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spunky 11-24-2019 08:42 AM

What a joke.
Was out duck hunting yesterday and the fields around the swamp was stocked recently with pheasants. How could someone say chasing these birds is hunting. All it is, is shooting. The game commission might as well park the stocking truck at the parking lot and hand over the birds as the hunters arrive. As we were sitting in the blind we heard a rooster cackle right behind the blind. The young kid never saw a rooster before so he went to look. He left his gun in the blind. 2 minutes later he comes back with a rooster under his arm. He caught it with his bare hands. He let the bird go and the dumb thing stayed around the blind even after we did some shooting. These birds sure arenít the ones I grew up chasing. If this is what pheasant hunting has come to Iím glad I gave it up.

ShaneWeim 11-24-2019 10:41 AM

Yeah sadly my dog has caught numerous birds before they even flush

bpottorff 11-24-2019 11:42 AM

Birds are not really dumb, they are just domestic. They are basically put out to be killed, usually this happens quick. Many predators come in and kill as many as they can. Back before raptors were protected, we had wild birds that had good survival skills, however when raptor numbers rose, pheasants disappeared, as most small game has. I remember a few years back, a fellow on this site worked hard to get wild pheasants reintroduced here in PA. Despite all the habitat work that was done, and this man claiming that all the wild pheasants needed, was this new great habitat, to survive, the raptors did to these reintroduced birds, what they did to our original wild birds, killed them out of most areas. I remembered being told by this man, how with great habitat, these wild pheasants would be able to survive the uncontrolled numbers of raptors. He had a lot of people fooled for a few years, I talked to the biologist that was involved in the pheasant effort, he was a wise man, and said that the raptors were the main cause of mortality. Kind of like what uncontrolled numbers of wolves did to big game out west, even with good habitat. These domestic pheasants make many people happy, as it gives them a chance to shoot a pheasant. With a dog. these domestic birds can be made to flush, some times they even flush with enough pressure from hunters. This is as close to real pheasant hunting as it will get here, as long as predators, are allowed to hold back small game numbers. At least they are stocking something to shoot, cause small game numbers have been greatly reduced as predator numbers have risen. I remember when I heard about the total protection of raptors, I never believed they could wipe out the abundant small game, but they did. But also seeing them at the same time wipe out most farmers free range small poultry. I believe that in the last few years raptor numbers have leveled off, kind of controlled by the prey numbers. In the spring. the very few small game we have. reproduces, we see large numbers of rabbits and a few other young from other small game. the raptors clean them out by fall hunting season and not much left for human hunters. At this time many raptors migrate south, where some small game are having young, and they feed there. Come spring back they come. Then we have all the ground predators, but most of these can be controlled in numbers. Game management is normally done based on the numbers of the individual animal, when it came to the raptors they were given a blanket political protection, not based on what to do as their numbers rose, protection forever, no matter how many. This is game management based on emotion and not science. So in the end this has led to the abundance of the domestic pheasant and lack of the wild ones.

Mike M. 11-24-2019 01:34 PM

Well I have to disagree, the pheasants. I have been hunting have been very wild & flew like crazy not one bird was spotted outside cover just standing around & the ones I did see scooted out ahead of me in the cover, just was able to catch a glimpse of them when they took off. The birds that were stocked on the gamelands I hunted were no dumb chickens & were certainly no joke.

R. S. B. 11-24-2019 07:07 PM

I have to agree with Mike M. and his experiences.

I hunt the stocked pheasants just about every day they are in season, up until bear season comes in and my experience is that once these stocked pheasants have been in quality habitat for a day they are just as wild as any wild pheasants in ANY state that has wild pheasants. They will run ahead of the dogs and hunters until they get out of shotgun range then flush and fly away. Others act more like grouse and will flush at in range only when they can flush while they have some instruction between you and them that will not allow a clean shot at them. I have had several that waited to flush when there was no way I could swing my gun on them due to the brush between us.

But, since they are stocked birds that get handled and hauled long distances in crates before getting stocked there is an occasional bird that is injured in the process that can't run, or even walk or fly as they should. I know that because I always help stock the birds in our area. Once in a while there will be one that just isn't right. That is just a part of the hazards of handling wildlife. I could perhaps just kill the few weak and injured ones instead of putting them out there but for what real reason. Some of the weak and injured end up with a dog catching them and they end up in some hunter's game bag. Some are caught by a predator and become a meal. But, that is just one more healthy pheasant a predator doesn't have to hunt for in order for it's survival. Just nature working as nature is intended.

As for the normal rant about the predators wiping out small game populations, I will call that bull crap also. Even with snow on the ground I find very little evidence of predators, either ground or avian, catching these stocked pheasants. Like I said I hunt them every day that isn't a bear or deer season. Many of those days we have had snow on the ground for weeks and even a month or more. Yet even with the snow to read the FACTUL story it is extremely rare to see where ANY predator was successful at catching one of the pheasants. And on the rare occasion where you do find where something caught one what we don't know is whether it had been one that some hunter had wounded and got away. I know that happens more than many people realize because it isn't too uncommon for my dog to catch one that I never shot at. When that happens I bag the bird as part of my limit, take it home and clean it for the pot. The ones my dog brings me always have been wounded and then weakened until the dog could catch them.

If my dog hadn't caught them some other predator undoubtedly would have. But, isn't that the way nature intends?

When I hear people going off on a tangent about how these pheasants aren't wild it simply tells me that they have never spent any amount of time hunted them and are instead basing their opinion on an anomaly instead of reality.

The pheasants being stocked across this Commonwealth are in general a high quality bird that provides a high quality hunting opportunity and experience for a lot of hunters.

Dick Bodenhorn

Lynnappelman 11-24-2019 08:57 PM

I am amazed at how smart these birds are and every flush they get smarter. Started Saturday at day break and 5 different birds flushed beyond 50 yards. They behaved very much like the wild birds at the youth hunt. There is the occasional clueless pheasant. There are occasional clueless hunters too who somehow feel the need to disparage other hunters.

simoncool 11-24-2019 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by Lynnappelman (Post 3665631)
There is the occasional clueless pheasant. There are occasional clueless hunters too

It's a good thing a few of those birds are clueless, otherwise those hunters would never kill anything!!!

SRA-5C+ 11-24-2019 09:15 PM

When they used to stock Evansburgh you never needed to know when they did it, you would see them in single file lines heading off property like follow the leader. It was amusing and they never flew, just running like chickens all in a row reading for sun to go down to head back to the hen house.

Stetam 11-24-2019 09:20 PM

Yep, pheasant hunting now is a joke.


Lynnappelman 11-24-2019 09:23 PM

See what I mean.

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