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Pheasants Forever Pheasant Forecast

Reprinted from Pheasants Forever

PheasantsIOWA—PHEASANT NUMBERS JUMP SECOND YEAR RUNNING
Forecast: Iowa’s roadside count showed the second straight year of increasing pheasant numbers. The statewide index of 24 birds per route represented a 37 percent increase over last year and a 260 percent increase over the all-time low set in 2013. The highest concentration of birds occurred in the northwest.

“Several favorable winters have helped us recover bird numbers statewide,” says Todd Bogenschutz, upland game biologist and farmland coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “The pheasant index in the northwest, central, and southeast regions is at or above the long-term average. So where pheasant habitat is available, hunting should be pretty good in these regions. Counts improved in most other regions, and hunting should be better than last year. But the number of birds will be less than the long-term average.” [Read more…]

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South Dakota Pheasant Numbers Increase 42 Percent, Habitat Remains Critical Factor

With the potential for 1.5 million rooster harvest, Pheasants Forever stays the course for wildlife habitat

Brookings, S.D. – August 27, 2015 – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) has released their annual pheasant brood survey and the results show a 42 percent increase in the statewide pheasants-per-mile index compared to 2014. Elated by this report and the 150 percent increase overall since pheasant abundance reached a recent low merely two years ago, Pheasants Forever continues to stress the importance of habitat and conservation program availability in South Dakota for long-term sustainability of pheasant populations.

Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s director in South Dakota and who leads the organization’s regional office in Brookings, views the recent increases as motivation to continue charting a roadmap for further habitat programs in the state. “Pheasants Forever is thrilled to see rebounding pheasant numbers which will make for a great hunting season in ‘The Pheasant Capital.’ Still, we must keep in mind the obstacles in subsequent years related to pheasant habitat loss. In the next five years alone, South Dakota is set to expire nearly 390,000 acres of CRP. Pheasants Forever is advising state leadership to consider more strategic conservation programs to help safeguard South Dakota’s pheasant hunting traditions over the long-term.”

South Dakota has begun taking steps to replace the 1.8 million acres of grasslands and prairies lost since 2006, including the formation of a Pheasant Habitat Work Group, requesting more acres of CP-38 (State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement), and forming local advocacy groups – the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition for example – to fund habitat improvements and increase landowner participation in conservation programs. Nomsen says additional near-term steps can contribute to the pheasant rebound, including increased funding for the South Dakota Conservation Fund and funding to re-open enrollments for the James River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) – with funding, nearly 20,000 more acres of pheasant habitat could be enrolled.

“Habitat continues to be at the forefront of the conversation and is a crucial factor in pheasant numbers,” stated Kelly Hepler, SDGFP Secretary. “Bird numbers are higher in parts of the state where quality habitat conditions still exist, primarily on grasslands including those enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program as well as fields of cereal crops such as winter wheat. We continue to work in cooperation with the Governor’s Habitat Work Group, landowners, partner organizations and agencies to provide an improved future for wildlife habitat in our state.”

For Pheasants Forever remarks regarding South Dakota’s pheasant brood survey or the work of Pheasants Forever in South Dakota, contact Dave Nomsen at 605-864-8138 or email. [Read more…]

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PF Announces 2014 South Dakota Habitat Accomplishments & Awards

Dedicated chapters, opening of regional headquarters highlight 2014 endeavors

Brookings, S.D. – March 17, 2015 – Pheasants Forever improved habitat for pheasants and other upland wildlife on more than 43,000 acres in South Dakota in 2014. This includes 1,319 wildlife habitat projects completed by the state’s 34 chapters that improved 20,156 acres for wildlife, as well as 23,314 acres impacted by Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill biologist program.

“The success and longevity of Pheasants Forever in South Dakota can be attributed to the incredible work of our South Dakota volunteer chapters and their mission to conserve wildlife habitat,” stated Mike Stephenson, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative for South Dakota. “With the opening of our new regional headquarters, the dedicated chapters throughout the state and the addition of Farm Bill biologists, Pheasants Forever in South Dakota is set to do great things in 2015.”

Complementing the efforts of South Dakota chapters and volunteers, 2014 marked a historic moment for “The Habitat Organization” with the opening of Pheasants Forever’s first regional headquarters in Brookings. Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s long-time Vice President of Government Affairs, permanently moved to South Dakota and was appointed as director for the new office. The move came amidst organizational efforts to address substantial habitat losses and land use changes in South Dakota, which have resulted in a dramatic decline in pheasant numbers.

Pheasants Forever in South Dakota 2014 Chapter Habitat Accomplishments

Type of Project
2014 Projects:
2014 Acres
Historical Project Totals
Total Acres Benefited
Food Plots
1,180
16,512
21,730
263,834

Land Acquisitions
2*
207*
62*
12,040*

Nesting Cover
73
2,784
2,113
77,172

[Read more…]