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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone been up in the thumb for wild pheasants? I don't head up there untill gun seasons over, and was wondering if anybody could give me some info on the population this year.

Thanks
 

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I have hunted the thumb on the pheasant opener, (a tradition for over 25+ years). Spent the first 2 days in the Cass City area this year. Talked to the wildlife tech at the DNR station near Cass City, and he said they had another terrible nesting season - cold and wet - and it was his assessment that the population was "95% worse than last year."

There are birds there, but most of them are older and wiser (and bigger) than the usual majority of yearling birds that usually volunteer for the hunter. We did flush a few teeny immature birds that were the result of a 2nd brood because of the failed survival of the 1st brood.

I will probably go back to the thumb in December.
 

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Have some property north of Bad Axe and the bird are way down this year. Last year we took 3 roasters and seen 4 or 5 others. This year while bow hunt I never heard a single roaster crow in the morning like I always do and I was up there for a week. Bad year this year.
 

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What DNR officer did you speak with? Granted numbers are down in areas i have found a good many birds in other areas. I do think the weather had a hard impact on the birds but I personally don't think it plowed them any worst than they have been for the last 20 years. They are out there, just gotta find the good holes and food areas.
 

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Unless you have a hot spot on private land don't waste your time, they are non existent up there. Like a previous post stated I too haven't even heard a distance rooster crowing like I have in previous years. The DNR in my opinion has given up on the pheasants, too bad for the local businesses up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unless you have a hot spot on private land don't waste your time, they are non existent up there. Like a previous post stated I too haven't even heard a distance rooster crowing like I have in previous years. The DNR in my opinion has given up on the pheasants, too bad for the local businesses up there.
Well, imo its never a waste of time when you get to work the dog. But i guess i've been lucky, even though i do not have private land in the thumb i've done fairly well on pheasant up there. I have not always put up a rooster but i can say that i have never not had points on hens.
As long as there are hens there is always hope.
Thanks for the info guys.
 

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I watched Great Lakes Outdoors Saturday. They had a show on the pheasant opener. Everybody limited out in one field. There must be a bunch of birds up there.:lol:
 

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I watched Great Lakes Outdoors Saturday. They had a show on the pheasant opener. Everybody limited out in one field. There must be a bunch of birds up there.:lol:
I saw that show too. If you noticed one of the guys was the owner of the Rooster Ranch. Could be a few "liberated" birds made it to that field. ;) :lol:
 

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Did anyone catch how Rob killed that second bird right in front of his hunting partner?
Poor gun safety, that was clearly his partners shot, maybe the guy was limited already, just let it fly away. Jeesh.
 

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I saw it too. It may have been state land or private, but I bet it was ingested a day or two before w/ a ton of roosters. Can't make a show about pheasant hunting with little or no pheasants flushed. Make for boring TV :lol:.

I was too young to know what the good ol' days were like, but when I drive around in the thumb or Hillsdale or Jackson I see a ton of overgrown fields (CRP?). Where are the birds? I seriously flush more pheasants in Detroit, than I ever do when hunting. Lets see:

The cover in Detroit is scattered, with little pockets here and there.
The predator population is Detroit is high, feral dogs & cats, falcons and hawks.
There are few if any food crops, other than naturally occuring weeds.

What is the DNR doing wrong that the City of Detroit is doing right?....I can't believe I said, "Detroit is doing anything right".

Sorry, maybe this should have been a new thread..
 

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I know he goes to Farmland Pheasants quite a bit to film his shows. I'm a member there and the background looks like he was at Farmland in Brown City.
 

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I'm heading over that way in a few weeks to visit family and hunt some ground that hasn't been tilled or hunted in years and birds are seen on a regular basis. I would be thrilled to just see my dog flush a wild bird, even if I don't kill one. If we don't see anything all weekend at least I get to run the dog in some other cover types than what he's used to. That saves me from x-mas shopping all day at Birch Run:help::dizzy::yikes:!
 

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I'm heading over that way in a few weeks to visit family and hunt some ground that hasn't been tilled or hunted in years and birds are seen on a regular basis. I would be thrilled to just see my dog flush a wild bird, even if I don't kill one. If we don't see anything all weekend at least I get to run the dog in some other cover types than what he's used to-that is still better that x-mas shopping all day at Birch Run!

Last year, as I was heading home, I saw a Rooster fly across all lanes of I75 just north of Birch Run. Maybe you should go shopping might get some good bird work in......
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Prescribed burns???
lmao. I lived in detroit for a while and yes there seems to be a ton of pheasant. I walked the train tracks one afternoon east of 75 off of mack ave and put up 5 birds!
but grouseman might be right givin how the city is in a constant free burning state :lol:
 

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I saw it too. It may have been state land or private, but I bet it was ingested a day or two before w/ a ton of roosters. Can't make a show about pheasant hunting with little or no pheasants flushed. Make for boring TV :lol:.

I was too young to know what the good ol' days were like, but when I drive around in the thumb or Hillsdale or Jackson I see a ton of overgrown fields (CRP?). Where are the birds? I seriously flush more pheasants in Detroit, than I ever do when hunting. Lets see:

The cover in Detroit is scattered, with little pockets here and there.
The predator population is Detroit is high, feral dogs & cats, falcons and hawks.
There are few if any food crops, other than naturally occuring weeds.

What is the DNR doing wrong that the City of Detroit is doing right?....I can't believe I said, "Detroit is doing anything right".

Sorry, maybe this should have been a new thread..
Great post Piscator. I heard a few things while talking to a Biologist in Cass City Sunday, basically he said, as someone else stated, the weather has been terrible and fall plowing is another culprit. I ran into a local guy near a town in the thumb that said he believes the grass they use in the CRP fields is to blame. Apparently, near him there use always be 60 to 100 birds in flocks, every winter, buy after planting that tall saw grass stuff, the birds went to seek shelter during a heavy snow and were pinned in and suffacated.(?) It could be his opinion, but it could be true, makes sense to me. Seems like the birds always do better such as your example of Detroit when what ever wead exist already, just grows. As a young kid the now Verona SGA use to be owned by Edison when it was just weeds/natural growth there were a ton of birds. Since the DNR started to "manage" it the poplulation has steadily went down hill.
 

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To me it seems as though the DNR have written off pheasants, and have planned to let game preserves fill in the void. It seems as though the only recent success that the DNR can hang its hat on is Turkey. How come they were so successful with the Turkey population, but can't figure out the pheasant?

They say more and more people are falling away from hunting. I wonder why? Many hunting activities are either too darn expensive (waterfowl/archery), too darn limited in their license availibility (elk/turkey), or just too darn hard to do (ie: a newbie hitting a zig zagging grouse).

I think pheasant hunting is first and formost a poor man's hunt: a shotgun and an orange vest. Maybe a dog too. I also believe that for many new hunters, a pheasant is much easier to hit when flushed, then a grouse or woodie. In this state, with its bleak economic outlook, pheasant hunting might be an excellent fit.
 

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To me it seems as though the DNR have written off pheasants, and have planned to let game preserves fill in the void. It seems as though the only recent success that the DNR can hang its hat on is Turkey. How come they were so successful with the Turkey population, but can't figure out the pheasant?

They say more and more people are falling away from hunting. I wonder why? Many hunting activities are either too darn expensive (waterfowl/archery), too darn limited in their license availibility (elk/turkey), or just too darn hard to do (ie: a newbie hitting a zig zagging grouse).

I think pheasant hunting is first and formost a poor man's hunt: a shotgun and an orange vest. Maybe a dog too. I also believe that for many new hunters, a pheasant is much easier to hit when flushed, then a grouse or woodie. In this state, with its bleak economic outlook, pheasant hunting might be an excellent fit.
Your dead on, the first game I ever hunted was a ringneck. The DNR will boast all the time about turkey success, I think it's their way of sweeping their failed pheasant management program(s) under the carpet. They wasted a ton of money in the Sziuan(SP) program. I think that was result of a bunch of people with wildlife management degrees, a fat check book (The State of Michigan's) and no time actually wearing out any boot leather in the fields. I saw first hand the money they spent down at their Danville, MI project, what a waste!!
 
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