HUNTING -- Forest grouse and dove hunting seasons open Monday, giving hunters the first glimpse of how well birds pulled off their hatches in the wet weeks of June.
Is your dog fit and trained? Probably not.
The bigger question is, "How did the pheasants do?"
I don't know the answer and there's precious little official information, since state fish and wildlife biologists do very little survey work on game birds anymore.
Prairie game birds such as Hungarian partridge and pheasants are ground nesters. They llay lots of eggs, 10-15 per nest in nature's hedge against the high odds of a chick hatching and surviving.
Both species incubate their eggs about 23-24 days. They'll renest if the nest is destroyed, though usually not after the eggs hatch. Chicks that die from a wet, cold snap in June or a bad July hailstorm will not be replaced that year.
That's why hunters appreciate the birds that make it this far. They're the survivors.