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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

I saw one pheasant

Yesterday, I flushed one **bleep** pheasant from a corn field.  It's the only pheasant I've seen all season.  This area used to thunder with their wings. We put lots of meat on the table when I was growing up.  

Weather, coyotes and other prediters and lack of habitat is blamed.

I'd rather see more pheasants and fewer deer, although I think deer numbers are down, as well.  

15 years ago, people drove 5 hours from Chicago and paid me big money to hunt pheasants on my farm.  They always had a good experience.  Nowadays, you seldom see much hunting going on.

It would seem to me that the loss of hunting revenue is one of those little income cuts that can sneak under the radar screen.  How much gas was bought, motels rented, shots and shell purchased and meals eaten out by hunters?  A fair amount, I think, and it just kind of crept away.  That's the way it is. 

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27 Replies
nwobcw
Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

   I haven't seen many pheasants since the 70s.  Grampa used to tell of people from town coming out to hunt pheasants probably in the 30s and 40s.  He said they were so thick they roosted in trees.  I saw 2 rabbits in the 2 days of limited combining I've done.  Both of them got killed by a red tailed hawk.  Got another half inch of rain this AM and it's still coming down.  This makes about 5" in the past 9 days.

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djsinseia
Frequent Contributor

Re: I saw one pheasant

My official count is up to 2....one while cutting bean 2 weeks ago and one last weekend along a gravel road.

 

We used to have 200 acres of switchgrass CRP and would see groups of 10-20 on a regular basis.  Now that ground is back in crop production  I'm sure that is a huge factor.....as well as several cold, wet springs in a row.

 

I always enjoyed getting to know the out of state hunters that came out every year.  But I have also had to put in a lot of cows that got out because some idiot thought he needed to drive over an electric fence to try and flush out birds with his pickup.

 

I have mixed feelings.....I miss the pheasants but it will be much easiers to drive up and down the gravel roads this weekend!

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

Saw a few pheasants, a bunch of rabbits, a couple dozen deer, and probably a couple hundred turkeys. 
The running joke around here is if a hunter asks permission to shoot a buck on your place, you say fine, but he also has to shoot 2 doe, and 3 turkeys.

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wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: I saw one pheasant

I'd up that ante to 5 turkeys. They have become a nuisance here picking seed right after planting. Aren't even scared of cars. Don't want to think of the damage a turkey would do to mine if I hit it on the route.

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idalivered
Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

We probably saw 6-8 all harvest. we've had 2 winters in a row with lots of snow cover and wet nesting seasons. i suppose the coyotes don't help. I always leave a small amount of corn stand in the shelter of my grove, but that won't help the numbers. I did see one very healthy fox. She looked good with a tail as big as her body!  she had a litter in our area because we saw her and the pups occasionally this past summer. There are LOTS of raccoons. Alot of roadkill 'coons, too.  I wonder if they are pheasant nest raiders? The deer are just big cornfield rats. The iowa dnr should pay the deductible on all the car hits.

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nwobcw
Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

  Ain't that the truth nebrfarmer.  Hunters give themselves a bad name.  Last year a group of 6 or 7 were shooting clay pigeons in a rented field until my landlord chased them out.  They were in the back of a field by a creek/brush line where deer are.  I suspect they were hoping a deer would be flushed out by the noise.

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nwobcw
Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

   Speaking of coons, there used be groups of coon hunters around here but they have about all passed on now.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: I saw one pheasant

I've got 10 slaughters heifers in the corral with a self feeder now for about 4 months.  In that time I have caught over 100 coons in live traps around that grain feeder.  Sometimes 2 in the same trap.  Finished sorghum last evening and saw a whopping 8 pheasants all harvest.  Coyotes, heat, & drought I imagine are the reason.

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belarus
Senior Contributor

Re: I saw one pheasant

How much does the GMO crop plan have to play on wildlife, especially small birds and mammals?  The midwest is a perpetual monoculture.  Or actually its a bi-culture of corn and soybeans with no diversity.  I don't think I'd like living in a 160 acre corn field if I was a pheasant where the corn killed the insects and farmer killed 100% of the weeds and low foliage.  What would they eat?  That habitat inside and outside the crop fields are gone.  Its an unintended consequence of GMO's.   How many fence rows do you see that are also roundup'ed now days.   And on a side note, did you see that its estimated that 1% of roundup is ending up off target?  That is a lot of glyphosate in our lives.  Its even showing up in the rain water now in virtually every sample taken in the midwest.

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