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Pheasant Hunting - More Food than Pheasants


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2020 marks my 26th year of Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota.  The first 16 years were pretty darn good, then came the drastic conversion of marginal lands into ethanol-driven corn production, loss of

I gained three pounds just looking at the photos!! I'd kill to keep others away from that paella!!

First everyone's gotta understand this is US National politics at play here. You have to get a bill originated in the House, passed in the Senate, and signed by the President. As we all know the US Ho

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On 11/9/2020 at 8:25 PM, Tilkut said:

Then call it what it is. Subsidies for votes. Subsidies for corporate farming. If wildlife isn’t involved, then quit calling it conservation.  Because it’s not. My point was CRP does not work to conserve wildlife. Including birds. And it’s a shame. 

What I do know is when CRP was strong in my area it was the best bird hunting we had. From 1990 till about 2005 was really good, now there is basically very few good spots of grass. Use to have good times here, now we don’t. It’s all crops and dirt. 

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3 hours ago, dogrunner said:

What I do know is when CRP was strong in my area it was the best bird hunting we had. From 1990 till about 2005 was really good, now there is basically very few good spots of grass. Use to have good times here, now we don’t. It’s all crops and dirt. 

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A1162350-5E1E-4EF0-B032-586BF4D9C016.jpeg

My point exactly. And what is it we have today for all those dollars? Zero. CRP does not work. 

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On 11/12/2020 at 1:53 PM, Peent said:

I need to fess up, I work in a capacity that utilizes Farm Bill dollars to help landowners put habitat (namely early successional habitat in forests) on their private property.  I build grouse and woodcock habitat in a sustainable fashion on private lands.  The private landowner is rewarded for cutting his timber the way I plan it.  So I am pretty in tune with the Farm Bill and how it works.  Government purchasing private lands and maintaining CRP for habitat purposes is not ever going to be successful.  Paying landowners to periodically maintain CRP is about the only way to successfully rotate this type of grassland and brushland habitats.  

Then dont have the government do it. Give the money to conservation groups with the stipulation all types of recreation need to be included. Give the money to local municipalities. Give the money to pheasants forever. There has to be someone, somewhere or can buy marginal land and manage it effectively for wildlife. Any of these options would be more effective than what we do now. 

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5 hours ago, Tilkut said:

My point exactly. And what is it we have today for all those dollars? Zero. CRP does not work. 

I see it more like this. It did what it was designed to do and I am grateful for getting to hunt the land there and in other states. 

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48 minutes ago, dogrunner said:

I see it more like this. It did what it was designed to do and I am grateful for getting to hunt the land there and in other states. 

I see your point. But having spent over $6 billion in Iowa alone since CRP started, wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of permanent result? Think of how we could build on that over time. Why do we settle for temporary and short term?

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On 11/11/2020 at 12:55 PM, Tilkut said:

I’m just addressing the CRP portion of the bill. I agree conservation isn’t something you can do once. That’s why it’s important to buy the land permanently. Also why I’d want 1/2 the money to go towards managing the land. Permanently. In Iowa alone in just 2019 it would give you 

$ 196,000,000 for CRP land management. I’m guessing that’s more than Iowa spends now on all DNR programs combined. Current program benefits completely disappear when prices go up and land comes out of CRP. Then you start all over. It doesn’t work for benefiting wildlife. 

First everyone's gotta understand this is US National politics at play here. You have to get a bill originated in the House, passed in the Senate, and signed by the President. As we all know the US House is really designed to represent the people of the various States. The Senate is designed to represent the States and to prevent the states with smaller populations always being outvoted by the big cities. The President represents us all.

 

So to get any bill passed by the Congress there must be a small state population/big population mix of support otherwise the bill doesn't generally get passed unless its something obvious like Defense, Intell, Corona virus, etc. So, in a bill designed really NOT to support conservation but to bail out farmers, the sponsors have to get a mix of benefits into small towns and rural areas where the farmers ARE;  and big city votes to get a majority of "aye" votes in both Houses.

Problem: Farmers are hurting, too much production is causing too low prices and they are going broke. What to do??

 

AHA!! Dress up a bill as conservation so you get the conservation vote, give the money to farmers because rural counties depend upon land taxes for their budgets and the rural states would never support removing more land from the tax base because then everyone else's taxes go up, add in nutrition or food stamps for free to the less well off and you get the big city vote and voila! A Conservation Bill is passed which actually does benefit conservation some, but farmers, small towns and their businesses and big city interests more, or at least as much. The fact that the local pheasant, grey partridge and grassland bird populations grow is 100% incidental to the actual process. That is how politics works in a representative democracy.

"Please pass this bill so all my Pheasants Forever buddies get some more birds to hunt and we have more Federal Land" is a 110% dead on arrival idea in Congress.

 

Same way with many things. A new DDG 51 destroyer, Arleigh Burke class, is built in either Bath Iron Works in Maine or Ingalls in Mississippi. BUT, the ship's construction actually depends upon some 350 or so suppliers spread all across the fruited plain. That way the Navy get support from Congressman X in, say Nebraska, to build another DDG 51 class ship, because some fitting for the ship is made in Omaha.

 

The entire process has NOTHING to do with efficiency, or getting the most bang for the buck,  and everything to do with politics at the semi local level. A guy can roll out all the cost/benefit spreadsheets in the world and that is going to make NO DIFFERENCE.

Sorry.

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16 hours ago, quailguy said:

First everyone's gotta understand this is US National politics at play here. You have to get a bill originated in the House, passed in the Senate, and signed by the President. As we all know the US House is really designed to represent the people of the various States. The Senate is designed to represent the States and to prevent the states with smaller populations always being outvoted by the big cities. The President represents us all.

 

So to get any bill passed by the Congress there must be a small state population/big population mix of support otherwise the bill doesn't generally get passed unless its something obvious like Defense, Intell, Corona virus, etc. So, in a bill designed really NOT to support conservation but to bail out farmers, the sponsors have to get a mix of benefits into small towns and rural areas where the farmers ARE;  and big city votes to get a majority of "aye" votes in both Houses.

Problem: Farmers are hurting, too much production is causing too low prices and they are going broke. What to do??

 

AHA!! Dress up a bill as conservation so you get the conservation vote, give the money to farmers because rural counties depend upon land taxes for their budgets and the rural states would never support removing more land from the tax base because then everyone else's taxes go up, add in nutrition or food stamps for free to the less well off and you get the big city vote and voila! A Conservation Bill is passed which actually does benefit conservation some, but farmers, small towns and their businesses and big city interests more, or at least as much. The fact that the local pheasant, grey partridge and grassland bird populations grow is 100% incidental to the actual process. That is how politics works in a representative democracy.

"Please pass this bill so all my Pheasants Forever buddies get some more birds to hunt and we have more Federal Land" is a 110% dead on arrival idea in Congress.

 

Same way with many things. A new DDG 51 destroyer, Arleigh Burke class, is built in either Bath Iron Works in Maine or Ingalls in Mississippi. BUT, the ship's construction actually depends upon some 350 or so suppliers spread all across the fruited plain. That way the Navy get support from Congressman X in, say Nebraska, to build another DDG 51 class ship, because some fitting for the ship is made in Omaha.

 

The entire process has NOTHING to do with efficiency, or getting the most bang for the buck,  and everything to do with politics at the semi local level. A guy can roll out all the cost/benefit spreadsheets in the world and that is going to make NO DIFFERENCE.

Sorry.

Dang, you make it so someone with my limited education(dropped out of Grad school so my wife could get her doctorate) can even understand it. Do you have any ideas as to how to address the problem?

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On 12/9/2020 at 6:57 AM, quailguy said:

First everyone's gotta understand this is US National politics at play here. You have to get a bill originated in the House, passed in the Senate, and signed by the President. As we all know the US House is really designed to represent the people of the various States. The Senate is designed to represent the States and to prevent the states with smaller populations always being outvoted by the big cities. The President represents us all.

 

So to get any bill passed by the Congress there must be a small state population/big population mix of support otherwise the bill doesn't generally get passed unless its something obvious like Defense, Intell, Corona virus, etc. So, in a bill designed really NOT to support conservation but to bail out farmers, the sponsors have to get a mix of benefits into small towns and rural areas where the farmers ARE;  and big city votes to get a majority of "aye" votes in both Houses.

Problem: Farmers are hurting, too much production is causing too low prices and they are going broke. What to do??

 

AHA!! Dress up a bill as conservation so you get the conservation vote, give the money to farmers because rural counties depend upon land taxes for their budgets and the rural states would never support removing more land from the tax base because then everyone else's taxes go up, add in nutrition or food stamps for free to the less well off and you get the big city vote and voila! A Conservation Bill is passed which actually does benefit conservation some, but farmers, small towns and their businesses and big city interests more, or at least as much. The fact that the local pheasant, grey partridge and grassland bird populations grow is 100% incidental to the actual process. That is how politics works in a representative democracy.

"Please pass this bill so all my Pheasants Forever buddies get some more birds to hunt and we have more Federal Land" is a 110% dead on arrival idea in Congress.

 

Same way with many things. A new DDG 51 destroyer, Arleigh Burke class, is built in either Bath Iron Works in Maine or Ingalls in Mississippi. BUT, the ship's construction actually depends upon some 350 or so suppliers spread all across the fruited plain. That way the Navy get support from Congressman X in, say Nebraska, to build another DDG 51 class ship, because some fitting for the ship is made in Omaha.

 

The entire process has NOTHING to do with efficiency, or getting the most bang for the buck,  and everything to do with politics at the semi local level. A guy can roll out all the cost/benefit spreadsheets in the world and that is going to make NO DIFFERENCE.

Sorry.

 

Absolutely "spot on" analysis of the politics of the issue.

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The "climate" (pun kind of intended) for leaning more on conservation practices with farm policy vs. production and some important farm groups willingness to support said practices may be changing. 

 

It always come down to how many $$ are offered to idle the land and where those dollars are going to come from given current fiscal circumstances.  Of course one can never count out the industrial Ag lobby and what they may come up with to maintain or even stimulate crop production and keep the dollars rolling in to their space either.....

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/11/20/936603967/farmers-are-warming-up-to-the-fight-against-climate-change

 

https://climate21.org/documents/C21_USDA.pdf

 

 

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