Didn't see any that small but we put about 300+ miles on Monday and saw tremendous numbers of birds. Didn't get out enough earlier and wanted to check alot of the smaller sloughs. The South Central/Central/SW parts of the state are DRY. Waterfowl hunting will be difficult but the pheasant hunting should be outstanding this year. There were alot of large groups of pheasants.
I have been out a lot this fall and summer and have seen the same thing. VERY immature birds all over. I don't know what to think of it. One day I was out scouting goose spots and I saw about 50 head of pheasants just driving around, and I would say only 5 of them were in a group of mature birds. Weird.
As long as the eggs in the nest do not hatch the hen pheasant will attempt to renest. For example if a creek floods and washes a nest away before any of the eggs hatched the hen pheasant will attempt to renest. On the other hand, if the hen is successful in bringing a clutch to hatch and forms a brood and then something happens and those young chicks die then she will not attempt to renest. Renesting will only occur if the eggs are destroyed.
There are many opinions on how many times or how far into the summer a hen will attempt to renest if her eggs are destroyed. Evidently, you have some strong willed hens in your area and that is a good thing. One thing to also consider is that every time a hen attempts to renest the clutch size will usually be 10-20% smaller for every renesting attempt. The concept that the same hen will renest again after successfully raising her first brood of chicks, therefore creating a "second hatch", is a common misperception. This is a common discussion this time of year all across the midwest because of the presence of some extremely juvenile birds that we assume should be fully mature (or close) by now.
I have on two separate occasions harvested rooster pheasants in Iowa in January which had not yet fully developed the colors of an adult bird. Its quite unbelievable to think that those birds, which would have had to hatched extremely late made it through the first couple of months of the season. Based upon my observation of the development of one of the roosters, I would have to guess that particular bird hatched as late as Labor Day that year.
Anyway, sorry for the long message I just get pumped up when I hear about lots of young birds because that means that there was a successful hatch, albeit it somewhat late for the birds you mentioned seeing.
I sent you an email the other day...I think it was Sunday night. I saw that you had asked somebody else about bird numbers in Iowa so I just sent you a message to make sure that you would see it. Give me a shout after checking your email so I can be sure that you got it. It was sent to whatever email address that you have listed in your profile on this site.
A forum community dedicated to North Dakota fishing and hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, gear, tips, tricks, optics, hunting, gunsmithing, reviews, reports, accessories, classifieds, and more!