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Roadside Pheasant Count Predictions?

  • dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2143388

    So, the roadside count will be coming out in early September. What’s everyones prediction for the upcoming season? I think the numbers will be pretty good. A mild winter and a decent spring – more rain than last year – will make for decent numbers. I know there was some hail/excessive rain in spots that might impact things. I use the roadside count as a general guide, but that’s about it.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2143390

    Old man winter hung on pretty long where I normally hunt, which is further north than where most others hunt. June and July were very dry though so any hatch should have done well. I heard a fair amount of roosters crowing when I was turkey hunting last spring.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1204
    #2143409

    What state are you talking about? South Dakota stopped doing the counts/publishing the numbers.

    dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2143412

    Minnesota. Shoulda mentioned that.

    crawdaddy
    Participant
    St. Paul MN
    Posts: 824
    #2143422

    Oh, trust me, they will look good. It’s a bumper crop this year for sure.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2143437

    Oh, trust me, they will look good. It’s a bumper crop this year for sure.

    I thought it was pretty good last season. Not gangbusters, but not poor by any means. Apparently it was worse than I thought last season according to some hunters.

    JEREMY
    Participant
    BP
    Posts: 1385
    #2143451

    Seen piles of all different size pheasants a few weeks back picking sweetcorn. Since then i have seen zero of any size except for 6 or 7 piles of their feathers were a fox or coyote must have got them.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2143460

    Oh, trust me, they will look good. It’s a bumper crop this year for sure.

    Interesting. My brother drives truck through the best of the pheasant range in MN daily all the way into SD even. He hasnt been seeing many birds at all. Last year he had all he could do to not hit at least one every day.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 1204
    #2143466

    Interesting. My brother drives truck through the best of the pheasant range in MN daily all the way into SD even. He hasnt been seeing many birds at all. Last year he had all he could do to not hit at least one every day.

    Dang, don’t love hearing that. I’ve been hearing a lot of reports from SD of second and even third hatches. Yes it was a late spring but there haven’t been any majorly severe weather events (flood, hail, etc) and it’s the first year in several years where the part of SD that I hunt hasn’t been in a moderate to severe drought for most of the summer. Parts of the state that I hunt also got good amounts of moderate rain throughout the summer which is great because chicks need bugs to thrive and bugs need rain. At least these are the things I keep telling myself to keep a positive mental attitude for the upcoming season.

    Regardless, grouse season is looking very promising in the north woods. Pheasant hunting is just a bonus for me.

    Attachments:
    1. Drought-map.png

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2143478

    I was surprised he wasnt seeing much for birds too! I figured it would be a good year, but far western MN had a much harsher winter than where I live and perhaps that put a real hurt on them.

    steelslinger71
    Participant
    Posts: 101
    #2143595

    Looking pretty good here in the Worthington area. Have seen a fair number of broods and the late hatched broods have been big with some 9-12 in number.

    Mookie Blaylock
    Participant
    Wright County, MN
    Posts: 381
    #2143600

    I made a loop from St Cloud to Watertown, SD to Aberdeen, and back yesterday. Only game birds I saw were a single family of Geese in the ditch. But I wasn’t really looking for the majority of the trip.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2143602

    I made a loop from St Cloud to Watertown, SD to Aberdeen, and back yesterday. Only game birds I saw were a single family of Geese in the ditch. But I wasn’t really looking for the majority of the trip.

    That’s essentially the route my brother takes except swap St Cloud with Hutchinson.

    dirk-w.
    Participant
    Minnesota
    Posts: 408
    #2145716

    Map is out. Looks pretty good 👍

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2145724

    Map is out. Looks pretty good 👍

    East-central hasn’t looked that good in a long time. That’s not what I would call “traditional” pheasant habitat either.

    The central zone is up a whopping 46.5%. Bumper crop lol

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2145729

    Saw my first hen all year on the drive in this morning, but I am not in a traditionally high pheasant area. It does look like where I normally hunt hasnt really turned around much, but there is an area much closer to me that is a bullzeye for very good numbers so that will be my focus.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2148160

    I was hoping we’d go into hunting season with more moisture but it now appears to be pretty much just as dry as it was last fall heading into the season, according to the most recent drought monitor. I’ve never seen it so dry as it was last season in 25 years of hunting. Every ditch was bone dry. Cattails were dry. I’d step on chisel plowing and dust would fly up. The amount of snow and rain this past spring helped the landscape rebound but the lack of rain over the past month in much of the state’s pheasant range is very concerning again now. Here’s the most recent drought monitor as of today. Not a whole lot of rain in the 10 day forecast either, other than tomorrow.

    https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?MN

    suzuki
    Participant
    Woodbury, Mn
    Posts: 16542
    #2148166

    My home is shown in the extreme drought area and it sure doesnt seem like it.
    I have never thought that this year.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7857
    #2148176

    I was reading the Pheasants Forever state-by-state fall season forecast and another item mentioned in several states including MN is the late crop planting in the spring. Most of the crops I’ve seen lately are barely just now turning color. Beans are traditionally harvested in September and corn is in October. That won’t be happening. Beans will probably be harvested the second half October and corn will be in November. Just something to keep in mind if you intend to hunt early in the season. You’ll likely be surrounded by a sea of crops.

    crawdaddy
    Participant
    St. Paul MN
    Posts: 824
    #2151314

    I was reading the Pheasants Forever state-by-state fall season forecast and another item mentioned in several states including MN is the late crop planting in the spring. Most of the crops I’ve seen lately are barely just now turning color. Beans are traditionally harvested in September and corn is in October. That won’t be happening. Beans will probably be harvested the second half October and corn will be in November. Just something to keep in mind if you intend to hunt early in the season. You’ll likely be surrounded by a sea of crops.

    This doesn’t look to be the case from what I’ve seen. Most beans are out, and the corn has already started. Late crop planting has been offset by dry weather. I drove by many fields today, all beans were out, corn was started, and the remaining corn was brown and looked very dry. It will be an early or on-time harvest from my observations.

    deertracker
    Participant
    Posts: 8272
    #2151316

    Drove from the cities to Alexandria last night. Seen tons of combines out and lots of corn fields already picked.
    DT

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 3233
    #2151340

    With the dry weather the farmers are getting it done. My in-laws are done with beans and on to corn, western MN.

    steelslinger71
    Participant
    Posts: 101
    #2151362

    The beans are basically done and the corn is getting hammered in the Worthington area.

    ganderpike
    Participant
    Alexandria
    Posts: 511
    #2151365

    Melrose/Alex/Fergus area the majority of beans are out and corn is well under way. Very dry.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 9755
    #2151380

    Corn is starting to go out big time around me. Silage or straight up harvest. They’re getting after it. It’s dry, the corn is dry they’ll hammer away quickly.

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