posted on August 18, 2010 10:39 :: 1905 Views
Montana’s cool, wet weather in May and June didn’t put a damper on this fall’s upland game bird hunting. Montana Fish,Wildlife & Parks officials say most upland game bird populations will be more than sufficient to maintain hunters’ interest.
Most game bird hunting begins Sept. 1. Pheasant season opens Oct. 9.
“There is no doubt that this spring’s cool, wet weather kept things interesting. Fortunately, in many parts of the state, the temperatures were not so severe as to wipe out this year’s production,” said Rick Northrup, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game bird coordinator.
Northrup said the bad weather came primarily in late May and early to mid June, affecting grouse and pheasants in FWP Region 1 in northwest Montana, FWP Region 4 in northcentral Montana and the western portion of FWP Region 6.
"In these areas, upland game bird hunters in general can expect to see game bird numbers similar to or lower than last year’s,” Northrup said. “Moisture and cool temperatures generally tended to be less of a concern in other portions of the state, although there are going to be local exceptions.”
Another spring storm dumped deep snow during late April and early May in Judith Basin and Eastern Cascade counties, extending into Choteau and Fergus counties, which may have been particularly harsh on adult pheasants and gray partridge.
Weather is critical to the abundance and survival of all game birds. In general, spring and summer moisture enhances game bird productivity unless it is accompanied with 52 F degree or colder temperatures during the spring hatch and early brood periods. The same moisture that may be harmful to some birds also provides the lush green cover and abundant insect populations that are important for chick survival.
For region by region details on the upland game bird prospects log on to the MT FWP website at fwp.mt.gov
Posted by Erl Barsness, Northern News Network