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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Many other states have a much later pheasant season than we do. Does anyone know if Michigan or will Michigan ever consider a continuation of the late season on to the end of January? I have talked to Al Stewart about this several times he does not seem in a big rush to push for this. After all the deer seasons have closed you still have something besides rabbits and squirrels to go after. My dads farm has several acres of switchgrass so late season is better for us anyway. In October the roosters are spread all over the place. I would like to see an evening shooting time end say around 4pm? Give the birds time to work back into heavy cover. Thoughts?
 

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I do not see a benefit management wise. The birds have been pressured enough and are far to concentrated in key habitat areas to sustain a winter season in our area.
Really we are lucky to have a season
at all.
 

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The other states that go longer than us also start later than us too. Not to mention they have a ton more birds.
 

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No dog in this fight but the best hunts we've ever had were undoubtedly during the late season...gotta love walking those overgrown ditches and fence lines while kicking up 20+ birds in a group
 

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Many other states have a much later pheasant season than we do. Does anyone know if Michigan or will Michigan ever consider a continuation of the late season on to the end of January? I have talked to Al Stewart about this several times he does not seem in a big rush to push for this. After all the deer seasons have closed you still have something besides rabbits and squirrels to go after. My dads farm has several acres of switchgrass so late season is better for us anyway. In October the roosters are spread all over the place. I would like to see an evening shooting time end say around 4pm? Give the birds time to work back into heavy cover. Thoughts?
A 4pm stop time would be a great idea!


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A 4pm stop time would be a great idea!


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Concerning start and stop times.

12 Noon start time, Birds have a chance every morning then to grab some feed and grit, and water before that are pushed and a 4 pm stop time chance to get is good roosting cover!
 

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Concerning start and stop times.

12 Noon start time, Birds have a chance every morning then to grab some feed and grit, and water before that are pushed and a 4 pm stop time chance to get is good roosting cover!
I never did understand why the wildlife biologist in Michigan think hunting roost to roost is a good idea. I remember going along with my dad when I was a kid they weren't allowed to start before 11:00. I believe that was the law.(??)


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There are so few pheasants left, I almost feel guilty shooting one;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Joint Iowa, Minnesota study found that "pheasant populations are regulated by habitat and weather, not by hunting".

Iowa opener Oct. 26th-Jan10th, 3 bird limit per day
S. Dakota opener Oct. 19th-Jan5th, 3 birds per day
N. Dakota opener Oct. 12-Jan5th, 3 birds per day
Kansas opener Nov. 9th-Jan31st, 4 bird limit day

None of these states close for the 2 week deer season like our state does.

All have a youth season from 2-5 days starting 2-3 weeks before regular opener. Same bag limit.

Habitat is the key more than anything. Good habitat equals good bird hunting. Here on my dads farm for example 2001-2011 we averaged 23 roosters per season. 2005 we shot 33 roosters, 18 in one day. Now 2 years later and 60 acres less CRP we shot 9 total last year. Obviously we saw many more that didn't get shot at and we had, according to my crowing survey this spring, at least 9 roosters just here on this farm. We also have a good population of quail. They seem to be down the last few years but in 2001, 02, 03 and 04 they were everywhere. At least 7 coveys on the farm. Habitat is key. Any doubts about the numbers ive posted call Mike Parker and ask him.

I believe Michigan could and should have a longer season. I know that pheasant are NOT evenly distributed across the state but neither is the habitat.
 

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During the late season the birds are too concentrated in a lot of areas. My home county was a stronghold for a long time and I shot more birds than I care to share for a few years. Bird numbers were good, but so was the habitat. At the rate that CRP is coming out, we can't afford a late season hunt that is twice as long. While some studies may say that hunting pressure doesn't effect bird numbers; if you isolate them in the middle of winter to the only likely habitat (what's left of it) that is a totally different story. That is like putting the entire walleye population in a few inland lakes and expecting them to last because fishing pressure won't affect them.

Most people don't have the self control to know when enough is enough. Additionally, there only very few places in the state that even have a huntable number of birds left. Those places have decent numbers and I live in one of them. I love to pheasant hunt, but I would not co-sign a January season, for the bird's sake.

Numbers are not strong, but they are not critical either. However, I have no idea how anyone would justify the need for another month of the easiest picking of the year. We are losing habitat at an alarming rate. I used to have 9 different places to hunt in my hometown that were all a 40 acre piece or larger, 3-4 small covers that consistently produced, and a bunch of drainage ditches with 90' - 120' of CREP on both sides. That number has been cut by roughly 70% since 2010.

Pheasants need more habitat, not more hunting seasons.
 
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