Just an observation. I hunted Wister three times for Doves this Month. I walked several fields. In each field I found eggs, not as big as chicken eggs, but pretty close.
These eggs all had holes in one side and the juice sucked out.
I know I didn't cover that much ground, and yet I found several raided nests.
To me, this means the Birds are trying to thrive, but preditors are taking a heavy toll.
I remember reading of a study someone was doing to determine why they "survive but not thrive" in the Wister area.
The relativly small holes made me think Skunk, Opossum, RATcoon, Rats, rather than Coyote.
On opening day we saw an animal running accross Y15 that looked like a fox. It could have been a coyote, but the gait was wrong, and though it was far away, I voted for Fox.
We also saw a young pup, long lanky legs, obviously coyoye, but looked like a mix with some domestic dog. The color was all wrong, and we saw no hair on the tail. He watched us for a while, but when my friend tried to close in, he split. This was a week before the opener.
Pheasants can roost in ditches and thickets, but they need fairly large blocks of really dense cover to breed successfully. Remember how the populations climbed when they were planting a lot of asparagus around Calexico? That stuff was pretty good. 20+ acre parcels that was too dense for coyotes and hawks (and humans) to exploit effectively. Predators are efficient. They want maximum food for minimum effort (as opposed to human hunters, LOL!) and there were easier pickin's elsewhere.
There will always be losses to predation and it sounds like there has been some successful breeding there too, but until the Niland area provides a sufficient amount of really good breeding cover, I am skeptical that a large, self sustaining population can be established.
The water wars of the valley with the metropolis is supposed to produce several fallow fields, if these fields are not disced under, they will eventually provide cover, not necessarily the cover most conducive for game, but cover nonetheless!
I've seen coyotes south of 8 several times through the recent years, big healthy suckers, one came busting out of a sudan grass field as it was being driven for pheasants! He got a load of #4's, just on GP! Everything's got to eat, but I sure don't like the idea of coyotes and other predators getting their fair share, when it comes to pheasant eggs or chicks!
The worst enemy of our game birds in the Imperial Valley, the San Jaoquin Valley, the Sacramento Valley and the Owen's Valley is DEVELOPMENT!
South of 8, Texas investors have purchased some of the best pheasant ground around Heber, a planned mall, fourty acre park, a four lane road and additional housing is planned, ground breaking to start in October.
A dove and quail spot in Bakersfield I hunted for a long time, since early 80's will be solid concrete and asphalt before the end of the year! I had a least a dozen good dove haunts up there that are now deveolped, even the locals I talked with on Saturday said they have to go further out to find somewhere to shoot birds!
Our upland game stamp monies could be better spent on buying up some of these properties to establish additional WLA's and refuges, especially down here in the Imperial Valley, southern deserts and mountains!
The central and northern valleys have had and have several of these propeties, we need more established down south!
Keep your eyes peeled for cock(birds)
Keep your shots above your shoulders!
I understood these Texas investors bought up the proerty for the water rights, so they could sell their water to San Diego, is this what you've heard?