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Discussion Starter #1
Brought this up before...but here it is again...

Alot of the pheasant restoration focus is on type of habitat cover. Has anyone put any thought into the connection of calcium/limestone and pheasants. It is no coincidence that the Washingtonville/Limestoneville/Montour WPRA area was a "pheasant mecca" in the 60's. (Think egg viability)

I think a study of pheasant numbers in the mid-west part of the country and the soil makeup (ie. limestone concentration)would open many peoples eyes.

A look at the link between no-till farming and access to limestone/calcium by the birds is something that might prove very interesting.

Read this.... Relationship of Calcium to Pheasant Populations


And this excerpt from another article..."In 1961, a Minnesota biologist superimposed a map of calcium bearing soil over the pheasant range. He noticed that ringnecks and calcerous soils were most common in the southwestern part of the state, while both were lacking in southeastern countries. A two-year study in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, found similar results."

<span style="color: #FF0000">Edit...ADDITIONAL THOUGHT...</span>Also think about how CREP and CRP might have actually had a negative impact on pheasants. The "Soil Bank" program initiated in the early 60's (CRP predecessor)removed plowed land from Pennsylvania's acreage. Less land turned over by plows for farming may have lead to less access to calcium/limestone by the birds.....and a degradation of egg viability. Food for thought?????
 

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Something must be going on here in S.W. PA, because I've been seeing more and more of them around. I saw one dead along the road today, and have been hearing others frequently.

When in fact, I haven't seen one in years.

I hope they're making a come back.
 

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The mineral factor has been known and considered as a pheasant success component since Hector was a pup.
 

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Maybe the increase in the amount of private land closed to hunters has helped the birds.
 

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I have read information about the limestone connection before. It is true that the Central Susquehanna WPRA is in a good limestone area. There's a town in the WPRA called Limestoneville for Pete's sake
However, limestone doesn't help keep the predators of their back like switchgrass does.
 

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Lynn, Am I to understand from your post that the 6 month, per year, dog training ban/restriction will stay in effect for an additional 3 years???????????

The training of dogs, in a WPRA, has not been the problem with the successful reintroduction of the birds.

The basic problem(s) are much more serious than any dogs training issue!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lynn,

I understand the hurdles that yourself and P.F. had to overcome to get the population started. I feel that you have done great things with the program and your efforts are appreciated.

My angst with the program has always been what is the final objective of the program. If it is to create a huntable population then I feel your success will be limited or short lived. There simply is not enough land to sustain a huntable population that could handle the onslaught of all the hunters that want to hunt wild pheasants in PA. This means that the program will either fail or be very limiting in allowing hunter access.

The historic numbers of pheasants in that area of Montour county was due to a number of perfect situations that existed back in the 60's/early 70's. These situations ie. habitat, farming practices, predator numbers, hunting pressure have all changed. Your program relies heavily on habitiat and habitat type. Habitat is not going to create a huntable population. You are obviously succeeding in creating a wild bird population, but it is a microcosm and extremely suceptable to failure because of other factors.

The land in the program is also subject to changes in regards to farming. Does Government subsidy of ethanol and the increase in corn production and corn prices threaten the makeup of the habitat in the WPRA? Are there any guarantees to keep this land in switch grass?

I truly believe that the major change that ended the historic numbers of pheasants in this area was no-til farming. The increase in no-til and the soil bank program directly limited bird access to calcium for viable egg production. The link between pheasants and calcium/limestone I believe is much larger than most realize.
 

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Hard to support the effort when so much restriction in WPRAs is placed on dog training. With that in mind I DO NOT want to see more acreage become WPRAs which is why I don't support PF, I'm not going to finance (be it even indirectly) more bird dog owners getting fleeced out of places to train let alone run their dogs. That right there is the deal breaker, a real stinker and my only beef.
 

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OldDublin said:
The mineral factor has been known and considered as a pheasant success component since Hector was a pup.

How old is Hector these days??
 

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Big Don said:
OldDublin said:
The mineral factor has been known and considered as a pheasant success component since Hector was a pup.

How old is Hector these days??
Let's just say that Hector was around when Carter was counting his liver pills.
 

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Lyco Setter,
What you say is true and I agree 100%, either change the law on the WPRA's or do not make any more of them, infact eliminate them a little at a time.
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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kg300, the issue with not being able to do "ANY" dog training, for 6 months, inside the boundary of the 95,000 acre Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Restoration Area is not about the availability of any specific species of birds.

The issue is, NO dog training of any kind is permitted for 6 months.

I asked the local Wildlife Conservation Officer about throwing canvas bumpers for my dogs to retrieve, in my back yard, during the period of time when dog training closed, if this dog activity would be permitted, he indicated "no, he has to enforce all of the game laws".

This question was asked, during a meeting at PPL Montour Preserve, when the PGC and PF were telling interested dog owners about the pheasant program and the PGC new regulations. The PGC would not entertain any alternatives to their regulations.

I applied for a Special Retriever Training Permit (SRTP) and was turned down because I reside within the WPRA. The SRTP would allow me to train dogs, on a delineated 50 acres, 7 days a week. My property is not suitable pheasant habitat.

Mr. Appleman, PF spokesman, has posted on other HPA forums and threads about needing at least 3 years for switch grass to become suitable pheasant habitat. This switch grass is going to be the habitat the birds need to flourish and the program to be deemed a success. The grass has not been planted yet.

The PGC and PF are all ready past year 7 of a 6 year program and deadline to determine if the program was successful.

I believe the pheasant needs supplemental help during the initial period when the birds are trying to get re-established. Enhancements/modifications to the agencies pheasant plan would provided more meaningful results instead of banning dog training.

As much as anyone, I want to see the program be successful, but I believe sporting dog owners that live in the WPRA should be allowed to train dogs just as any other dog owners in the state.
 

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Dean Conklin said:
...I asked the local Wildlife Conservation Officer about throwing canvas bumpers for my dogs to retrieve, in my back yard, during the period of time when dog training closed, if this dog activity would be permitted, he indicated "no, he has to enforce all of the game laws".
This question was asked, during a meeting at PPL Montour Preserve, when the PGC and PF were telling interested dog owners about the pheasant program and the PGC new regulations. The PGC would not entertain any alternatives to their regulations.....
If true, that does sound a mite a(n)al re activity on private land.
It is always easiest though, to say NO rather then to explain or defend that which is ridiculous.
Black & white thinking can be limiting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I live in a WPRA and train my dogs on my property all the time. Good luck prosecuting me on this one. A few bumpers thrown in the yard bothers no pheasants!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
<span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">Here are some Pheasant Management Plan specs.</span></span>

188. WPRAs with established populations of at least 10 hens per square mile in the spring by the third year after stocking ends - will be opened to male pheasant only (cocks only) hunting but remain closed to game farm pheasant stocking.


189. WPRAs with populations less than 10 hens per square mile in the spring for 3 consecutive years after stocking will be open to either sex pheasant hunting and stocked with game farm pheasants.

<span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">Here is the current population counts:</span></span>
"In Turbotville that figure is 18, and on the 55-acre field that was surveyed last Sunday DeLong said there are 47 hens per square mile."

<span style="font-size: 11pt">Why is this WPRA still closed to ALL hunting?</span>
 

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Come on down to Northampton County and run your dogs. They did not even stock any birds for youth hunts and that makes no sense to me. We are not propogating any pheasants here but they act like we are!!!???/
Why the push to hunt the wild birds?? I would rather they are left alone for awhile longer while some of the qustions are answered. That way there may be a better map as to where we are going in the future.
 

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Lets see here....I could be limited to where and when I can train my pup with a chance( no matter how big)that someday there would be a substain pheasant pop that my kids and grand kids could enjoy like when I started hunting,and bring a possible economic boom to the area or i could sit on my thumbs and chase stocked chickens that have no chance of survival..... hhhhmmmmm tough call...... But I do believe you guys should be able to train non avasive on your own land there should be some plan for you guys!
 

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I do not agree with 6 month restriction but I would have no problem with a 4 month restriction with a special permit for a limited dog training area for residents inside the WPRA.

We are in no hurry to hunt these birds until the population is large enough to provide a good hunting opportunity. Since most of those complaining have not lifted a finger to help, I won't be worried about it too much.
 
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