posted on September 14, 2012 22:29
Pheasant counts are down in some states across the US.
In places like Michigan the number of pheasants and the number of hunters are on the decline
. The change has been slow over the last few years, but appears to be picking up in pace. Things just aren’t the same when it comes to pheasant hunting in some states.
Some in Michigan blame the encroaching urban areas. It’s true that over the last 50-60 years people have moved from the city out to the suburbs and the result has been a creep on nature. The pheasant and other upland birds in the area are forced into smaller areas throughout the state and the population declines.
Farming is also blamed. Over the last few decades there has been an increase in the number of big farms. There is money to be made in the crop harvest each year. The world is consuming more corn, oats and soy and the demand is outpacing the supply. As the big farms stretch to fill the demand the area for birds declines. The fields just pay more money than the grasslands and brush areas that make up a pheasant’s natural home.
Another issue is the declining interest from hunters. There are still plenty of die hard hunters in Michigan, but the youth of today pay little interest outside of a few that are really interested. The number of young hunters entering the field is on the decline.
These issues seem to be all contributing to the decline in hunting across the nation. But while habitat and other factors are contributing to a decline in other states that may be a good sign for South Dakota.
As pheasant populations dip in other areas things are looking up in South Dakota. The population is up around 18% from last year and the hunting conditions are looking much better now that the summer drought appears to be over.
Perhaps more than one factor will be contributing to a good season in South Dakota as outsiders come in with their cash to spend on great hunting trips in South Dakota