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The 2014 Colorado pheasant hunting season is underway and the abnormal tempatures are not cooperating for those fair-weather hunters.

The warm and dry opener on November 8, where the temperatures were relatively stable at 60 degrees, has led to the state being hit by an arctic blast where temperatures dropped to single digitals. This has caused many of the fair-weather pheasant hunters to return to their homes and reach for the heaters.

At the same time many of the pheasants, quail and turkeys have gone into hiding to escape the cold weather and find food. Hunters can only hope this helps them survive another harsh winter that otherwise could decimate populations.

However, the dry conditions weren’t to everyone’s taste. Ronnie Precht from Denver spoke of the weather conditions on the opening weekend. "We had nine guns this year, all seasoned upland hunters and plenty of dog power. We started at 7:45 a.m. and got our limit 10 minutes before sunset," he started, "The conditions were tough. Very warm and dry made scenting conditions less than optimal. That coupled with 50 percent of the corn still standing and the challenge was formidable."

Many of Colorado hunters have noted there has been an increase in the pheasant numbers thanks to the positive weather conditions of last year and the good summer. However, another poor winter could damage the recovery of the birds. Populations nationwide suffered from a significant drop during the last bad winter in 2013.

There have been significant concerns with the continuous loss of CRP lands in the state. Unless more is done for habitat protection, bird populations will continue to decrease in the long run.

The bad winter could also dissuade hunters from taking to field. This will affect the local economy. In South Dakota, hunting contributes approximately $200 million annually.

Have your hunting trips been stopped by the bad weather? Do you have any concerns about poor weather?

Let us know in the comments below.


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