Bird Dog & Retriever News

February/ March 2011 issue page 37

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 the gap between available hunting and fishing funds and wildlife needs. The Foundation focuses its efforts on habitat preservation, wildlife research, species recovery, responding to wildlife emergencies and educating people about wildlife. For more information on the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, go to:

Plenty of Pheasants Await Colorado Hunters
Colorado hunters should enjoy some of the best pheasant hunting in the state's recent history when they take to the fields Nov. 13 for opening day of the 2010-11 pheasant season.
Pheasant populations throughout Colorado's Eastern Plains have soared to near-record levels during the last two years, resulting in back-to-back banner seasons for hunters. Wildlife managers say the recent population surge of the popular, ring-necked, game bird is due to ideal weather conditions that have improved nesting habitat and ground cover across most of the state's core pheasant range.
"Pheasant production has just been phenomenal," said Ed Gorman, Division of Wildlife small game manager. "Because of the improved habitat, pheasants appear to have continued on an upward trend from the excellent numbers that hunters found in 2009. Landowner reports and our own observations indicate a highly successful nesting effort again this year."
Crowing-count surveys conducted on the Eastern Plains--the primary method used by DOW biologists to estimate pheasant populations--rose 27 percent over last

 year and posted the fifth-highest numbers since surveys began in 1956. In the pheasant-rich fields of Yuma County, pheasant counts increased 15 percent over 2009, exceeding a long-standing record dating back to 1960. The Wray-Vernon areas also posted the second-highest crowing counts ever reported.
"Simply put, hunters can expect good carryover of mature birds from last year as well as excellent numbers of young birds that hatched this spring," Gorman said.
Although populations are improved in most areas, hunters will find the greatest concentration of pheasants in Yuma, Kit Carson, Phillips, Sedgwick and eastern-Logan counties. Hunters in Morgan and Washington counties will likely see improved hunting over 2009; however, pheasants are still recovering from drought conditions earlier this Febade and birds are more localized in these areas. Similarly, pheasant-producing areas within southeast Colorado counties of Cheyenne and Baca are improved over the last couple of seasons.
More good news for pheasant hunters this year is an expedited corn harvest, making birds much more accessible to early-season hunters.
"Standing corn fields posed a significant obstacle to early-season hunters last year," said Gorman. "This year, the corn harvest is nearly complete, and if the weather remains dry leading up to opening day, the vast majority of corn fields will be harvested making early-season hunting much more productive."
The Colorado Division of Wildlife reminds small-game hunters to have a safe 2010-11 hunting sea
 son and to be mindful of the following regulations and advisories before heading into the field:
Free Walk-In Access Program:
Beginning this year, small-game hunters are no longer required to purchase permits to hunt Walk-In Access properties. Walk-In Access properties are now open to all hunters who possess a valid small-game license. The popular program provides access to more than 220,000 acres of private land to small-game and waterfowl hunters.
Hunters will find more details in the 2010 Small Game Brochure and in the Walk-In-Access Atlas, now available at statewide license agents and DOW offices. An electronic version may be downloaded at the DOW website at:
The printed atlases have been written to be as accurate as possible. However, hunters should not hunt fields unless they are clearly marked with "Walk-In Access" signs. Hunters are reminded to keep Walk-In Access properties clean and to never clean birds or litter on these private lands.
New Pheasant Hunting Instructional DVD:
Hunters who would like to get the most out of the banner 2010 season are encouraged to pick up a copy of the DOW's latest instructional DVD, "Pheasant Hunting Colorado." The DVD is included free in every 2010 small game brochure and provides a wealth of information to help hunters become more successful. The half-hour DVD is a comprehensive guide that leads both new and ex
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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News March 2011
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
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Phone 612-868-9169 Adv deadline 1st of the month prior to the issue.