Farming in Pheasant Country? Consider a "Flushing Bar"

by
posted on May 12, 2014
dogs_ah2015_fs.jpg (29)

Pheasant country and prime agricultural areas tend to go hand-in-hand, so this time of year many farmers encounter nests while discing the earth or mowing fields. Unfortunately the hens' instinct is to sit tight and wait out the threat—not the best strategy with a tractor bearing down on you. According to Pheasants Forever, in some cases hen mortality due to spring farming practices can even have a noticeable impact on localized populations. So, what can be done?

Outdoor writer John Pollman has an interesting piece in the Argus Leaderregarding a simple device known as a "flushing bar". It attaches to the front of farm machinery and—you guessed it—flushes hens from the nest before the blades arrive. The nest will still likely be destroyed, but at least the hen will survive to nest again.

"Pheasants are resilient nesters," said Pheasants Forever biologist Mike Blaalid, in an interview by Pollman. "If a nest is destroyed, the majority of those hens are going to try again, probably within a week, to re-nest in undisturbed cover close-by."

There can be no renesting, of course, by hens if they're killed. According to Pollman, research indicates that flushing bars can reduce nesting hen mortality by a whopping 60 percent. For more on the statistical impact that could have, be sure to read the full story.

Its focus is on pheasants, but I wonder what impact such devices could have on all upland and grassland nesters. The bars create a disturbance in the brush, warning animals that the danger is drawing near. Could this not flush nesting waterfowl, turkeys and even whitetail fawns away from the approaching mower?

Truly this is a simple conservation tool for any farmer who encounters wildlife during the spring months to consider.

Latest

Review Leupold BX 4 Pro Guide HD Gen 2 Lead
Review Leupold BX 4 Pro Guide HD Gen 2 Lead

Review: Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD Gen 2

Leupold’s BX-4 Pro Guide HD Gen 2 rangefinding binocular blends affordability, portability and usability to deliver excellent color, clarity, depth of field and low-light performance.

#SundayGunday: Ruger Super Redhawk in .22 Hornet

Get a closer look at the Ruger Super Redhawk in .22 Hornet, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

A 3-Step Plan to Tag a Tom

Here’s a basic three-step turkey hunting plan devised to put the odds in your favor this spring.

Review: Ruger Super Wrangler

The Super Wrangler is reliable, accurate and affordable. It may well be this generation’s best of the best for a “woods” gun and is an excellent rimfire handgun choice for any hunter.

Traditions Launches Outfitter G3 in 360 Buckhammer

Traditions Firearms has announced the release of its Outfitter G3 single-shot rifle line in 360 Buckhammer. This caliber will be available in both the standard and all new Pro Series models.

Head to Head: .375 H&H Magnum vs. .416 Rigby

The .375 H&H Magnum and .416 Rigby are both capable of taking the entire spectrum of game animals, in any climate, on any continent. But which is the better choice for the hunter? We investigate.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.