Connect with us

Lost Pheasants, Disappearing Grasslands: Is Crop Insurance to Blame?

Email

Lost Pheasants, Disappearing Grasslands: Is Crop Insurance to Blame?

The hunters tramp through neck-high prairie grass with a pair of golden retrievers named Moe and Buck, flushing out birds in a freezing autumn drizzle.

When one flutters from the South Dakota grassland, Dick Schmith, 58, calls “rooster!” Guns rise and a long-tailed pheasant drops. Moe bounds through the meadow to pick it up.

Such successes, key to the state’s $172 million pheasant season, are getting harder to come by. Bird numbers are down almost two-thirds from last year.

A number of reasons are cited for the decline, ranging from harsh weather to a boom in commodity prices that has encouraged farmers to plow grassland and plant crops, reducing habitat for pheasants and other wildlife.

GET MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.


More in Email

GET MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

To Top
STAY IN THE LOOP
Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become a Patriot Outdoor News insider.

Send this to friend