Outdoors blog

Bird hunters soon will harvest the hatch

Dan Hoke moves in to flush a pen-raised pheasant for his German shorthair pointer. (RICH LANDERS PHOTOS)
Dan Hoke moves in to flush a pen-raised pheasant for his German shorthair pointer. (RICH LANDERS PHOTOS)

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.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

Follow Rich online:









Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile