Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR

Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR

I received a hunter satisfaction survey from the University of Minnesota last month. The University, on behalf of the Minnesota DNR, was hoping to assess my ruffed grouse hunting experiences over the last decade. 
 
One set of questions I found particularly interesting focused on how influential the preseason ruffed grouse hunting forecast is in my decision to hunt during the autumn. Although I pay attention to drumming counts and the ups and downs of the grouse cycle, I know I am going to grouse hunt every fall even if the prospectus is poor. 
 
I feel the same way about pheasant forecasts. I absolutely pay attention to the severity of the winter, spring nesting weather and overall habitat conditions, but come October you'll find me in the field no matter the outlook. I never thought of myself as odd in this regard. I am a bird hunter, therefore I bird hunt every autumn. It's part of who I am. Besides, my dog would disown me if I didn't take her afield in the fall.
 
Instead of determining IF I'll go, I use the pheasant hunting forecast to help me determine WHERE I'll focus my time and travel plans. 
 
What about you? If the preseason pheasant forecast is terrible, do you hang up your blaze orange vest and shotgun until the pheasant population rebounds? 
 
 
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever's Vice President of Marketing.