What happened to small game hunting in this state? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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What happened to small game hunting in this state?

I just posted on another post about the lack of quality hunting opportunities in our state and it got me thinking.
What happened to the pheasants and rabbits? When I was a kid we had rabbits and pheasants everywhere. Many times we would have to stop the car to let a flock of pheasants cross the road. 15 to 20 birds together was not uncommon.
Why won't they survive in the wild anymore? What about rabbits? Today I see them in housing developements but why aren't they in the fence rows and briar patches in the woods?
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post #2 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 12:46 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

this should be in the small game forum

I gotta go agitate the techies!
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post #3 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 12:47 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

Many of their nesting and protective areas have gone away due to new farming practices. We are way too efficient these days with new equipment and techniques.
Increases in predator and raptor numbers don't help either IMO.

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post #4 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

exactly. I grew up in central lebanon county and their were small fields surrounded by fence rows and corn pickers left a lot of corn in the fields, the corn stalks helped provide cover. Now the fence rows have been bull dozed, the farmers use combines, which leave very little grain in the fields and they even take in the corn stalks. What was rich pheasant and rabbit havens in the 1960's now looks like a wide open barren waste land in winter.
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post #5 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

Yes I've heard the official stories and I've seen the farming practices change like the conditions you are refering to. But there are many places with much cover and they don't even hold a single bird. Blue Marsh Is a good example. I've know people to turn birds out to train their dogs. They turn the birds loose never to be seen again. No sign of even feathers much less establishing a breeding population.
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post #6 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 01:34 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

The last small game hunting my land saw was November 2009.
It isn't because there's a lack of small game. I have lots of small game spread across the property based on the habitat. I don't have pheasants, nor do I have the habitat to support them.
There are many more opportunities to hunt small game than hunters take advantage of. I haven't seen a small game hunter all year. I live 5 miles outside of town so I drive by small game habitat everyday.

I miss my hunting partner
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post #7 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 02:06 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

Progress, farming/land use changes, relentless habitat succession, a selfish focus on deer including Leasing, obstructionist lawsuits and misguided agendas, a Public who does not understand the positives of age class diversity in a forest...the list goes on.

GBE was correct....decades ago.

Rory has a good owner now....lucky lad.

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post #8 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 02:25 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

Plenty of bunnies where I live. Unfortunately, they're mostly all in suburban back yards, instead of on land where they could be hunted. We have foxes and hawks around our place, yet it's common to see a half dozen rabbits in our back yard at one time.

Pheasants are an introduced species dependent on stocking, were a "flash in the pan" and only thrived when/where habitats supported them. Few of the farms are still around now, where we hunted them successfully in the 60s and 70s, for one thing. And remaining farmlands have little in common with good pheasant habitats from that period in time when pheasants thrived in these parts.

Small game? Tons of squirrels in most of the places I hunt. Grouse are coming back in several of those areas, but have always been somewhat "cyclical" in terms of good populations.

I've been hunting grouse in the area where my camp is in 3A, since the 60s. Been good years and lots of bad years in all that time. We've had a few years when a dozen flushes happened, followed by years when it was a treat to flush one or two?

Such is life in the outdoors.

Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #9 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 03:00 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4c_game_chaser
Increases in predator and raptor numbers don't help either IMO.
This. I feel that household cats let loose to roam are also putting a hurting on things.
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post #10 of 76 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 04:01 PM
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Re: What happened to small game hunting in this state?

I won't argue with that BassBlaster, more and more "pets" being dropped off in farm country. We see it all the time at our place.

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