboard promoting North Dakota located close to the Pheasants Forever national headquarters this summer.

Our public land du jour were a pair of CRP tracts enrolled in North Dakota’s PLOTS program by Matt Olson, the Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist for Sargent County.  PLOTS stands for Public Lands Open To Sportsmen and is a gem opening up private land to hunters.

Rachel Bush, Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Biologist from Jamestown also joined us today with her fantastic black Lab duo of Belle and Haley in tow.  Rachel and her husband are both natural resource professionals who have relocated to North Dakota from my home state of Michigan.  “We love the prairie, we love the duck hunting and we love the pheasants.  North Dakota is home,” explained Rachel as we followed our dogs along a cattail slough.

Rachel Bush, Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Biologist based out of Jamestown, North Dakota, and her lab, “Belle,” with a North Dakota public land ringneck.

The action was fast and furious out of the gates as a smattering of hens flushed a few minutes after shutting tailgates.  Shortly after the hens, a pair of sharp-tailed grouse escaped my immediate species identification, but a running rooster was not so lucky.  After my young shorthair Izzy tracked it for 200 yards in high winds, the bird flushed at my feet with my head camera rolling.  If you look at the video closely, I almost pulled the trigger a hair early and would have missed behind the bird.  Thankfully, I reset and swung through the bird for a clean connection.

Despite high winds all day long, which resulted in many birds flushing wildly, we had Rachel and Matt’s sharp shooting as the day’s secret weapon.  Rachel, in particular, made THE shot of Rooster Road Trip 2012 with a rooster so high in the air you’d think it was considering migrating south as it screamed over her.  But Rachel expertly swung to her right with the fluidity of the avid duck hunter she is and dropped the ringneck from the rafters.   Legendary!

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

Rooster Road Trip – North Dakota Preview

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Tram & I with a North Dakota rooster & sharp-tailed grouse. PHOTO by TIM EISELE.

Pheasants Forever’s first ever Rooster Road Trip kicks off one week from today.  Our adventure will start in southeast North Dakota where we’ll be chasing pheasants around lands primarily enrolled in PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) and federally owned Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). 

Andrew, Anthony & I will be joined on Monday by Jesse Beckers and his Labrador, Lu.  Jesse is PF’s regional wildlife biologist for North Dakota and a fellow blogger. 

North Dakota’s best pheasant hunting is typically identified as the land south of interstate 94.  Although I’ve hunted NoDak on three prior occasions, none of those trips have been below I-94.  My previous trips have been to central North Dakota where I’ve found good pheasant numbers, fantastic sharp-tailed grouse numbers and some Huns to boot.

NoDak Nuggets

  • Non-resident small game licenses cost $85.00 and have to be split into two-7 day periods.
  • North Dakota’s pheasant harvest varies more than most states, ranging from 400,000 to 1 million roosters.  The quantity and quality of habitat plays the biggest role in those swings, but severe winter weather can knock the state’s bird numbers down in a hurry.  Over the last decade, it’s safe to say North Dakota comes in at number 3 in pheasant harvest behind only South Dakota and Kansas. 
  • The daily bag limit is 3 roosters.
  • Hunting opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes at sunset.
  • Hunters can also bag 3 sharpies and 3 Huns daily. 
  • North Dakota has more than 2.7 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), making it the 4th largest CRP state behind only Texas, Montana and Kansas.
  • Of those 2.7 million CRP acres, 1.49 million of those acres’ contracts expire in the next three years.


Road Trip Recommendation

Boyt’s mid-weight base layer top: I am a guy that gets cold easily.  I started wearing long underwear tops to work in September and won’t stop till the spring thaw.  I wore this Boyt superfine merino wool top for the first time while grouse hunting in the Northwoods over the weekend.  I can say unequivocally that this is the most comfortable base layer I’ve ever worn.  No itching, not too tight, and very warm.  Two big thumbs up!

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.