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Jaysteph

Optimistic Public land Pheasant season

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Fellas, I am cautiously optimistic the pheasant hunting up in northern NJ will rebound after the horrible showing last year.  I mainly hunt whittingham and Berkshire valley and the stocking was so bad that even thanksgiving was a wash. What has everyone heard about the new procedure of buying the birds from a farm in pa instead of rock port ?

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7 minutes ago, Jaysteph said:

Fellas, I am cautiously optimistic the pheasant hunting up in northern NJ will rebound after the horrible showing last year.  I mainly hunt whittingham and Berkshire valley and the stocking was so bad that even thanksgiving was a wash. What has everyone heard about the new procedure of buying the birds from a farm in pa instead of rock port ?

I have no idea but I totally agree last year sucked, I was only able to pull the trigger once and missed.  Last year was no birds for me so I'm looking at as it can only get better.  I bypassed the state and joined a private club for this season

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Over the years I have repeatedly sided with F+W and tried to get others to do the same . Not last year, the stocking up north was a joke and no way to sugar coat it! It can only get better!

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The stocking numbers were drastically cut several years ago for northern NJ and that is not supposed to change given that Rockport is now closed and we purchase our birds from other breeding facilities.  They are separate issues.  For a long time, northern hunters got far more of the birds which is perhaps not fair, and the Division tried to right what they saw as a wrong.  IMO, they did it too drastically and all at once and it seems to be backfiring on them up north.  Not sure if stamp sales are up in PorkRollville, but here in TaylorHamcountry, lots of former pheasant stamp buyers are no longer buying our stamps and hunting for Division stocked birds.  

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The DFW announced an increase in stocking this year - I think almost all (but not all) WMAs are getting more birds including up north. The WMAs I hunt I noticed we are getting an additional 200 birds over the course of the season.

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1 hour ago, mazzgolf said:

The DFW announced an increase in stocking this year - I think almost all (but not all) WMAs are getting more birds including up north. The WMAs I hunt I noticed we are getting an additional 200 birds over the course of the season.

Mazz, they cut our numbers by half or so a few years ago and all the northern guys are complaining.  The Division should have reduced the number over maybe 3 years and not all at once.  Now we have the same pressure/number of hunters with half the birds and there are stocking days when you don't even see a bird while running a good pointer if only out for a couple of hours and not all day.  The hard core northern guys just aren't used to not getting multiple shots on any given stocking day, let alone non-stocking days.  That has changed for us and many are now no longer buying the stamp up this way. 

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Looks like whittingham is getting more birds ! so that is a good thing.....  Like everyone said i cant imagine it gets worst but we shall see.

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5 minutes ago, Bucksnbows said:

Mazz, they cut our numbers by half or so a few years ago and all the northern guys are complaining.  The Division should have reduced the number over maybe 3 years and not all at once.  Now we have the same pressure/number of hunters with half the birds and there are stocking days when you don't even see a bird while running a good pointer if only out for a couple of hours and not all day.  The hard core northern guys just aren't used to not getting multiple shots on any given stocking day, let alone non-stocking days.  That has changed for us and many are now no longer buying the stamp up this way. 

Mmmm.. I see... looks like they lowered the north numbers in 2017..

2016: https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2016/pheas_sched16.pdf

2017: https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2017/pheas_sched17.pdf

in 2017 a few north areas went down alot:

Berkshire Valley - from 1300 to 620

Black River - 3330 to 2200

Flatbrook - 4240 to 2650

...

Then again, none of the south areas (other than Millville) rival even those numbers.

Now I'm curious - I wanna put together a graph to see numbers over those four years to see what it looks like.

 

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OK, I was curious - here's the numbers from 2016 to the announced 2019 numbers across regions (I also have it broken down to individual areas within regions in case anyone wants to see the actual spreadsheet):

birds-numbers.png.927d17374289506cd3261060b1c3c730.png

1472776503_BirdsPerRegion.png.35d81f8fb0331affaf731562561c30e6.png

1440460419_BirdsPerRegionByYear.png.08ffa6f1190eec37cd61802de665c23c.png

532312154_PercentagebyRegionbyYear.png.661c12fb005221d631e8170972675bd9.png

Overall, the north is still getting the most birds out of the three regions (that hasn't changed over the years - north always gets the most out of the 3 regions). The percentage has dropped slowly the past 4 years though - from the north getting almost half of all birds in 2016 to getting almost 40% of the birds this year in 2019.

The north this year is getting over 20,000 birds again (past two years north did not get 20,000). The peak number in 2016 the north got was 23,640.

You can see the numbers the central and south are getting.

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I have been hunting small game on and off since the 70's. I have been exclusively hunting the Black River for the past 10 years. I have Posted on previous Posts about Pheasants at BR. I believe the main reason for reducing the amount of birds there has to do with the housing development around BR. The people there, do not want to hear shooting all week for the month of November. In the survey F&G put out they wanted to know if you would drive 20 mins more to the Delaware Water Gap. F&G would increase the amount of birds there and decrease at the other WMAs. F&G stated better opportunity,safer hunting, better experience there. Then the following year they started the reduction. There is a lot less people around the Gap. I don't hunt over dogs, but have been invited several times at BR by other hunters. Last year was a sh**show. I did get some birds but I usually hunt deep in the woods or river area and enjoyed my time out. But, talking to other hunters the birds aren't there. I felt bad for guys with dogs who didn't get shots. It cost a lot of money to keep dogs. And don't get me started on the last day with the Chukar stocking. Not 1 bird was put out. There were hundreds of guys,  dogs all over,  and no one saw a chukar. I'm not sure what I'm going to do this year. Maybe Colliers Mills or Assunpink? 

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I will be at black river with the dog again this year . This is where I have hunted for almost 20 year .if it is not any better this year I am done .I will go back to trapping. 

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Hey hold on a minute, now everyone is in agreement that last years was a bust with lack of birds? :hmmmer: Many guys on this site were telling us there was no problem we just didn’t hunt hard enough and our dogs were no good. I got birds, but they were far and few between, you can’t hunt what’s not there period

Edited by MGHunter66
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3 minutes ago, MGHunter66 said:

Hey hold on a minute, now everyone is in agreement that last years was a bust with lack of birds? :hmmmer: Many guys on this site were telling us there was no problem we just didn’t hunt hard enough and our dogs were no good. I got birds, but they were far and few between, you can’t hunt what’s not there period

Yea i dont care if you have the best bird dogs in the world if they dont stock birds they dont stock birds. I know all the guys at Whittingham were not getting birds even the famous thanksgiving day was  a bust with minimal shots.  My buddy got the only chuckar they threw out on the last day to ...

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