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Call me crazy I don't care. 13,000 released birds means opportunity that would not otherwise exist in this state, and I like shooting pheasants. I could care less if they are pen raised, and my dog doesn't either.
http://wildlife.utah.gov/wildlife-news/1750-dwr-to-release-13000-pheasants.html
agreed! It's amazing reading the stupid comments on FB about the complainers and pheasant pops decreasing. They fail to realize what's happened with farming. We just need to enjoy these pen raised birds for what they are, some opportunity! I wish we'd incorporate a pheasant stamp where it goes to nothing but raising birds to be released the night before the hunt.
 

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I wish we'd incorporate a pheasant stamp where it goes to nothing but raising birds to be released the night before the hunt.
Ohhhh be careful with those revolutionary ideas!

I am also supportive of a pheasant stamp. More so to the tune of habitat improvement / conservation as well as predator trapping in these areas. It'd be great to incentivize trappers to go after skunks and raccoons and even feral cats to improve wild pheasant numbers.

I'm sure I will get flack for that idea, but I like a good rooster cackle when he busts up and flies away. You don't hear that as much with pen raised birds.
 

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Ohhhh be careful with those revolutionary ideas!

I am also supportive of a pheasant stamp. More so to the tune of habitat improvement / conservation as well as predator trapping in these areas. It'd be great to incentivize trappers to go after skunks and raccoons and even feral cats to improve wild pheasant numbers.

I'm sure I will get flack for that idea, but I like a good rooster cackle when he busts up and flies away. You don't hear that as much with pen raised birds.
I just think with the way farming has changed that allocating resources for wild populations of birds won't amount to much.... I love a wild rooster but I'll take whatever I can get.
 

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Agreed, I'll take what I can get. I would also support a pheasant stamp if it went to improving habitat conditions and conservation. I just fear it's too little too late for the pheasants. Regardless, I'll be out hunting the released birds as they are simply my favorite meal.
 

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Just a thought.. I understand the large themes of why pheasant populations have declined over the years here in Utah are lack of habitat and predation. The release of pen raised birds is a wonderful way to get people out in field, but don't the majority of pen raised birds die within a week of release, either by hunters, predators, starvation, etc.? (I understand that releasing birds is more about hunting opportunities and less about building up the population.)

Would there be anyway to transplant wild pheasants from, say, North or South Dakota after the season closes here in Utah to help build up the population?
 

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Would there be anyway to transplant wild pheasants from, say, North or South Dakota after the season closes here in Utah to help build up the population?
Utah doesn't have the habitat to sustain a wild pheasant population. Even back in the 50's and 60's when there was more farm ground pheasants didn't do that well.
 

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Just a thought.. I understand the large themes of why pheasant populations have declined over the years here in Utah are lack of habitat and predation. The release of pen raised birds is a wonderful way to get people out in field, but don't the majority of pen raised birds die within a week of release, either by hunters, predators, starvation, etc.? (I understand that releasing birds is more about hunting opportunities and less about building up the population.)

Would there be anyway to transplant wild pheasants from, say, North or South Dakota after the season closes here in Utah to help build up the population?
You would need a large scale habitat improvement throughout the state first. It would be hard to accomplish. I still think there is room for some wild pheasants and I hate to see them completely disappear. This year a landowner in my area didn't cut 1 field and just left it standing during nesting season. The field is about 20 acres. He still hasn't cut it, but during the spring I saw a few hens that had 5-10 chicks each that were old enough to fly a little. Those are the first wild chicks I've seen in probably 3 years. I used to see gems with chicks every spring but pheasant numbers where I'm at are all but gone now. All I can hope is those chicks I saw made it and the landowner will leave the cover for the birds for the winter. If just a small field can make that big of difference can you image what pockets of habitat would do if more were willing to leave some cover?

That's the largest problem. In Utah it is common occurance to feed and cut everything fence line to fence line, and then burn whatever's left in early spring before the hens have nested, then Leave no winter cover for the birds. Wild birds would be better, but the habitat needs work first and no one loves a wild rooster more than me, and it saddens me to say it but fields I've killed plenty of pheasants in before will probably never hold pheasants again and will likely be developed before I die. I didn't even live during the good days of pheasant hunting in the state but less than a decade ago I could go out and find birds every time I went out, not any more.
 

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One of the areas they're being released is the Strawberry River WMA....I can't tell where would be a likely place for that to even happen, the whole thing doesn't look like great habitat for pheasant due to the lack of grassy flatlands with streams. Also I can't seem to figure out a good way to get in there.
 

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I would love if the state had more money/ could use more money to pay farmers not to cut some of their fields. As I drive along I-15 just south and north of Willard I see gorgeous pheasant habitat that could be ideal with a little more cover. Just to leave a 20 foot strip uncut between each field would do wonders for these amazing birds.

Also, I would be happy to spend my summer months trapping and killing cats, *****, and skunks in their fields.

This year I had two nice wild roosters crowing back and forth at each other all spring and they just started up again a few weeks ago. While walking the field behind my house I accidentally busted a covey of a hen and about 8 chicks during mid summer -- I was so happy to see them doing so well!

Now I can't help but get my dog out on them every few weeks just to give his nose a little fun and keep the birds active. The video is from a few Sundays ago.


There were 3 hens and 2 roosters. All looking and acting nice and healthy.

We are careful to give them their space but I figure a good dog point and flush once every 3 weeks is healthy.

Also seems like the big buck that just raked my newly planted tree is doing well....
 

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are there no areas in the national forests that would be good for pheasants, even if they were small populations?
I've seen areas that I think would be great for them. Cover, food, water, etc.
 

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are there no areas in the national forests that would be good for pheasants, even if they were small populations?
I've seen areas that I think would be great for them. Cover, food, water, etc.
I think there is some BLM land that could be beneficial, but nearly all of it is private and this state doesn't care about anything but development right now. Maybe we can learn some things over the next decade. There's room for some pheasants, but habitat, habitat, habitat is what is going to fix the problem. And yes raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and skunks suck. Someone killed 20 raccoons within 3 fields in one night, they definetly aren't helping, but it's the habitat breaking the pheasants back in this state.
 

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Another issue would be people don't like spending money on private land without public access. If it was more accepted and landowners were more willing to give permission, spending public money on private ground would be more accepted. Another big thing for me is conservation easements. Investing money in private ground that's just going to be developed isn't a long term solution.
 

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They all live behind my house in between the canal and new subdivision that replaced the remaining open farm land that now is gone! they know they are safe because you can not shoot at them any more, but oh well its nice to see them and hear them every day 8) I sure would like to put the 12 gauge on one though! they are the last of the wild pheasants in the Roy area.
 

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1-I; I grew up in a small rural community where I could hunt pheasants every night during the season after school and I routinely found them. Like you said, times have changed and its hard to find one a season in the honey holes.

Now I hunt S. Dakota, other than missing the hunt for two years, I have not missed a year in the past 11. Like has been said, it is amazing what happens when farmers leave some crops up for the birds. The CRP program is a major part of why the Dakotas have so many birds.

Not to turn this into a political issue, but it seems that each state is "known" for something. Sadly, Utah, is not known as a pheasant state. Therefore, not much money is allocated yearly in budgets to address this issue (I think the pheasant stamp/upland stamp would be a great idea IF the money was actually used for that). It seems that the interest groups run themselves into the ground and become white noise by the many different issues presented to the legislature.

While I disagree with some of their policies and procedures, I would hate to work for the Division of Wildlife.
 

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Oh I'm sure SFW will figure out a way to rip the state off for some bogus study then sell them on the idea of pheasant stamps and keep 90% of the money.
 

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Wild Pheasants are not a viable self sustaining game bird in this state and to put money towards habitat for that would be foolish in my opinion--it's all farm ground which is private. Releasing birds is about the best the state can do.

Wouldn't it be awesome if there was an upland game bird that would flourish in the state and really mesh with the natural habitat. A bird that the state could put money behind and really get serious about. Man, if only that existed we could really have something going...-O,-
 

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1-I; I grew up in a small rural community where I could hunt pheasants every night during the season after school and I routinely found them. Like you said, times have changed and its hard to find one a season in the honey holes.

Now I hunt S. Dakota, other than missing the hunt for two years, I have not missed a year in the past 11. Like has been said, it is amazing what happens when farmers leave some crops up for the birds. The CRP program is a major part of why the Dakotas have so many birds.

Not to turn this into a political issue, but it seems that each state is "known" for something. Sadly, Utah, is not known as a pheasant state. Therefore, not much money is allocated yearly in budgets to address this issue (I think the pheasant stamp/upland stamp would be a great idea IF the money was actually used for that). It seems that the interest groups run themselves into the ground and become white noise by the many different issues presented to the legislature.

While I disagree with some of their policies and procedures, I would hate to work for the Division of Wildlife.
I hope you've bought an upland and waterfowl slam voucher for $20 each. That's in essence what they are is a voluntary conservation stamp. The biggest thing we need is easements to protect these habitats from being bulldozed and turned into asphalt and housing. Waterfowl and pheasant habitats are very interrelated. When ducks unlimited does a project it helps pheasants and other wildlife as well. Ducks unlimited has probably done more for pheasants in Utah than pheasants forever. PF is a great organization but they just don't do much here. That being said the local chapters get to keep the funds they raise and spend them in Utah, so when you can support our 3 PF chapters in the state and 1 Quail forever chapter if you can.

As you said you grew up in a rural area of Utah as well. It wasn't great pheasant hunting but as you said and I said, there wasn't a day after school or work that I couldn't go find a rooster if I wanted. Heck usually just 8-9 years ago I could find multiple roosters every day if I walked long enough and had enough permission. Sadly those days have passed and yet I still give these areas a walk every opening weekend sort of to rekindle what used to be. It's not that housing has taken over, it's not that they are pavement now. It is the fact that the way the few farmers in the area farm now, is just not wildlife friendly at all. They cut their crops fence line to fence line, then put their cows in to feed it off, then burn what the cows didn't eat. Ditches have turned to sprinklers, and their are predators like you wouldn't believe. You simply can't have tiny pockets of habitat and a lot of predators. To be honest I was surprised at the chicks I saw earlier this spring, but it was as simple as leaving one little area for them to live and survive. That's all it takes. If somehow the state could acquire a few more lands and start a program to incentive's farmers to be a little wildlife friendly, we would probably see a few more birds. There really isn't anything like a wild rooster. The pheasant hunt used to excite me almost as much as the deer hunt, now it's kind of a sad day going to the spots that are empty now. At least they haven't been developed yet, and I can still hold out hope there will be a few birds, but there just isn't anymore.

I haven't went to SD to hunt birds, I would like to one day. The thing is though, maybe I hold on to pheasants here because of the good memories I have of certain fields, certain birds, and certain days that I'll never forget. I don't care if I see giant numbers of birds but the numbers we had 10 years ago are doable in many areas. It's more than just the pheasant, it's about the times spent hunting them in the areas they were. I love hunting chukars, quail, grouse, ducks, geese, etc. But nothing quite matches the memories and rush involved chasing a wild rooster, in my mind they are simply unmatched in the category of upland and waterfowl.
 
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