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Author Topic: Gamebird Food Plots  (Read 6882 times)
CharlieHorse
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Northern Bobwhites

« on: December 24, 2006, 12:06:20 AM »

Here is some helpful reading on establishing food plots for gamebirds:

http://www.wnrmag.com/stories/2003/feb03/plots.htm
« Last Edit: December 24, 2006, 07:42:58 AM by trailbossusa » Logged

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jchiar
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2006, 04:48:24 AM »

Thanks good article
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popsjp
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 04:08:18 PM »

trailbossusa, i have been reading alot on this site. What a great wealth of information. Sounds like you have been releasing your birds around 5-6 weeks of age. That is the theory of the surrogator that I am going to try on my place. I would be interested to hear how long you have been releasing, and if you believe the birds are close to wild? Also anything that you could suggest.  I do not live close to the place. That is why I decided to try this system. I am planning on starting with one week old chicks (bobwhites) and releasing them at 5 weeks of age, starting in May and releasing my last cycle in September. Thinking of releasing around brush piles and setting up some temp. feeders and waterer's in the immediate area.
J. P. Gregory
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CharlieHorse
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Northern Bobwhites

« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 10:12:37 PM »

trailbossusa, i have been reading alot on this site. What a great wealth of information. Sounds like you have been releasing your birds around 5-6 weeks of age. That is the theory of the surrogator that I am going to try on my place. I would be interested to hear how long you have been releasing, and if you believe the birds are close to wild? Also anything that you could suggest.  I do not live close to the place. That is why I decided to try this system. I am planning on starting with one week old chicks (bobwhites) and releasing them at 5 weeks of age, starting in May and releasing my last cycle in September. Thinking of releasing around brush piles and setting up some temp. feeders and waterer's in the immediate area.
J. P. Gregory

I've only been releasing bobs for about 3 or 4 years (my memmory isn't what it used to be).   :laugh:  I have let them loose in different areas (approx. 10 mile radius), I have gotten reports from some people that they spotted chicks in a creek bed last year , plus I've had some return to my house in the spring from the caged birds calling them in. A small note on that......don't ever put a strange "wild" bird in with other birds......it will be dead very soon.  So therefore, some have survived the winters. I used to put out food at the release location........waste of time in my opinion......birds never touched it. As far as water goes, from what I've read, that's a waste of time too.... they'll get water from dew on the leaves.....so they say. Although my father had them come down to his pond (nicely manicured in his back yard) and get a drink a few days after I released some at his place. A Johnny house or the surragator you speak of is a different story, they'll need food and water there.  I just take 20+ birds out in a box early in the morning then open the end and let them be until they come out on their own, then pick the box up before dark. In my opinion, if they need me to feed them during the summer months, they'll never make it on their own. The winter is what is hard on their food supply, that's where sustainable habitat comes in to play the most.
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deadeye
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 10:28:54 PM »

Great info on the release - the same principal has been working for me here in the Finger Lakes of NY.

 I'm currently working on food plots - can anyone tell me where to get Ragweed and Giant Ragweed seed? I've only found one source and it is quite expensive. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan
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Redhorse
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2007, 08:10:18 AM »

I know you would probably want it sooner...but if the price is bothering you, try gathering some yourself this Fall. I'm sure if you get familiar with identifying it, you'd be able to locate some on a wildlife area, or in a ditch along a road somewhere. At least you would have it for next year...and the price is right!
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Jake Levi
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 10:05:19 AM »

CharlieHorse

we differ somewhat in our approaches to getting released birds started- I prefer to follow similar to the hacking techniques of releasing raptors raised in captive breeding, as far as I know this is the only release system that has had anywheres near as much success of all release programs. The phlosophy being to protect new released birds, while giving them minimal feed while they learn to support themselves in the wild.

To date the release of game birds hasnt remotely shown the sucess of say the Peregine Fund on establishing  falcons in the wild. 

I will be working with both Quail and Ringnecks next season, I hope,  the Pheasants will be released much later then the Quail, but I will release both in areas with natural feed, and cover, and have a self feeder to help them get started.  These are a mixed blessing in that they can concentrate birds at the beginning for predators. Thats why cover is so important. Also, having flight pens for the birds to get them hardened up is necessary.

Over the winter I am going to be talking with some folks in the area who have been active over the years in release programs.  My release numbers are going to be quite modest in numbers, but I am going to be working at setting them up with the best locations that I can, with feed and cover present.  We shall see.

Enjoy,

comments ??
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Jake Levi
Curran, MI

"A government big enough to give you all that you want is big enough to take all that you have".
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CharlieHorse
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Northern Bobwhites

« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007, 12:56:33 AM »

Jake,

   As far as release technic goes, where you are located, the winters are much colder and longer than compared to my area making the release of gamebirds a different story. The place that I release my birds is very, very good habitat for gamebirds as far as winter temps, food, water sources, and cover goes. Predators may be another story, in which there is practically nothing you can do to help a bird figure that out, unless one would have all kinds of time, in which most don't. I release them young with next to no human or other animal contact prior to their release.  No one has ever visited my land without commenting on the diversity of birds on the place, some have called it a "bird paradise". Turkeys, woodcock, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, and every other native bird you can imagine in great abundance, although this also includes numerous illegal to eat, yet tasty, owls and hawks, plus the rabbit population is on the rise. Every time that I had established a "feeding station", before I figured out that I was wasting my time...........they had never been touched by the Bobwhites. The only way that I can see that one can feed and protect a released Bobwhite would be to use the "Johnny House" method or some sort of "surrogator" deal in order to train them to return to the food source. I can practically kick them out of a box and be done, if they can't make it on this piece of land (400 acres mine, surrounded by several thousand acres, including farmland), then they won't make it anywhere.  Habitat is not a problem for me........the predators are.  a34  My county is one of the few in Ohio that quail season was reopened a few years ago.

 

When you speak of raptors, you're talking a whole different ball game there, a completely different creature. I'm not real familiar with them, but I'd imagine that raptors aren't released at 5-6 weeks of age and therefore are also subject to human intervention for a long period of time before being released, requiring more attention to get them started in the wild? Plus, aren't most, if not all raptor release programs backed by organizational dollars, federal or state dollars?..........none of which us workin' Bobwhite folk have, which would make a huge difference whether a release would succeed or fail. If the State of Ohio decided to fund the reestablishment of Bobwhites like they did Turkeys........well then we'd have it made.......this county is plum full of turkeys!......not including me!  ^-^ It's almost like shooting turkeys in a pen during turkey season. My release method is still on the drawing board and I know where I'm going with it, but time and money dictates how fast I get to where I want to be. Plus, I'm just doing this for the heck of it.....and to feed the predators.   a44  Bobwhites are basically a byproduct of farming, so I started simulated and microfarming on the old unfarmed farm. It makes no difference what ones method of release is............if you don't have the habitat.

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 01:23:51 AM by CharlieHorse » Logged

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Jake Levi
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2007, 10:03:21 AM »

Hi CharlieHorse,

thats why I posted we differed in SOME things, I am much in agreement with most of what you are saying, expecially on habitat being primary importance. My area here is heavily forested with some farms scattered through it, the two biggest land owners in the two county area are the state and the feds, we have the Huron Natl Forest plus much state forest land here, it surrounds me on two sides, I am 3/4 mile from a fed forest trail.  In fact a couple of proposed quail sites are close to there. The first pheasant site is here on my small property.

I had opportunity while in grad school to be involved with the perigrine Project at Cornell, I used to drive up friday afternoons and spend til late sunday at the 'Hawk Barn' at Cornell mostly monitoring, subsequently I had chance to help in some hacking projects, and years later worked with a rehaber in San Diego. So I am familiar with the program.

It was funded from a number of sources, F& Wildlife had little to do with it, the biggest dollar thing was support by Cornell U. but volunteers were the mainstay of the program, for all practical purposes the Peregrine Project was a volunteer driven project.

I think that Ducks Unlimited, Pheaasnts Forever etc have as many volunteers, but they are spread out across the country, I would guess the dollas spent by states in restocking are far more then what was spent in rehabing raptors.

I honestly dont know if 'hacking' methods will work for gamebirds, but am going to try next season with Quail and Ringnecks. There are a couple things I will do, one is having the birds familiar with the feeders that will be at the release site, they will be used in the flight pens. Siting the release and feeding stations near good cover and putting neting over the feeders, and using a feeder that keeps rodents out. I am going to have to figure out a way to keep bears from demolishing them too. We are considered the black bear capital of MI locally.

I bought feeders years ago from Agway in NY, they arnt here but I found a similar one on the Nasco site, they keep rain out and can be set high enough to keep rodents out. The design is very important for their survivability. If bears can feed from them that may be a price that has to be paid.  I am going to try to work closely with local rangers and DNR people just because I want this to work. I'll band the birds, and hope we can find some the following spring. Thats the only way I can gauge the success of it, how many survive the winter. I really cant picture releasing 15,000 pheasants as you posted that Ohio did. I wonder how many will survive to breed the next year??

We'll see on this. My job between now and summer is to identify release sites, get some cover food started, and of course get some stock going. For the Quail will be Northern Bobwhites and Manchurians for the Ringnecks. I have 8" of snow standing here right now. Thats a major consideration on choosing a site.

This will be fun, and I hope will pay dividends. I do have a couple other guys interested in helping. I am also hoping that one of the private bird groups will help on the costs of the feeders. They are several hundred dollars each. Much to think on and work on.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 10:50:11 AM by Jake Levi » Logged

Jake Levi
Curran, MI

"A government big enough to give you all that you want is big enough to take all that you have".
Thomas Jefferson
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