posted on March 11, 2015 04:01
Despite active educational programs, there are still numerous myths and misconceptions for pheasant and quail hunting. Some of these so-called facts are harmless; however, some can be harmful to conservation efforts.
For instance, one of the most common beliefs is that predators are responsible for the lower bird populations. This misconception has been around for a number of years and conservation agencies have been trying to set the record straight. The main reason for a declining pheasant and quail population is the declining habitat for both birds.
Another, almost ridiculous, misconception is that hunting prevents inbreeding. There is no record of where this rumour began, but there is no evidence that a population left entirely alone will inbreed, nor does hunting have any impact on mating behaviour.
Anti-hunting activists have also spread rumours that reducing hunting bag limits or hunting hours will help with pheasant populations. Research into this has been carried out but there has been no evidence that hunting actually impacts pheasant populations. Partly due to the fact that only a small number of roosters need to survive for a successful breeding season and hens are protected.
Animal welfare enthusiasts also believe that repopulation efforts will support populations of pheasants. However, schemes across the United States have shown that commercially bred birds have a lower survival rate than that of wild born birds. Numerous reasons contribute to this, but the main one being that they are not trained to survive in the wild so find it harder to compete for food and stay away from predators.
Likewise, larger brood counts in summer months don’t always mean better hunting in the fall and winter. Other factors play a part in the hunting success such as movement of the birds, food sources and weather.
If some of these misconceptions are dealt with and efforts are made to concentrate conservation efforts in the correct manner, then both wildlife and hunting can coexist side by side. Otherwise, there will always be friction between hunters and those opposed to hunting.
What myths have you heard recently? What do you think of the myths above?
Let us know in the comments below.