Recently I saw an article written by Parker Heinlein. He wrote about the decline of pheasants in Montana.
The Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, arguably the best pheasant hunting in Montana, is being destroyed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has been cutting down the olive trees on the refuge. With the reduced cover and habitat, the predators have now had a field day upon the pheasants.
The Fish and Wildlife Service blames the population decline on drought and harsh winters. On the Charles Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the olive trees are being poisoned. Treeless landscapes mean less habitat.
Ironically, both pheasants and the Russian Olive trees are introduced, non-native species. If the plan is to restore native species and environs, then eliminating pheasants and Olive Trees is a plan. The Montana Fish and Wildlife agency promotes creating habitat and protecting game birds.
Olive trees furnish cover and food to all birds. The berries are an important food source. Like it or not, less pheasants means less money for the state, community, and the resource.
You can hunt up a few birds, but the populations are on the decline. Locals may appreciate fewer out of county, or out of state hunters, but the loss to the economy will be felt. Many other states from Pennsylvania, to Iowa have seen their once amazing pheasant hunting flushed away. Farming practices, development, chemicals, and changes in management, are to blame.
The future for pheasants, and other hunting is at risk.
For more Montana Grant, hunt him up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.