Monday, July 30, 2012

IA Pheasant survey could be hampered by the weather


The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will begin conducting a roadside survey this week to determine what the pheasant population looks like across the state. D.N.R. wildlife biologist Todd Bogenschutz is predicting a significant increase in pheasant numbers for the first time in six years.

But, because of the drought, Bogenschutz is warning the roadside survey may not accurately reflect the bird population. “To get a really good count of the birds, we’re dependent on good dew conditions. For good dew, you need moisture in the soil and right now, we don’t have any,” Bogenschutz said.

“We don’t get very good counts of birds if we don’t have good dew.” Last week, the D.N.R. reported hunters in Iowa shot a record low number of pheasants last year. Around 109,000 pheasants were harvested in 2011 — the fewest since record keeping began in 1962.

Bogenschutz is expecting hunters will see more pheasants this year because of the recent mild winter. “We need about two more years just like this and we’ll probably get back to bird numbers that people expect in Iowa, but it’s going take more than just one year,” Bogenschutz said.

Iowa’s pheasant population dropped to record low territory in 2011 following five winters with above average snowfall and five wetter than normal springs. The D.N.R.’s annual roadside survey is scheduled for August 1-15. The 2012 pheasant hunting season will open October 27.

Complete RadioIowa article

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ND 2011 Pheasant Season Summarized - Harvest UP

More hunting opportunities meant more pheasants taken during the 2011 season, as last fall’s pheasant harvest was 683,000, up from 552,000 in 2010.

Aaron Robinson, upland bird biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the overall landscape probably didn’t have more birds, but Mother Nature allowed for an increase in harvest due to mild weather conditions and minimal snow cover in November, December and early January.

“This is a prime example of how the harvest doesn’t necessarily reflect the overall population,” Robinson said. “We actually had lower production in 2011 than in 2010, but hunter effort made up the difference due to last winter’s exceptionally mild weather conditions.”
Statistics actually revealed the number of hunters declined 10 percent to 82,700. The number of resident hunters was down 5 percent to 58,200, while nonresident pheasant hunter numbers decreased 20 percent to 24,500.

“However, the determining factor is many hunters were able to enjoy good hunting conditions with mild weather through the last weekend of the season,” Robinson said.
Birds bagged per hunter increased from 6.0 to 8.3. Each hunter spent an average of six days afield.
Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken by resident hunters were Hettinger, 9.2; Burleigh, 6.4; Emmons, 6.0; McLean, 5.4; and Adams, 5.3.

Top counties for nonresident hunters were Hettinger, 24.9 percent; Bowman, 7.6; Emmons, 5.6; McIntosh, 5.2; and Divide, 4.5.

Annual pheasant season statistics are determined by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.

Original ND Game and Fish Article

Friday, July 27, 2012

Iowa 2011 Pheasant Harvest Tops 100,000 Roosters - LOWEST since 1962

The 2011 Iowa pheasant harvest reflected what the roadside counts had predicted, that the population was down after five winters with above average snowfall followed by five wetter than normal springs.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates that 109,000 roosters were harvested during the 2011 hunting season, the lowest since standardized estimates began in 1962.  Harvest was highest in the northwest region, followed by central and southwest.

The harvest estimate is based on a random survey of hunters. The survey is used by the DNR to estimate the number of hunters pursuing small game, hunter effort by species and harvest.

The survey collects data on quail, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, partridge, and mourning dove, in addition to pheasants.

According to the survey, an estimated 57,285 mourning doves were harvested during Iowa’s inaugural mourning dove hunting season.

Original Iowa DNR Article 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

100 or 200 Shooting Clays and Lunch for Two, or 200 Shooting Clays and Dinner for Two (Up to 62% Off) MN

Get The Deal Here

Only the fastest projectiles can hit a clay in midair, much like a beam of light or a kiss blown by Paul Bunyan. Give your aim some much-needed mph with this Groupon.

Choose from Three Options

$29 for 100 sporting clays and lunch for two, valid Wednesday–Sunday (up to a $67.90 total value)
  • Choice of two sandwiches, burger baskets, wraps, or salads (up to a $9.95 each)
  • Two soft drinks (a $2 value each)
$45 for 200 sporting clays and the above lunch for two, valid Wednesday–Sunday (up to a $111.90 total value) $55 for 200 sporting clays and dinner for two, valid Wednesday–Saturday (up to a $143.90 total value)
  • Two dinner entrees (up to a $25.95 value each)
  • Two soft drinks (a $2 value each)
Guests can take aim at sporting clays under the watchful eye of a seasoned instructor before digging into lunch items such as bacon cheeseburgers or BLT wraps, or selecting from a dozen hearty dinner entrees that include fried chicken and all-you-can-eat prime ribs. See the full menu here.

Wings North

Decked out in neon orange, up to 50 Wings North members tromp through 12 rugged hunting areas populated with wild animals. Guests can also aim at explosive clay pigeons under the tutelage of a National Sporting Clays Association instructor at the sporting-clay course. After honing their skills or calling ducks collect, guests can put their feet up in front of the stone fireplace at the Backwoods Bar & Grill while enjoying a hamburger, basket of fries, or surf 'n' turf entree.

Get The Deal Here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WA and OR Grouse Habitat Maps Available

A joint project between the USFS and RGS publishes newly available maps of potential ruffed grouse and blue grouse habitat on national forests in Oregon and Washington.

Utilizing US Forest Service data, potential ruffed grouse (and blue grouse) habitat has been mapped using GoogleEarth. By clicking the various combinations of data layers, the viewer can see rough maps of National Forests within Oregon and Washington overlaid with colors denoting potential grouse habitat. You can also select various views (Map, Terrain, Satellite, or Hybrid) and also zoom in to see greater detail.

Pages describing NW US habitat, in word and photos, for each species are also provided.

 Blue grouse and ruffed grouse
RGS anticipates that users will be able to print copies of specific areas to investigate this fall for the presence of these two great gamebirds.

This is the first attempt at providing this type of information on such a large area. We would like your comments on this effort. Comments may be directed to the two contacts on the page or via the new RGS Forums > Public Forums > Grouse Maps subforum.