Another average winter may not be enough to off-set a drought that looks to impact pheasant hunting in Wyoming this fall
By Andy Fondrick, Digital Marketing Specialist at Pheasants Forever
Editor’s Note: If you’re reading this forecast, you must hunt pheasants. If you hunt pheasants and don’t belong to Pheasants Forever or you need to renew, it’s time. Since inception, PF has impacted over 19 million acres of habitat, and created over 200,000 acres of permanently public wild places to hunt and recreate. Upland habitat, public lands and hunting heritage need you. Join, renew or extend and for a limited time get a sweet PF Field Hoodie to boot!
Pheasants didn’t take much of a hit during the winter months, but the unusually dry summer has led to a less than promising outlook for upland birds during the 2020 season. Martin Hicks, wildlife biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, indicates hunters may need to pay close attention to stocking plans to find success this fall.
WEATHER AND CONDITIONS
While birds may have escaped from potentially harsh winter months, they may not have been so lucky as temperatures began to rise.
“It was another average winter and with average survival,” Hicks says. “But Wyoming has been experiencing a terrible drought and anticipate a sharp decline in brood production and survival.”
HABITAT, BROODS AND COUNTS
According to Hicks, upland habitat was already in poor condition and the current drought conditions have made for below-average habitat conditions. “We conduct roadside crow count surveys in the extreme southeast portion of Wyoming,” says Hicks. “This year’s survey numbers, while similar to past years, were far lower than they we’re 15-20 years ago.”
When it comes to hunting pheasants in Wyoming this year, Hicks suggests hitting areas where birds have been stocked. “The best hunting spots are areas where the WGFD stocks pheasants,” says Hicks. “These areas include: Springer Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA), Glendo State Park, Platte County Walk-In Areas (WIA), Goshen County, Laramie County, Table Mountain WHMA, Ocean Lake WHMA and Yellowtail WHMA to name a few.”
Hicks suggests logging on to the Wyoming Game and Fish Website
to check out follow the WGFD stocking plans if you’re interested in a few planted birds.