By Montana Grant

Posted: August 29, 2021

Critters gravitate to edges.

Pheasant hunting edges is a great way for a lone bird hunter and dog to get some hot action. When farmers of the mid 1900’s began their plots, they often left hedgerows to block the wind and create habitat for other critters. Pheasant and small game hunting exploded. In the 1970’s -1980’s, Pennsylvania was perhaps the best cockbird hunting in North America. These birds traveled the edges and hedgerows.

Sadly, with the modernization of larger tractors, combines, early haying/ mowing, and no till chemicals, Pheasants have almost been wiped out from Iowa-Pennsylvania. Hedgerows were bulldozed to allow for bigger equipment, hay was cut using wider and more efficient mowers, and the herbicides killed the insects that baby chicks needed. Within a few decades, pheasants paid the price. Traditional Pheasant and upland bird states are next.

Before America was developed, forests were vast and wide. A squirrel could jump from tree to tree all the way to the Mississippi River. Native peoples often burned areas to enhance their hunting. Lightening often helped.

Turkeys were critters of the forests since they needed trees to roost and acorns to eat. For other critters like deer, the sun would be blocked out so ground forage plants could not grow. It wasn’t until pioneers began to clear woodlots, that edges began to grow. Deer populations grew with them.

Bowhunters often hunt edges. Tree stands allow them an elevated advantage and edges are the highways for critter movement. Often, deer and critters hang just inside the edges for security and stay close until dark.

Edges offer security, food, and visibility. These are all things that critters prefer and need to survive. This is where you look for game.

Stay sharp and gain an edge!

Montana Grant

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