View Full Version : Pheasant report - not good

10-18-2010, 06:36 AM
Hello all, I went out this weekend to check out the local upland population. We walked and we walked hitting every nook and crany I knew for two days and we never saw one bird. If your hunting out east of Calgary save your gas. The bird population has been virtually been wiped out!

We have had a major collapse of our upland bird population around the Calgary to Strathmore area and to the south from what I have been reading on this website. I even talked to some farmers in the area and they have not seen any huns around let alone pheasant.

My question is how do we present this issue to the goverment so that we can rebuild our population by releasing more pheasant and huns after this devasting weather we had this past spring.

Does anyone know how many birds the Government releases into the wild other than at the release areas? I know some hunt clubs plant birds every year which is great and they are definelty doing thier part.


10-18-2010, 08:06 AM
There hasn't been a release of huns for many years as far as I know. As bad as the situation is and as much as I love hunting pheasant I wish the majority money for these programs would be spent on securing habitat and restoring our native birds like the Sharptail Grouse.

10-18-2010, 08:24 AM
Ya, we never saw a Hungarian in all our old haunts that used to be crawling with them. It was concerning for sure. On a bright note, we saw more sharptails than ever before and we did see a few roosters and heard a few more but numbers do seem to be down.

10-18-2010, 08:32 AM
we did chase one covey this weekend , my partner managed to bag a couple . Only the one covey though , south of the bow . This is the second group of partridge we have run into this year

10-18-2010, 08:48 AM
To many coyotes , foxes , skunks , eating the eggs and chicks , also cold winters take its toll.
Thanks to peta , no one traps them much anymore because of price drop , so now coyotes are over populated and thinning out most upland birds.
Lots of pen raised birds around tho , held mostly for restaurants or private shoots , one out north of langdon , lots more all over the province , maybe this is where all the chicks go with the help of some of our licence money.

10-18-2010, 08:52 AM
Ever since the provincial government stopped the free gut wagon service for dead cows/calves and instituted fees for pick-up I think there has been a huge increase in the coyote population. Not sure about the areas in which you were hunting but out here in 214 and surrounding WMU's we have very large populations of coyotes unlike I have ever seen. Haven't seen any Huns/pheasants around my place for over 5 years though the populations at that time were not huge they were around. Rabbits are an endangered species in our area as well - haven't seen one of those critters around here for quite some time.

I have also noticed an apparent reduction in deer herds/fawns - could be just my experience but seems to be quite a difference when you look back 10 years ago.

Each cattle farmer has a little spot in his field where the carcasses now go. Who is going to pay $100 bucks to have someone pick up a carcass that you already lost money on when you can just dump it on the back forty?

I am no biologist but it is a possible contributing factor that many of us hicks have discussed over the past few years.

10-18-2010, 08:54 AM
Huge swings in upland populations are not uncommon at all. Everyone knows about the poor nesting conditions this spring. We can all help by NOT hunting those few birds that have managed to sucessfully raise broods this season. Give them some time and they will rebound. As far as Pheasants are concerned, we have for the most part been reliant on released birds for many years. Hopefully the Brooks Pheasant Company will release a few more birds this year for all those who have purchased Pheasant licences. If it helps at all, on a recent trip in SE Alberta we ran into more Sharptails this year than in 2009 but numbers seemed to be down from 2008 levels. Very, very few Huns though! They are pretty resiliant so lets hope we have a mild winter.:)

10-18-2010, 09:17 AM
I checked out three "coveys" of huns last weekend north of North Saskatchewan. Their numbers have not changed, but the youngsters were really small in comparision to the adults.

Late hatch maybe??:thinking-006:

Two coveys were in carigana bushes adjacent to a combined wheat field, and the other convey was eating gravel next to a cemetery.

I thought it was just me who figured there were lots of coyotes milling about, but I notice other A/O members also noticing this trend.

10-18-2010, 09:20 AM
We also noticed a lot of immature birds this fall. I think that late snow fall in the spring forced many of the hens to renest resulting in late broods for many. We noticed this with both ducks and upland birds.

10-18-2010, 09:26 AM
Sharptail numbers were way down in that there were very, very few young birds. Hun covey numbers are down considerably and the few we did bag were very young birds indicating a loss of the first hatch and a renesting.

10-18-2010, 10:48 AM
Private preserves like mine north of Langdon get no funding from the Government or from your licence fees. We raise our own chicks from eggs we collect and incubate. That is why we are private clubs. We are funded by our regular customers only who train their dogs here and book shoots before during and after the regular game bird seasons to support our operations.

10-18-2010, 10:58 AM
we did chase one covey this weekend , my partner managed to bag a couple . Only the one covey though , south of the bow . This is the second group of partridge we have run into this year

I have seen more hun's this year then last. There are three diffrent groups all with 30+ birds. They are living on about 4 sections. Honestly i have never seen so many toghter at one time around here. My horse is no longer affraid of birds! I can't go for a ride with out kicking up birds.
The property has alot of cover and coyotes were controlled this year for the first in many. Seems to have paid off!