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  #31  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:33 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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What the point of hunting at a release site? Why not release them and let them establish cover and hiding places prior to hunting the area. Seems counter intuitive to want to establish a population yet shooting them at the same time. Wouldn't it be better and more fun to give them a fighting chance?
The point of the release sites is the same as stocking trout in lakes where they don't reproduce, it's to provide put and take recreation. The point is not to establish wild populations, because in the Northern areas, the survival rates would be so low, as to be ineffective at establishing a population.
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  #32  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:34 AM
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They only plant roosters, so the planting has nothing to do with increasing the population other than lowering the pressure on wild birds.

Now IIRC the ACA does have a stocking program run with the 4H club.

As unpopular as this next statement will be I think it's a good idea to start paying farmers to set a side marginal crop land for wildlife. I don't have a model in mind,but basically we need to make it worth their while not to plow ditch to ditch.

Though a good start may be to stop haying ditches.
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  #33  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:45 AM
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What the point of hunting at a release site? Why not release them and let them establish cover and hiding places prior to hunting the area. Seems counter intuitive to want to establish a population yet shooting them at the same time. Wouldn't it be better and more fun to give them a fighting chance?
It is not meant to establish a population. Southern Alberta is their northernmost limit for establishing a huntable population. Couple the harsh climate with predation and it is not feasible. The sole aim is a put and take experience for hunters who pay for the tag. Try and hunt them two days after they are released and get back to me about how stupid they are. Unless you have done it then you won't understand. Not being a smart aleck, just a realist.
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  #34  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:59 AM
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It is not meant to establish a population. Southern Alberta is their northernmost limit for establishing a huntable population. Couple the harsh climate with predation and it is not feasible. The sole aim is a put and take experience for hunters who pay for the tag. Try and hunt them two days after they are released and get back to me about how stupid they are. Unless you have done it then you won't understand. Not being a smart aleck, just a realist.
Ok thanks for clarifying. I haven't hunted them so not sure what you mean about how stupid they are. I understand now that they are designed just to release and be shot. Wouldn't a sporting chance then let them hide a bit better or it just lets the predators eat them?
Apologize in advance to my ignorance. Just trying to understand the hunt a bit better since I haven't tried it. I just picture people setting up and shooting the newly released animals. Doesn't sound as exciting as using dogs or trying to flush them out.
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  #35  
Old 06-26-2019, 09:36 AM
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Ok thanks for clarifying. I haven't hunted them so not sure what you mean about how stupid they are. I understand now that they are designed just to release and be shot. Wouldn't a sporting chance then let them hide a bit better or it just lets the predators eat them?
Apologize in advance to my ignorance. Just trying to understand the hunt a bit better since I haven't tried it. I just picture people setting up and shooting the newly released animals. Doesn't sound as exciting as using dogs or trying to flush them out.
They run like hell. Hunting them on foot without a dog can be nothing more than going for a walk as many guys get skunked.

They head for cover fairly quickly and when they get in there it can get gnarly fast. Most release sites are not bald prairie, though I have heard one in southern Alberta is.
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  #36  
Old 06-26-2019, 10:20 AM
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They run like hell. Hunting them on foot without a dog can be nothing more than going for a walk as many guys get skunked.

They head for cover fairly quickly and when they get in there it can get gnarly fast. Most release sites are not bald prairie, though I have heard one in southern Alberta is.
So a day or two to establish themselves would require everyone to have a dog?
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  #37  
Old 06-26-2019, 10:36 AM
oldgutpile oldgutpile is offline
 
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Default Pheasant introduction

reintroduction is not necessarily an option anymore. With current farming practices, there is a dire lack of suitable cover to hold and protect a population long enough to encourage breeding. They dont just require "one" property to live, they are travellers and need adequate travelling lanes.
The best areas in the south had a history of open tracts of land with connective strips along the borders of the fields. Now everything is under cultivation, and even many of our ditches for the irrigation of crops are piped instead of open ditches, which produced cover from seepage. Wind breaks planted to offset the damaging winds like in the days of the "dirty thirties", such as caragans (sp?), willow and poplars, have been destroyed for the installation of pivot irrigation systems. Things change. "Progress".
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  #38  
Old 06-26-2019, 10:39 AM
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So a day or two to establish themselves would require everyone to have a dog?
Hunting pheasants on foot is often the same as going for a walk
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  #39  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:01 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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So a day or two to establish themselves would require everyone to have a dog?
Within a few hours of being chased, most of the released birds have taken to heavy cover. At the sites that I spend my time at, many head for the trees, and you can walk the open fields for hours and never find one. The birds that do remain in the open fields often run, and you never see them. And if they don't run, you can still walk by within feet of them, and not see them.

Now if you show up right after they are released, many can be found in the open fields, and some just stand in the open confused, until they are killed or scared off. This is when most of the people that don't have dogs manage to kill birds. And if you cripple one, and don[t have a dog, they can hide very well, and many are never found.

Even a couple of hours can make a huge difference in whether the birds are easy pickings, or must actually be hunted. Many times, we show up with my dog, only to be told by other hunters that there are no birds around, but most times, we have no problems finding birds.
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  #40  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:08 AM
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Within a few hours of being chased, most of the released birds have taken to heavy cover. At the sites that I spend my time at, many head for the trees, and you can walk the open fields for hours and never find one. The birds that do remain in the open fields often run, and you never see them. And if they don't run, you can still walk by within feet of them, and not see them.

Now if you show up right after they are released, many can be found in the open fields, and some just stand in the open confused, until they are killed or scared off. This is when most of the people that don't have dogs manage to kill birds. And if you cripple one, and don[t have a dog, they can hide very well, and many are never found.

Even a couple of hours can make a huge difference in whether the birds are easy pickings, or must actually be hunted. Many times, we show up with my dog, only to be told by other hunters that there are no birds around, but most times, we have no problems finding birds.
Sounds like it would be awesome with dogs. Shooting newly released stunned ones isn't my idea of fun. Hopefully the majority make it to a bit of cover!
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  #41  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:16 AM
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On release sites you can walk and get them. But it takes a lot of thinking and positioning.

If there’s cover and your quiet. And you walk FROM their likely escape route TO an open exposed area that will act as your blocker... they may drop and hold till you get to them.

Lots of release birds r just plain stupid and will hunker-hold where they are.

Most are runners.... so read the land and predict their routes. Read where hunters have or will commonly hunt (most release hunters are there for the shooting not the walking).
Go to where they will eventually go.

I often wind up hunting areas close to releases and have good hunts.

Now wild birds...... that is a fun challenge! Runners.... double back runners.
Early flushers. Refuse to flush out of the buckbrush and your dog keeps getting stuck cause it’s too thick to pursue.. there’s places like that that’s exist.... that’s some good hunting man!!
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  #42  
Old 06-27-2019, 07:22 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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You require both heavy tall grass cover, willow shrub and poplar trees left in road allowance so raptors cannot see and eat pheasants. Most farmers are actually planting ditch/road allowance which is land they do not own and are actually trespassing on public land. Then farmers cry when their top soil blows away with loss of treed wind break.
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  #43  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:06 AM
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You require both heavy tall grass cover, willow shrub and poplar trees left in road allowance so raptors cannot see and eat pheasants. Most farmers are actually planting ditch/road allowance which is land they do not own and are actually trespassing on public land. Then farmers cry when their top soil blows away with loss of treed wind break.
You have obviously not been down to the 100's south of Lethbridge.
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  #44  
Old 06-27-2019, 12:04 PM
caddisman caddisman is offline
 
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Originally Posted by aulrich View Post
I have been on a site during a release a couple of times, The worst I have seen is folks moving in after the truck has moved to another spot. But what is more telling is once the word gets out that the truck has stopped by there are way more hunters on the site(less than an hour) and on some sites like hopewell the cover is so bad and the hunter count is so high the birds are gone in hours.

Oddly though over the years I have ran into few coyote/owl leftovers
I have seen at least 25 trucks out at one time in Hopewell, hunters are about 100 yrds apart and shooting towards each other. Witness a fight break out as one guy was hit with pellets not penetrating the skin. Enough to make him made and the dogs were going at it. It was a ****show for sure. besides being really soggy.
The lady that owns the house next to it is beside herself with people shooting towards her house as she has large bushes parallel to the release site. That is why there are many signs there now reminding people about the house rule rule and distance. It wasn't a release site when she bought the property.

But to answer the question they should be raising hen pheasants as well and releasing them around Alberta in areas with great cover and talk with local farmers and ranchers not to fill in ditches and leave windrows and some tall grass. When they used to small bale and stack them it made for excellent cover and overwintering for pheasants. Now big round bales don't provide the same cover.
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  #45  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:13 AM
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Between the cover and the house so close, I have considered Hopewell to be the worst release site that I have seen.
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  #46  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:28 AM
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Between the cover and the house so close, I have considered Hopewell to be the worst release site that I have seen.
That and when we went there several years ago it was full of fox tail.
I will never go near that place again .
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  #47  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:32 AM
TrapperMike TrapperMike is offline
 
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When I had the job of releasing birds at the buffalo lake site there was no hunting after 2pm. This is when we would release the birds. This not only gave the birds time to get established but I didnít have to worry about getting shot. By the next morning the birds had scattered, and had many hunters tell me it made for better hunting.
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  #48  
Old 07-02-2019, 07:38 AM
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How was the genesee release site last year?
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  #49  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:00 AM
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How was the genesee release site last year?
Different. I hunted it a few times, but was not successful. While there, I heard next to nothing for shots. Guys who timed it right likely did well, same as any other site.
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  #50  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:01 AM
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That and when we went there several years ago it was full of fox tail.
I will never go near that place again .
Cat
No ditch rooster is worth running a dog in that stuff. Silent killers those damn things are.
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  #51  
Old 07-03-2019, 06:17 AM
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How was the genesee release site last year?
I found genesee to be hopelessly busy on the weekends, and an absolute joy midweek. Thankfully I had (and have) days to burn, so Iíll be there tues-thurs.
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  #52  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:16 AM
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Good posts elkhunter11, sn2 and birdbreast. You've told it like it is. All of you.
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  #53  
Old 07-10-2019, 09:58 AM
steamer45 steamer45 is offline
 
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Habitat undoubtedly plays a huge part, but personally I think Irrigation plays an even bigger role. All the old ditches have been filled in now and use underground distribution. Any one that finds wild birds now usually hunt's canals that have not been changed over and irrigation districts still flow water through these for the farmers. Pheasants need fresh running water and even if your cover is good they will move on or be taken by predators. The survival rate of released birds is zero percent and anyone that thinks they could survive is crazy. This release is here to take pressure off the wild bird populations to help them further survive. Released birds honestly don't even know what to eat or get the chance at that to eat. i'm sure it would be possible to help them thrive but it would involve many years of releases on no hunting properties with great cover and water access.
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  #54  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:18 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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Every wild pheasant in Alberta is result of released birds. When we had Alberta Hatchery in Brooks and raised 100,000+ birds per year we had thriving pheasant populations as far north as Edmonton. Thanks to Klienken he shut down the hatchery to save Alberta, high cost of a little grain and few jobs for summer students.
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  #55  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:41 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Big Grey Wolf View Post
Every wild pheasant in Alberta is result of released birds. When we had Alberta Hatchery in Brooks and raised 100,000+ birds per year we had thriving pheasant populations as far north as Edmonton. Thanks to Klienken he shut down the hatchery to save Alberta, high cost of a little grain and few jobs for summer students.
Talking to locals in the Camrose area, they mentioned that
there were some pheasants in the area back in the 70s, but by the 80s they had pretty much disappeared. Ralph Klein wasn't even in power at that time.
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  #56  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by elkhunter11 View Post
Talking to locals in the Camrose area, they mentioned that

there were some pheasants in the area back in the 70s, but by the 80s they had pretty much disappeared. Ralph Klein wasn't even in power at that time.


I truly have no clue as to when they stopped releasing (or even if they ever did significant releases) in the Camrose area.

I do recall flushing pheasants several times in Camrose creek drainage near the shooting range in the early 1990s.

Never found another after 1993 or so. Always wondered whether it was some private group, government, or in fill that had caused them to exist there.


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  #57  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:19 PM
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Default put and take wont build pheasant populations

The good part about the pheasant hatchery was they gave day old chicks to any family who wanted them. 25 your first year and 50 if you had experience raising and releasing on your land. I am near positive that is one of the greatest factors of finding small pockets of pheasants in areas such as camrose. Putting them on a release site would never build the population as it is rare for the roosters to survive and roosters dont produce eggs and chicks like the old straight run (hens and roosters)releases of 25 poults used to on private land.

As far as Brooks being closed to save a few bucks they raised at one time 125,000 pheasants, now if you can feed and care for those birds on a little bit of grain and a few students you are a better producer than I am as I go through over 10 tonnes of feed a year raising a handfull of birds compared to brooks hatchery. I used to hunt with 3 full time biologists and scientists that worked at the hatchery and they weren't working for summer student wages. Myself and a couple other producers looked at Brooks when it came up for sale and decided to steer clear as you would lose 1.5 million dollars in fixed expenses before and if and when you ever turned a profit in the first 5 years.
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  #58  
Old 07-13-2019, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for all the great posts you give us on birds, WW!

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