(Provided by Michigan DNR)

The Michigan DNR reminds woodcock hunters to add a free woodcock stamp to their base license this year.

The free woodcock stamp automatically registers woodcock hunters with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). These HIP records are vital for the management of American woodcock and are used to estimate harvest and days spent afield.

(Provided by Pheasants Forever)

Two factors are of critical importance to maintaining healthy pheasant populations: weather and available habitat. While these elements affect pheasants year-round, they’re highlighted annually as the harshest season comes to an end and pheasants begin their next reproductive cycle. A tough winter can certainly result in bird mortality, but the real key is getting healthy and strong hens into spring nesting season. Healthy hens lead to larger clutches of eggs, which adds up to more chicks headed toward autumn.

Generally speaking, the winter of 2013-2014 was toughest on pheasants and pheasant habitat in the Great Lakes region where heavy snows and bitter cold made for a long winter that continues despite the calendar turning to spring.  Meanwhile, the Dakotas experienced a relatively mild winter, while the lack of snow accumulation across parts of the Great Plains has biologists concerned, the moisture being needed to restore habitat conditions following three years of drought. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown:

Turkey hunting expert and outdoor writer, Jason HerbertD&R Sports Center will host a free Turkey Hunting Workshop with the Southwestern Michigan Long Beards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation March 29.