I was paging through old photographs at Mom and Dad’s earlier this fall, looking for a 1980s picture of my Dad, his friend, Robert, and myself after a pheasant hunt in LaMoure County. We each held and proudly displayed one trophy rooster. It was from 1983 when you had 24 or so pictures on a roll of film and the investment was even more for buying and developing the precious film. Honestly, three decades later, the photograph is priceless. It represents the value of a hunt with friends and the level of success was measured in a few birds and not “bagging a three-man limit” before lunch. Don’t get me wrong, the expansion of Conservation Reserve Program acres and the addition of other wildlife and habitat across the landscape since the 1980s has been a boon for pheasants and hunters alike.
While the technology is no longer Kodachrome, the bottom line is success is still relevant to hunters as much this fall as ever before. North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists forecast that hunters should find a few more birds across the landscape this autumn than last year. R. J. Gross, Department upland game biologist, said results of the annual late summer brood counts brought some good news. “We had good residual cover to start the year, and good weather for nesting and brood-rearing,” he said. “There were some areas that experienced abnormally dry periods throughout the summer, but nesting appeared to be successful.” [full article]