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Pheasant feeding do's and don'ts

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outdoors Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Recent snowfalls have resulted in a deep blanket of crusty snow that is significantly limiting pheasants' access to waste grain throughout much of their range in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Providing feed for pheasants can increase their chances of survival.

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Pheasants can survive as long as two weeks without food, but they become more vulnerable to predators and adverse weather conditions.

The DNR offers the following tips for feeding pheasants:

• Do not place feeders near a road. Attracting pheasants (and deer) to roadsides can be dangerous to motorists as well as wildlife.

• Feeders should be placed within 150 yards of good winter cover. The most important reason for feeding pheasants is to keep them in areas of good winter cover, such as large cattail marshes, shrub swamps, or shelterbelts with at least four rows of evergreens where they stand a much greater chance of surviving winter.

• Place food where birds have been seen feeding in an open, windswept area near thick cover. A high spot with a southern exposure is best.

• Once feeding is begun, don't stop until there are large, snow-free areas in fields. Pheasants become dependent on feeders.

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