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Now We Hope For a Good Hatch

  • dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2114479

    MINNESOTA
    A MILD WINTER AND GOOD OUTLOOK FOR SPRING

    Despite prolonged cold and snow in parts of Minnesota, the outlook for pheasants is generally good, says Eran Sandquist, Minnesota state coordinator for Pheasants Forever.

    “There was some localized snow and ice events over parts of the Minnesota pheasant range, but in general they were followed by warming trends that opened food sources and gave the birds a reprieve.” The exception was the most northern part of the range, where snow lasted longer. But “overall I think we had a good winter as it relates to the pheasants and wildlife,” he says.

    “The weather the next few months will play a big role. The good news is we should have had good winter survival and the pheasants should be going into the nesting season in good shape,” says Sandquist. “Based on anecdotal reports I’m hearing, folks are seeing a good number of birds across the core pheasant range. If we can maintain quality habitat, the future looks bright for this fall.”

    Tim Lyons, upland game research scientist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, concurs.

    “We had longer periods of cold across the state than we did last year. On paper, it will look like we had more snow too, but it wasn’t as bad for pheasants. A lot of that snow in the eastern part of the pheasant range was due to a big storm in December that then completely melted in the next few days. Much of the southern part of the state, and in particular the southwest, was snow-free for a fair bit of the winter,” says Lyons.

    “The state produces a winter severity index, and it can sort of give a picture of winter severity for year-to-year, but it’s misleading for pheasants because it’s designed to characterize how snow and cold affect deer survival,” he says. “The quick melt and decent weather this spring makes me hopeful the coming nesting season will be good. Most of the state is now out of drought conditions.”

    Regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza, Lyons says it might affect pheasants, but only in local areas, if at all. “I can see some getting it from being near a poultry farm but I don’t think they’re at such high densities we’d see the kind of widespread or large-scale mortalities we see in waterfowl or shorebirds.”

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1204
    #2116630

    hopefully all the snow the dakotas got this week didn’t kill the momentum we had going. Based on what I’ve seen the last few years, I don’t know if its feasible for the population to bounce back if they have another year or two of bad hatches and terrible weather during brood season.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2116633

    hopefully all the snow the dakotas got this week didn’t kill the momentum we had going. Based on what I’ve seen the last few years, I don’t know if its feasible for the population to bounce back if they have another year or two of bad hatches and terrible weather during brood season.

    I dont think the birds or deer are going to handle that real well. A buddy who grew up in that area said they are doomed unless it melts soon. Deer cannot survive in that either its too exhausting to move around to get to shelter/food.

    dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2116637

    I’ve got a buddy from Minot that’s been sending me pictures. It looks Pretty brutal. I’m not sure what to think. It’s not going to be brutally cold, so hopefully they can tough it out for a while.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2116638

    It’s not going to be brutally cold, so hopefully they can tough it out for a while.

    That’s the only good thing I guess. I saw a video some gal posted who raises sheep. They said they had to keep blowing the snow so the sheep wouldnt get buried and suffocate. This will hit livestock hard too. Hope for the best.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2116647

    Now it looks like another snowstorm will hit that area this weekend into Monday. Good grief.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2116665

    36 inches in Minot, 18 in Bismarck, 24 in Dickinson, and 13 in Grand Forks. Bout the worst situation you could ask for in terms of pheasant mortality.

    The good news is that central and western North Dakota were VERY dry so all this snow is going to melt and really help with their drought.

    stevenoak
    Participant
    Posts: 1354
    #2116794

    Can’t speak to pheasants. But our 25 wood ducks houses are getting a lot of attention.

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