We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lovely. But here in Central Pennsylvania we have the bucolic rolling farmland, and mountains too, the best of both worlds.
Pheasants disappeared about 25 years ago, several factors at work. The best theories are the farming practices changed and old fencerows and hedges were taken out to accommodate wider plantings, loss of prime habitat; a bird flu circulated and many birds died of respiratory illness; predators rebounded, including hawks and now coyotes.
Pheasants were introduced species, never native, and their survival rates were sensitive to all these changes. Too bad the same isn't true of multiflora rose, bush honeysuckle, and some other introduced nonnative species.
That corn isn't standing all year, especially when pheasants nest. Observe the pasture with the cattle, no cover. You want pheasant then you have to have nesting and escape cover.
As for the quail. When agricultural practices changed and farmers tore out the fence rows to plant more crops you lose your quail. Quail need loafing cover to escape predators, they also need cover to nest. But quail are small birds so they cant move through thick CRP fields (thick rank grass). Ideal habitat is ground cover sparse enough for the birs to move through, patches denser ground cover for nesting, and some type of over head cover to protect them from hawks.
A neat farm is death to your quail. You have overgrown fence rows, brush, old unused farm impliments..quail heaven.
East of the Mississippi is the wild Bob-White quail is in big trouble. Which is a damn shame. We always had a covey around the home place that were great to watch. They were also completely off limit for sporting purposes.
2 more weeks and the dogs and I will be chasing Mr. Quail.
I grew up in Northwest Ohio in the 50's and 60's. Back then we would commonly see pheasants on the farm and very seldom whitetail deer. Now the deer are nearly as common as mice and pheasant sightings are quite rare. Most attribute the loss of pheasant population to getting rid of hedgerows and windbreaks when changes in farming made it desirable to do so.
I've been chasing pheasants for some time and have to agree with the other commenters - unfortunately there isn't much of a wild pheasant population here in Ohio. We have more deer and turkey than you can imagine though...
The next time you venture through, give us advanced warning.
I make a pretty good home brew and would donate a mini-keg to a Maggie's chill out.
We could meet somewhere in Hocking Hills. Ohio's version of God's country. Some brats and metts and home brew and we could do some serious deep thinking.