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Thread: Pheasant season ends too soon?

  1. #1

    Pheasant season ends too soon?

    Should the pheasant season maybe start a month later and end a month later? We dont catch up or incubate but our birds are at their best in January so should the season be extended at the owners discretion? Warm and wet winters have left a good number in certain areas that really need to be culled.
    we have a neighbouring farm and livery that want the birds shot as the lifting birds cause the horses to throw their riders sometimes injuring the young kids.
    I think it's crazy to have the season end now?

  2. #2
    Had our last shoot today, sadly. Good one though, it's right that the pheasants fly at their best now. I would agree that the warmer weather has had them spreading far and wide, but they are trickling back now that natural food sources are eventually in short supply.

    As for extending the season, I see no real harm in extending it to the end of February. They aren't as yet turning their attentions to "lurve", the usual reason for a close season. But it's also true that many shoots don't plan to start shooting until well into October. Perhaps getting pheasants to wood earlier and being able to shoot them earlier would, in part at any rate be a good thing. In the meantime, I think a little potter around on Monday might be in order.

  3. #3
    Can't really see any logic to wot ur saying?

    If u have too many birds left either attempt to shoot harder early on or release less birds?

    If winters are warmer probably be a good case for actually shortening the season as birds could stat pairing up/forming harems sooner, cocks already begining to fight.

    Personnally i think the season is about right, finishing now gives woods the chance to settle down and let other animals/birds a month or so of no disturbance to recover gain condition and find territories for breeding.
    Even if season was extended how would the stalkers cope? Many large commercial estates are pretty much no go areas throu much of shooting/hind season.
    For the last 3/4 months u will have had a team of men/dogs disturbing every wood on a weekly/fortnightly basis plus all the disturbance with releasing and feeding.
    If ur realeasing ur birds early enough and in big enough pens they will be well ready by Oct

    Don't think low ground keepers/shooters apprecaite how much nature needs to be left in peace.
    When u speak to grouse keepers they can't wait to shoot their surplus so they can leave the hill undisturbed and only then go up to do the traps and grit all the time keeping disturbance to a minimum.
    Even at that they moan about disturbing the birds on the hill and the danmage it causes.

    Usually i do a lot more with dogs than this year and usually can't wait for season to end, know a few of the lads i usually pick up with are very happy its over, as are they're dogs.

  4. #4
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    No. I understand exactly what RD says. This was a topic some twenty years ago as I recall. Some shoots arguing that they didn't actually move from partridge to pheasant until late October anyway.

    And the problem of a "Queen Partridge" being shot, anyway, in late September.

    I think that wiser counsel advised not to attempt to change it for fear of Parliament (where it would have to be done) opening an "open season" (excuse the pun) on our quarry species and that we might see the seasons either shortened or, removal of the foreshore as having a longer season for wildfowl, and indeed, some birds totally removed from the list such as Golden Plover.

    The answer to too many cocks at the end of the season is for the keeper to go around on 1st February, or before if the last shoot day was before 31st January, and cull them using a .22RF and moderator. That's what our shoot did.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 31-01-2016 at 01:09.

  5. #5
    Like enfield says a 22rf before Tues, so 2 days left.

    Otherwise set up some catchers, a very effective way to thin birds out, either locate them to other parts of shoot where cause no damage or to a freezer. Used to get a load of caught up cocks for freezer, ideal as no shot or landing damage.
    U could off course set the catchers up throu season and move birds back to more suitable places/better drives

  6. #6
    I always thought It was daylight hours (lengthening days) not temperature that started to change the wildlife's thoughts to reproduction.

  7. #7
    V
    Quote Originally Posted by countrryboy View Post
    like enfield says a 22rf before tues, so 2 days left.

    Otherwise set up some catchers, a very effective way to thin birds out, either locate them to other parts of shoot where cause no damage or to a freezer. Used to get a load of caught up cocks for freezer, ideal as no shot or landing damage.
    U could off course set the catchers up throu season and move birds back to more suitable places/better drives
    +1

  8. #8
    OK, we don't catch up or incubate but we do continue to feed. The majority of the birds left on the ground are the (pardon the pun) "fly boys" that bale out the drives, fly back, run rather than fly and never present themselves to the guns. The wild broods have little chance of ever making it to adulthood. These wideos are a bad influence on the incoming poults without doubt and i have seen them leading a procession astray up on to the hill where the hookies pick them off big time. Just one more month shooting would thin them out nicely and do no harm?

  9. #9
    So why not catch up and fill ur freezer then?

    If the birds are so wild u haven't caught them up do u really think another month will make a diffference? Only way it would make a difference is if u reversed ur drives or placed a lot more back guns where they sneak out.

    Best to set some catchers and catch them for ur freezer or release on a part of ur shoot not near to any pens an old rough walk up corner or something.
    Last edited by countrryboy; 31-01-2016 at 08:53.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sykes View Post
    I always thought It was daylight hours (lengthening days) not temperature that started to change the wildlife's thoughts to reproduction.

    Ur prob right to some extent and daylight hours will have a big bearing on it, but generally birds are now nesting earlier than they used.
    to.
    But even if birds are switched on by daylight length, means they're still nesting at the same time so really nothing has changed from when game laws/seasons were set and no evidence for extending season other than convineince.
    Plus as enfield says if opened the debate on game seasons we could very well end up worse off, deinately no evidence for lengthrning it and if birds are rearing ealier in spring and with more indian summers in autumn so more late broods possibly evidence for shortening it at both ends. Generally the old victorians understood game/nature a lot better than we do esp the ruling classes

    Also any FT keeper feeding his birds on whistle will hve been working 7 days a week with very few(if any) days off from June or July when birds arrived.
    Doesnae give them a lot of time if catching birds up, to then get on vermin and fix pens, gun rides etc, cover crops and if he rears will have to set rearing field up and could have day olds ariving in April when it all starts again 7 days a week.

    Ps mibee change how u feed them at this time of year and don't fill any near the horses, (but probably teaching a granny to suck eggs with that 1) but that leaves u with the same problem of bringing birds back into ur woods. B
    Best in freezer really

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