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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I met up with a another member of our PF chapter and we made the drive to help out with the flushing survey in the Hegins-Gratz WPRA. The group I was in went to a farm that did not get any pheasants when birds were released 2 years ago. We managed to push out 2 deer, about 4 or 4 rabbits, 2 hen and 2 rooster pheasants. The farm beside the fields we were working still had corn up (a lot) so there is a good chance there are more birds in the area. Nittany and Blitz did get a chance to work some wild birds without leaving the state and I got a picture of this point:



I plan to help out with some future surveys next month. It was a good way to spend a day out in the fields.
 

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Thanks for the report. I to am planing on helping out with some next month. Would be good for the pup and good for the soul. I've yet to see a wild pheasant in PA in person.
 

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I haven't been to Hegins Gratz./- How is the cover? It looks pretty good but down like much of it here. It looks like the dogs found them in a patch of standing grass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The fields were difficult to walk through and I think this farm had good cover. Some of the grass was still standing and other parts of the grass were bent over providing areas for the birds to hide under. I suspect the standing corn held more birds. I heard the landowner say he saw his first rooster fight last spring so it seems like the farm is holding the birds.
 

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I also went today. We flushed 7 hens and 1 cockbird. We were not near any of the release sites. We flushed at three locations and got 2 hens at the first site, a hen and a cock from a five acre old orchard and four hens at the last site. At the last site we had two additional flushes that could have been reflushes but we did not count them.

BWIRE. I am the guy with the yellow lab that flushed with you last year. The last site where we had four concerned with the two additional flushes was where we started last year and had no flushes. This will be the top release ste this year if they get birds. We had one of poorer locations and it turned out great. Rumor is the guys that were at the release sites did really well.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I remember you from last year. I would think that if we are finding birds at non-release areas, then the release areas should be looking good. The farm we were at today is suposed to get birds this year if SD gets enough snow to make trapping birds possible. Did you hear about any of the other groups?
 

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I heard they had twenty nine birds from one field at one of the release sites in the Hegins area
 

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That sounds fantastic, correct me if I am wrong but that area only got one stocking of birds two years ago! I was planning on going myself but had a setter come into heat and I decided to take her up for a date to Long Gone Farm!
 

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That is correct it only had one stocking two years ago. It is assumed that most of the birds we flushed were born here in PA and not from the original stocking.
 

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Pointing Lab said:
That is correct it only had one stocking two years ago. It is assumed that most of the birds we flushed were born here in PA and not from the original stocking.
IMAGINE THAT, RINGNECK PHEASANT BREEDING AND REPRODUCING IN PA.!!!! Something just sounds right about that.
 

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I have high hopes for Hegins-gratz because they have a good amount of CREP in and around the WPRA. Sounds like the birds are increasing. Hopefully they will get more birds from SD this year.
 

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The fact that you guys are flushing hens is encouraging.
 

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angus said:
Thanks for the report. I to am planing on helping out with some next month. Would be good for the pup and good for the soul. I've yet to see a wild pheasant in PA in person.
X2 on everything angus said.
Keep me posted on your next survey date.

Thx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here are the numbers from the flushing survey:

Group 1: 2 M 2 F
Group 2: 13 M 10 F
Group 3: 15 M 30 F
Group 4: 14 M 29 F
Group 5: 2 M 8 F
Group 6: 5 M 0 F

Some groups flushed more than one area.

Total 52 M 79 F

I think more sites will be flushed over the next two weeks. I'm not sure how the numbers compared to last year but I though people would like to see this info.
 

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These are good numbers considering this area has only had one release two years ago.
 

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We (my rabbit posse)are all over the Hegins Gratz WPRA hunting rabbits and have yet to bounce one pheasant all season even with hounds.

So pheasant people, why hasn;t the GC changed the season date to allow us rabbit guys to continue rabbit hunting in those areas until the end of February because we don;t target pheasants or their habitat. Haven;t bounced one all season and i doubt that we would "DISTURB" nesting pheasants in February.

Why is it considered disturbing pheasants by those that don;t target them, hound guys, in February, yet flushing surveys are allowed in February that specifically try to find the birds?
 

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The reason is obviously not because of nesting in Feb. Disturbing birds from good cover areas exposes them to predation. Doing it once has a minimal effect and the data gained will be a plus for them. The problem is for the most part not hounds but other people who want to run their dogs on wild birds and would ruin it for others. We are seeing good numbers of birds so they are there. We are sorry for the inconvenience but you do have the rest of the state to hunt in.
 

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So you say its not the hounds its the other people who want to run their dogs on wild birds. So why doesn;t law say no bird dog training? You can waterfowl hunt in the Hegins Gratz WPRA during February and that means using a bird dog. Your statement says its the bird dog guys who are the problem, so again, why can;t i rabbit hunt, or fox hunt, or coom hunt with coon hounds in the WPRA during February? It disturbs the birds. HA, the amount of hawks, yotes, fox, and feral cats up in Hegins disturb what pheasants are there everyday.

<span style="font-style: italic">"We are sorry for the inconvenience but you do have the rest of the state to hunt in"</span>

If i din;t have good friends with bird dogs I'd label that as an elitist tough cookie statement.
 
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