I remember the days of hearing ring-necked pheasants cackling in the fields near my parents' house in the spring. These days in Michigan seeing a wild pheasant is like seeing a sasquatch.

I recently went on a pheasant hunt but it was at a ranch where birds are raised so hunters can still enjoy the hunt and the good meal that a pheasant provides. Not to mention, it's really fun if you like hunting with a dog and enjoy watching one work the birds.

In the past, I never would have went on a hunt like that but since the rise of the coyote population in Michigan, small game like pheasants, grouse and in a lot of cases rabbits are becoming a thing of the past.

Even when I moved to Indiana for 18 years, I only saw two pheasants the whole time I was there. The reason I brought up Indiana is simple, Michigan's coyote problem has extended itself to Indiana and Ohio.

Years ago when the Department of Natural Resources released turkeys across the state I thought, wow, what a great idea. The birds have done nothing but flourish to the point of their being decent turkey hunting across the state.

While turkeys were growing in number, so was another species...the coyote.

I'm not sure who thought it would be a great idea to have coyotes everywhere, including cities, but it has happened and no one seems to care except for hunters that are seeing their sport get smaller and smaller.

There has been a decline in deer hunting over the past 20 years while the coyote numbers have been on the rise for the past 20 years. Coyotes do the real damage in the spring and summer to fawns.

Coyotes do a lot of harm to the deer herd, turkeys, grouse, rabbits, fox, ducks and pheasants are almost non-existent except for the one occasional ring-neck that gets spotted from time to time.

I hope soon the DNR will take a harder look at the damage coyotes are doing or soon there won't be any pheasants, turkey, grouse, or fox and the deer numbers will continue to fall.

I was lucky this weekend when I saw a pheasant in my own yard, I couldn't believe it, I told my friend it was like spotting a bigfoot it's so rare these days.

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