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Thread: Pheasants Will Be Released on Nine WMAs Before Thanksgiving

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    Default Pheasants Will Be Released on Nine WMAs Before Thanksgiving

    From the NEFGA.ORG News Release Forum:

    LINCOLN - Several hundred pheasants will be released by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission at each of nine wildlife management areas (WMA) before Thanksgiving. These releases will provide additional opportunities for hunters and their families during the holiday weekend.

    The adult roosters will be released at the same WMAs where pheasants were released for the special youth hunt Oct. 19-20: Pressey (Custer County); Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County); Oak Valley (Madison County); Branched Oak (Lancaster County); Twin Oaks (Johnson County); Hickory Ridge (Johnson County); Wilkinson (Platte County); Peru Bottoms (Nemaha County) and Yankee Hill (Lancaster County).

    The pheasant season runs through Jan. 31. Permits, including the nonresident two-day hunt permit, may be purchased at www.OutdoorNebraska.org.
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    This is sad........

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    I agree with you that it is sad but hopefully it is only to get father's and their sons/daughters out there to get some birds and get active in pheasant hunting. To me, if a group of hunters heads out that morning to one of these places to get pen raised birds they should be charged extra. If it is to get people more pheasants because the population is so low it seems to me there should be other ways of going about it. If they are basically handing out pheasants which by doing this it seems they are, they might as well just send every hunter in the state a whole frozen pheasant in the mail to have for thanksgiving dinner. If they are striving for over-crowding and to get people to get out and use the parks then they will probably accomplish this goal. I my eyes, this is just as bad as the deer hunting outfits in the south that raise giant deer and keep them in an enclosed area with 15 foot fences surrounding the area. Save the money and use it towards land management and increased habitat so we can once again get better bird numbers in the state. Yes I know a lot more goes into it but at least I'm not paying my hunting license fee for somebody to go out and shoot pet pheasants. Again, if it's for the kids I'm all for it, if it's for a bunch a dudes to go out and feel good about themselves for shooting a limit I'm saddened by that.
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    I'm fine with releases because in my mind it will take some releasing of birds to help. That being said I think it needs to be done in like March after the season is over and the worst of the winter weather has past.

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    Big Time waste of money.
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    I am new to hunting so pardon my ignorance. I have a question about population numbers. I hear a lot of folks talking about a lack of birds. I have a buddy I have known for 30 years. Been hunting since he was a kid. He says the number of birds a couple years ago was just fine. If this is all true then would it be safe to say that the population is cyclical? Maybe have a few years of good numbers followed by few years of low numbers? Would it be a safe conclusion that the population will recover in a couple years?

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    Also if they are gonna release pen raised birds, would it make since to release some hens? I like the idea of doing it after the season and winter. That way they have chance to multiply?

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    They release trout in the fall for fishing, why not pheasants? The bird hunting in my area is in a sad state with not much cover.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlwilson View Post
    I agree with you that it is sad but hopefully it is only to get father's and their sons/daughters out there to get some birds and get active in pheasant hunting. To me, if a group of hunters heads out that morning to one of these places to get pen raised birds they should be charged extra. If it is to get people more pheasants because the population is so low it seems to me there should be other ways of going about it. If they are basically handing out pheasants which by doing this it seems they are, they might as well just send every hunter in the state a whole frozen pheasant in the mail to have for thanksgiving dinner. If they are striving for over-crowding and to get people to get out and use the parks then they will probably accomplish this goal. I my eyes, this is just as bad as the deer hunting outfits in the south that raise giant deer and keep them in an enclosed area with 15 foot fences surrounding the area. Save the money and use it towards land management and increased habitat so we can once again get better bird numbers in the state. Yes I know a lot more goes into it but at least I'm not paying my hunting license fee for somebody to go out and shoot pet pheasants. Again, if it's for the kids I'm all for it, if it's for a bunch a dudes to go out and feel good about themselves for shooting a limit I'm saddened by that.
    Maybe they should stop stocking fish in lakes then too, or charge extra to the people that fish those lakes, but that's probably not the same thing is it?

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    I can see both sides of this argument. I sort of wish that these areas would be youth only again for that weekend, although I love taking my dog there to get her on some points. I believe that the money could be spent in much better ways, adult pheasants are not cheap at all. Probably pushing 15 dollars a bird. I believe the money could be better spent on management of large tracts of public ground that could possibly be a restoration ground for a healthy sustaining population, as long as the ground was large enough.

    The pen released birds are also so dang stupid and slow its almost not even fun! I took my dog to one of these areas last year the day after the youth hunt just to let her work some birds. I literally had to kick most of the birds to get them to fly, and then there were the ones that would just run on the ground right in front of you in plain site.
    Last edited by fishcatcher; 11-05-2013 at 09:57 PM.

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    I'd be interested to see 100 of those birds (micro-chipped/radio collar?) tracked over a 1 year period. How many do the hunters shoot? Coyotes/hawks eat? Being pen raised, I wonder how many would survive to possibly breed next spring? My guess would be 0, but this would be 1 way to find out.

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    The reason its so sad is we've fallen to the point of stocking pheasants. A state that once was a great hunting state is now reduced to having to stock birds so people can "hunt". I put that in quotes because stocked birds are far from hunting, basically kick them till they fly. Stocking fish and stocking birds in my eyes are completely different. Alot of our waters are man made ans can't reproduce well enough on their own. And to put the states production of pheasants in the same catagory is just plain sad and painfull to think about. The state I remember going out with my dad before I was old enough to hunt and walk the fields with endless birds and good times with a group of guys (which wasnt all that long ago) is just a fading memory.

    Instead of just releasing birds that'll be dead by spring find better way to solve the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
    Maybe they should stop stocking fish in lakes then too, or charge extra to the people that fish those lakes, but that's probably not the same thing is it?
    Actually you are right, it's not even close to the same thing. Last time I knew my money for my fishing license went to fish structure and habitat. My hunting license money should go to the same thing not throwing out some pen raised idiot birds for a bunch of people to show up and kill within a half hour and think they are awesome. These pen raised birds are so dumb they don't flush half the time and hide out in the wide open because they don't know any better. Wow, that's tough hunting! I'm pretty sure the survival rate in a lake for a stocked fish is much higher then a pen raised pheasant especially with the predators and lack of habitat these days. It's certainly not what I want my money to go to. If I paid for a fishing license for the game and parks to show up at my house with a master angler bass and put it in my bath tub for me to catch then it would be similar to what they are doing with these released birds in my opinion.

    Also, the stocked winter trout should be for kids and parents. If you're teaching your kid to fish and you catch some trout that is awesome, it is not for the 5 gallon bucket fisherman adult to go out and put some corn on and catch 7 a day everyday for a few months and feel good about themselves as an awesome fisherman. The people that are drooling at these parks watching the trucks dump in trout and are baiting up at the same time trying to catch them as fast as they get in the lake are pretty pathetic in my book.
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    I can answer a lot of these questions:

    Like someone said, if the NGPC is buying these birds, unless they are getting a deal, they are paying about $15 per bird. The G&P can stock a lot of fish for much less $ than they can birds. While the survival rate of fish is different depending on the size of fish stocked (see the Wanahoo northerns), the mortality rate of pen raised pheasants within a week of release is almost 100%. Releasing hens or waiting until the spring would be a waste of money and resources and will have no real effect on the pheasant population. So, anyone who wants to run to one of these areas and get some tame birds, have at it, its either you or the coyotes, or more likely, the hawks who will have an easy dinner. This isn't much different than the put-and-take winter trout stockings, except that pheasants taste better.

    As we discussed in a previous thread, the problem is lack of habitat. While the NGPC can do a few things to help, such as improve habitat on public ground, not allow grazing/haying on those grounds, since about 90% of the land in this state is private owned (and about 1/2 of the public ground is not good pheasant territory) there is very little they can do about it except maybe provide a few localized pockets of almost huntable pheasant populations. We need to have the CRP program back big, and in a hurry if we want huntable pheasant populations.

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    Treat the Problem. Not the Symptoms.
    Privately owned land + removal of cover and habitat = less carrying capacity
    Primary crops are Corn + Soy Beans = substantially less quail and Pheasants
    More Milo + wheat = more upland game birds
    More loafing cover + escape from predators = Higher clutch rates of upland game birds
    More birds to hunt + More upland game hunters = more local revenue and family values

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    How is the habitat on these 9 WMAs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleben View Post
    How is the habitat on these 9 WMAs?
    I've been to at least four of these WMA's over the years, good habitat.
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    Habitat I live between pawnee and branched oak and we use to have phesants and quail on our 20 acres all over they would come up into the chicken coop and eat chicken feed we had so many. Then about 5 years ago the county came through with a loader and clear cut all the ditches in our area we had 1000' of the thickest plumb thickets on our north property line and it was stuffed full of birds all year. The reason I was given by Larry Hudkins (county commish) was to make the roads safer so people would not hit deer and sue the county. Guess what has happened now we have no birds, nothing to catch snow there and now with the roads widened and the ditches clear cut people drive down our road at 70 mph instead of 30 or 40. So thanks to all those that voted for that crap. I have since planted cedar trees and plum thickets back from the fence line but it will take years to restore all of the habitat lost in 2 days of our helpful lancaster county. BTW when we were kids grandpa got pheasant from the G&P ever couple of years raised them and turned them loose every fall and I think alot of other farms and ranches did also. Does anyone remember this program? As much as I dislike the thought of pen raised birds I think if we want to get the kids involved and have them push for habitat we need to do this otherwise they wont miss what they dont have right???? Ok I should stop reading this stuff for today Im mad now and wanting to call and complain about my ditches again. If you dont know what Im talking about take a trip over to seward co and drive their co roads. Maybe the G&P can go to the legislature and pass some laws about habitat in the ditches around the state!! That would be a huge start!! Sorry about the rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leupold View Post
    Treat the Problem. Not the Symptoms.
    Privately owned land + removal of cover and habitat = less carrying capacity
    Primary crops are Corn + Soy Beans = substantially less quail and Pheasants
    More Milo + wheat = more upland game birds
    More loafing cover + escape from predators = Higher clutch rates of upland game birds
    More birds to hunt + More upland game hunters = more local revenue and family values
    Great post. I also read a study from Iowa that they had some of their strongest pheasant populations when farmers planted (I think) long stem oats instead of corn and beans and let the alfalfa grow longer before cutting and bailing.

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    Then about 5 years ago the county came through with a loader and clear cut all the ditches in our area we had 1000' of the thickest plumb thickets on our north property line and it was stuffed full of birds all year. The reason I was given by Larry Hudkins (county commish) was to make the roads safer so people would not hit deer and sue the county.
    Sounds like BS to me. Not that it hasn't or can't be done, but I have never seen a deer jump a high thicket. They would normally walk the fenceline and use it as "cover." I think the commish sold you a line of crap.

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    Don't apologize. You are saying a lot of things that many of us upland hunters want to say as well. I too, as many others know what you mean about the ditches and loss of habitat. It is unfortunate and it has lead to a drop in the pheasant population I'm sure. Unfortunately there are too many places like that around nebraska now. For years we hunted the Valpraiso area and it had some of the best ditch cover around, especially by the CRP fields. As of last year when I drove around those same fields it was tilled up ground all the way to the road. While it doesn't add up to a ton of ground it does add up as far as quality habitat lost for those birds.
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