Drought and other dreary stuff

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Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:52 am
Location: Western Nebraska

Drought and other dreary stuff

Post by tdhusker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:55 am

I grew up on a dryland farm in western NE, have been a lifelong upland hunter and I guess you could say hunting dog enthusiast. I hunt a fairly wide area, several trips to SD, from Martin east to Winner, and around the I-90 area west of the Missouri every year. I hunt quite a bit of western NE, into WY some years. I'm half a century old now and I have seen the habitat come and go. Unfortunately, we are on the worst down cycle I have ever seen. Grain prices, hay shortages, drought and just bad weather have combined to wreck habitat in areas where I always thought there would be habitat.

I was North of Winner SD this weekend and the drought hit them hard. Most of the CRP is hayed off... almost all of the walk-in CRP has been cut. The dry weather and high winds have flattened a majority of the food plots. Bird numbers are down and definitely going to get much worse if they have a tough winter.

In NE, the same conditions exist. The high grain prices have farmers tearing out CRP or haying it off or grazing it. They are farming every inch of land they can find (not complaining about that, just the way it is) and the bird numbers are suffering.

Frankly, my favorite sport and pasttime is in some serious trouble right now... may cease to exist if this drought persists.

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