posted on January 15, 2014 21:17
Three years of droughts have taken a toll on hunting across the country.
In Kansas, it’s been a bad year for pheasant hunting. Numbers were down across the state including the Northeast region.
It’s a sad story for hunters that have seen the transformation take place over the last decade. Many remember that it wasn’t too long ago when the pheasants were plentiful in Kansas including the Northeast areas where there are now very few pheasants.
Drought and changes in land use by farmers have changed the landscape. Instead of natural grasses and cover for the pheasants, the land is filled with agricultural crops. Farmers have been forced by economic times to plant beans and corn along with a few other crops.
And the droughts have really taken a toll on Kansas pheasant hunting. For months this summer the skies yield little to no rain. Very little vegetation made it through and the wildlife populations suffered.
One hunter that owns two separate 640-acre properties is seeing the same thing. He has been able to keep his properties in natural grasses specifically for pheasants, but the drought has made it incredibly difficult.
But the hunter is holding out hope like many others. He knows that Mother Nature works in cycles and sometimes there need to be a few poor years before things turn around.
He made a promise to his father that he would keep the properties in their natural state, which is ideal for pheasants until the day he dies. The trust allows him to continue hunting until he dies at which point Pheasants Forever will take over ownership with a promise to maintain the property specifically for pheasants.
Everybody is holding out hope even as the numbers drop. As long as there are hunters keeping land full of natural grasses and as long as Pheasants Forever is doing its part to conserve the land things should hopefully stay a little bit like they’ve been in the past.