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I would really like to get into pheasant hunting, but we dont have any pheasants up on our land. If I wanted to plant some, would they survive the winter? We have planted them before and the ones that weren't shot died. Would they survive if there is sufficient food for them, or is the cold just too hard on them? Any input would be great.
 

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We have pheasants in the Southern part of the province and we get as as cold or colder then you guys. People from South of the border are always surprised when they find out we have a few birds around. The hunting isn't as good as South of here, but we like it. But because of the winters, there are more bad years then good as far as numbers go.
 

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Weather is part of the equation, so is winter cover, accessible food in the winter and nesting cover...You can manipulate 3 of the 4 with money and resources...It will be a struggle at best.
 

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We're in a similar situation here in Michigan. My advice is to talk to your local Pheasants Forever chapter for their thoughts. My guess, having been involved in that organization and DU, is that they will tell you not to bother for many of the reasons already cited. And planting pen reared pheasants just isn't a long-term proposition to create a population. Normally a high percentage of stocked birds fall victim to predators within a short time, or in your part of the country, the weather gets them. If you have any birds at all in your area, you would be better off managing habitat and food, which will eventually produce more birds, albeit few in all likelihood.
 

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Actually we have free ranging wild pheasants in Northern MN, head over towards XXXXXX. Heck we have even have some around XXXXXX not as many granted but more and more over the last 10 years once you hit the range and east to the North Shore forget about it.

Problem is a lot of pheasants up here are getting taken by road poachers.
 

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mnwatrfwl said:
Actually we have free ranging wild pheasants in Northern MN, head over towards XXXXXX. Heck we have even have some around XXXXXX not as many granted but more and more over the last 10 years once you hit the range and east to the North Shore forget about it.

Problem is a lot of pheasants up here are getting taken by road poachers.
Are those pheasants occuring naturally, or are they escapees from pheasant farms?

And I will second your comment about no pheasants on the Range or North Shore. The north/east range and north shore have a significantly different type of woods than anywhere else in the state.....the so called "big woods."
 

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Pheasants can handle cold temps with good cover, but not deep snow. If it gets crusted they can't reach the food sources. In open country (ND,SD) wind blows bare spots in fields where they can feed. And unless there is some sort of CRP grass there won't be any nesting cover. Even with manipulation of habitat I think the heavy snow would wipe them out.
 

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If you head west and south of the tree line in Northern MN you will find them.

I recommend similar scouting to waterfowl head out early see what you can when they come to the road edges you'll learn where they are more concentrated.

As to wether escapees or wild birds the areas I know of are all wild, yes there are some escapees in some locations but you can identify them from the wild ones.

In regards to survivability I know that in some areas west of me these birds have been around for 20 years as they were there when I started dating my wife and that was back during the deep snow days.

Anyway just thought I would chime in.
 
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