WINDY WEEKEND. The second day of pheasant season brought with it more winds and cooler temps, along with wiser birds. All signs are pointing to lower numbers as reports from across the state are of mostly carry-over roosters from last season making up the majority of the take. In northwestern ND, that was the case. We talk what it will take to bring birds back in today’s Three Things.
(Photo: A covey of Hungarian partridge flush from a grassy fenceline in McKenzie County, N.D. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Mon 10/9 – Autumn chill. Hi 48, Lo 32 Winds NW@11
Tomorrow: Tue 10/10 – Mild midweek. Hi 60, Lo 30, Winds S @13, G20
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 7:54AM Sunset: 7:05PM
Moonrise: 10:06PM Moonset 12:18PM
Overhead: 4:46AM Underfoot: 4:17PM
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous (80% Full)
EDGE HOUR. 6:30-7:30PM. Today’s Edge Hour caps off a fantastic evening outdoors, as winds lessen. Get on stand or on some fall fish at sunset in the calmer conditions.
HABITAT, HABITAT, HABITAT. The driver for pheasants, partridge, grouse and other wildlife including big game and waterfowl, is having the places and spaces they need to eat, breed, live and hide. With CRP capped at only 24 million acres it will be incumbent on sportsmen to join conservation and wildlife groups in the next two years to lobby congress hard for a higher cap in the Farm Bill. If you recall, at the height of good pheasant hunting in ND in 2002-2007, CRP acres were capped at about 32 million.
COOPERATIVE WEATHER. That’s almost an oxymoron. Harsh winters on the northern tier of the pheasant range are not conducive to a good spring population of laying hens, and another super-dry summer would be disastrous. However, we can’t control mother nature, and that’s why working for better habitat is something we can change.
NEXT GEN. Despite these lows, we can work to introduce the next generation to shooting sports, fishing and hunting as they develop and grow. Without them and their pursuit of these passions, there’s no reason for all the work. Take a kid hunting, fishing, shooting, hiking, and explain how habitat drives our natural world, and provides clean soil, clean water and air. That builds the next group of advocates and conservationists to carry on the great traditions we have in this state.