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Ah!! Makes sense, that landscape shot made me think how thick it was for a shooting lane. You had him on camera?
No I didn’t. I do pull all my cams prior to season starting however. Just to keep myself from being back there all the time checking them. So anything that shows up during the rut I never know about until I see it.
 

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BIL and I rotate Sundays to shoot pool and yesterday I took my normal route to his house. All rural, all farmland, one small town in the 45 mile trip. I was thinking on hunting season and how not having a dog basically kills it. I could do deer or walk around for rabbits but neither has the appeal it did 30 or 40 years ago. Plus, it'd be all public. Around here good bunny land gets run 5 days a week by retired guys with a pack of beagles and a limit of 4 per day, per man, thins out rabbits pretty quick.

But what dawned on me (or was reminded of) as I drove was the lack of habitat in farm country. No CRP land these days, no filter strips, no bushy or wild grass fence lines. Very few creeks running through acreage encased with grasses. Best you see are small woodlots with little nesting habitat. Stuff you could run a dog through in 5 minutes and be done and probably not spook anything more than a squirrel or two.

Nor do I see any ponds in any type of area that may hold ducks who generally roost on larger, area water and feed nearby said ponds. Any areas that may hold ducks or a few pheasant are totally locked up by the landowner friends and family. You could spend a couple grand in gas and hundreds of hours and not get permission anywhere these days.

A Lab was always the best dual purpose dog for me but I have not replaced ole Sammy because it's hard to justify it. Things continue to change and I feel fortunate to have experienced better (but never great) time afield with a dog chasing wild birds but it feels like those days are closing down. Farm practices have changed so much that there's nowhere a bird could nest if it wanted to.


Hope guys that have the wide open spaces, habitat, and birds keep hitting it hard. And be thankful. (y)

Poor me... :unsure:😂
 

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BIL and I rotate Sundays to shoot pool and yesterday I took my normal route to his house. All rural, all farmland, one small town in the 45 mile trip. I was thinking on hunting season and how not having a dog basically kills it. I could do deer or walk around for rabbits but neither has the appeal it did 30 or 40 years ago. Plus, it'd be all public. Around here good bunny land gets run 5 days a week by retired guys with a pack of beagles and a limit of 4 per day, per man, thins out rabbits pretty quick.

But what dawned on me (or was reminded of) as I drove was the lack of habitat in farm country. No CRP land these days, no filter strips, no bushy or wild grass fence lines. Very few creeks running through acreage encased with grasses. Best you see are small woodlots with little nesting habitat. Stuff you could run a dog through in 5 minutes and be done and probably not spook anything more than a squirrel or two.

Nor do I see any ponds in any type of area that may hold ducks who generally roost on larger, area water and feed nearby said ponds. Any areas that may hold ducks or a few pheasant are totally locked up by the landowner friends and family. You could spend a couple grand in gas and hundreds of hours and not get permission anywhere these days.

A Lab was always the best dual purpose dog for me but I have not replaced ole Sammy because it's hard to justify it. Things continue to change and I feel fortunate to have experienced better (but never great) time afield with a dog chasing wild birds but it feels like those days are closing down. Farm practices have changed so much that there's nowhere a bird could nest if it wanted to.


Hope guys that have the wide open spaces, habitat, and birds keep hitting it hard. And be thankful. (y)

Poor me... :unsure:
I rarely make it back to Ohio anymore but last Christmas was back in the SW Ohio area I grew up in and I truly could not believe what it looked like now. Breweries, shopping, business parks, subdivisions, etc on the rural landscape that was there when I was coming up.

I don’t miss the hunting and fishing it provided even back then, but last year I felt like a complete stranger in my hometown.

The most shocking thing about it, wasn’t that all of this had grown up around my sleepy little hometown, it had steamrolled over it. The plaza, the grocery store, the hardware store, they weren’t there. Gone. Hell even the roads had been torn out and widened with additional lanes. There is no resemblance to what I knew there anymore. It was sort of the final cut of the already thin strands that tied me to that place.
 

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I rarely make it back to Ohio anymore but last Christmas was back in the SW Ohio area I grew up in and I truly could not believe what it looked like now. Breweries, shopping, business parks, subdivisions, etc on the rural landscape that was there when I was coming up.

I don’t miss the hunting and fishing it provided even back then, but last year I felt like a complete stranger in my hometown.

The most shocking thing about it, wasn’t that all of this had grown up around my sleepy little hometown, it had steamrolled over it. The plaza, the grocery store, the hardware store, they weren’t there. Gone. Hell even the roads had been torn out and widened with additional lanes. There is no resemblance to what I knew there anymore. It was sort of the final cut of the already thin strands that tied me to that place.
Well said and sad for sure. Glad it's not just boomer speak. My last defense are the quarries and ponds I can float tube fish but even those are getting slimmer by the day. Someday I hope to find Mayberry too, I'll live there, if I can afford it now.
 

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Double edged sword I guess. On the flip side, Michigan has essentially unlimited places to hunt and fish but most of the state is stagnant economically and we’ve been on a decades long slide of population loss.
 

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But what dawned on me (or was reminded of) as I drove was the lack of habitat in farm country. No CRP land these days, no filter strips, no bushy or wild grass fence lines. Very few creeks running through acreage encased with grasses. Best you see are small woodlots with little nesting habitat. Stuff you could run a dog through in 5 minutes and be done and probably not spook anything more than a squirrel or two.
I have noticed the same, but that has been going on for a long time. The first time I went to my future inlaws in NE Iowa thirty-five years ago, I as all excited thinking I could hunt pheasant on their farm and surrounding farms. Uhhh no. What passed as a fence line had corn planted within a foot of it on each side. A pheasant could not tuck its tailfeathers in there. They planted right through the seasonal creek though they never got a crop out of it. The ponds had long ago been drained, flattened and planted.

Another place I used to go in Northern Missouri has been rented and the guy farming it plants what used to be filter strips, and each year, a new canyon of erosion forms.

Thankfully, there is still good upland hunting waaaay out west in Kansas where you have grain fields next to tall grass, and if you have a pointing dog, the corners of the fields with center pivot irrigation can offer good cover and opportunities.

Also glad to have the 45 acre hunting club which is on a Corpse of Engineers flood easement, so no agricultural business is allowed outside of food plots. Whoa is me, as well. 😩
 

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I rarely make it back to Ohio anymore but last Christmas was back in the SW Ohio area I grew up in and I truly could not believe what it looked like now. Breweries, shopping, business parks, subdivisions, etc on the rural landscape that was there when I was coming up.

I don’t miss the hunting and fishing it provided even back then, but last year I felt like a complete stranger in my hometown.

The most shocking thing about it, wasn’t that all of this had grown up around my sleepy little hometown, it had steamrolled over it. The plaza, the grocery store, the hardware store, they weren’t there. Gone. Hell even the roads had been torn out and widened with additional lanes. There is no resemblance to what I knew there anymore. It was sort of the final cut of the already thin strands that tied me to that place.
If I'm not being too nosy, what town would that be?
 

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Double edged sword I guess. On the flip side, Michigan has essentially unlimited places to hunt and fish but most of the state is stagnant economically and we’ve been on a decades long slide of population loss.
I wish we could experience some population loss out here where I live. I read a statistic last month that indicated 8,000 people were moving into my home state every month. Not sure if that is accurate or not, but it's getting a lot more crowded than I would prefer.
 

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I’ll work on stopping the flow of people if you guys promise to stop trying to take our water.
I figure once we run out of water, people will stop moving here. I'm sure there is a group of engineers sitting in a cubicle somewhere right now in Utah trying to decide how much it would cost to run a pipeline from the great lakes region into the great salt lake.
 

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...I read a statistic last month that indicated 8,000 people were moving into my home state every month. Not sure if that is accurate or not, but it's getting a lot more crowded than I would prefer.
The really bad news is that they're bringing what they're trying to get away from with them.
 
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