Time for the big update. How is the hunting of pheasants going? There was a major issue about how the pheasant population is down. The CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) is going down the tubes because of the lack of a new farm bill and the good price of commodities. I admit, my sisters and I dropped all CRP acreage on the land our mother willed to us. In fact our brother, who runs a guide service, did the same with his land.
First off for you non-farmers, who might think it is really an easy dollar from the government, not really. Yes you don’t have to plant, but the amount of chemical that is required on your land to control weeks is ridiculous. They keep saying “burn it down.” Now to me the word “burn” involves a match and some wood. To the government “conservation” people it means using harsh chemicals to regulate weeds. I for one don’t get it. Besides we would have lost the entire first year of payment to the cost of chemicals. and we really couldn’t afford that.
I come from the old school where we dug the land and left different fields totally empty for a year. This was all part of a major crop rotation scheme. We later found that plowing and disking and all the digging that farmers did caused lots of erosion, so they threw that plan out. Sort of the throw the cow over the fence some hay sort of scheme if you ask me, but it was better than watching 40 acres fly down main street like we used to do in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Also the digging thing did very little to promote wildlife cover. Of course farmers like my father used to wonder why those wild animals were trying to live on his land anyway, but that is a different story.
So, yesterday pheasant hunting opened in South Dakota to the out-of-state hunters, who are the ones that bring in the money, or so we think. Last Saturday was the opener for North Dakota, they are always a week a head of us, I guess we figure that the birds develop a little more quickly up there since the spring comes later and the birds hatch later, in theory. See I don’t get that part either. I understand that ducks and Canadian geese migrate through North Dakota before they get to South Dakota, so that season being first makes sense, but….you figure it out.
Around here we have been having lots of rain as of late and so the land is wet, soggy and the corn is still standing in the field. I think this is where that Outstanding Farmer Award comes from. He is the one still standing out in the field trying to make sure the hunters don’t trample his corn. In fact last year everything was cut to the ground by this time, so for the adventurous hunter this is a field day, get it? field day. Hahahaha.
Well James went to visit the friends of my brother that stay at my mother’s place each year. They are from the Twin Cities area. James asked how the hunting is on our place and one remarked that it is great if you know how to use a gun and can hit a bird. He said they all made their limit, and the birds when butchered looked to be eating some of that corn still in the field. However, he noted that some other hunters in the area from a bit farther away are having a hard time making their limit because they don’t shoot very well.
Side track: He did NOT say this, but it reminds me of a book I am reading right now, and I have to give it a shout out as the funniest young adult literature that I have ever in my life read. The grandmother in the book tells her grandchildren that the dead man nicknamed Shotgun was given that name because he could not hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. The book is A Long Way from Chicago and is written by Richard Peck. He has a sequel to it called, A Year Down Yonder. They are set first in the Dirty Thirties and then during World War II. For anyone who likes historical stories with a bit of humor, they are must reads. By the way, I have decided I want to be that grandmother, but I would be too chicken to pull off some of the stuff she does. I have a feeling my daughter Jessica would be a good fit as that grandmother in her old age. Read the books Jess, they will make you laugh, and think of your grandmother.
Now on this second post in one day. I will leave you with some photos of what my poor cats are doing because of the dreary cold weather, and because there are too many hunting dogs in town that just might take after a wandering cat. Tigee is missing from all pictures because she ran upstairs and went to sleep. I guess a few of the photos ended up at the top, not moving them now. Have a great week! And that is an order, Ha!!