The recent subzero weather has got many bird producers spooked that there might be a glut of pheasants hitting the market. Here are some pertinent facts. First of all January is traditionally one of the slowest months at hunting preserves, so the fact we have lost several weeks due to the cold affects things but not like a 12’ snowfall in March would affect things.
Also it’s cold this week (Monday thru Wednesday) but it was 25 degrees this past weekend, and will be around 20 again this upcoming weekend. It’s Super Bowl weekend anyway, and generally speaking Super Bowl weekend is a slow weekend at most preserves.
Going into the cold weather pattern, there were not a lot of excess birds available on the market. With the cold, there are a few birds out there that can be bought, but not tens of thousands (like there were back in the spring of 2010).
So most of this condenses down to what happens in the next three or four weeks. If we get out of the cold pattern, my thinking is cabin fever will arise, and most clubs will make headway on using up their birds. Then we hope for a traditional March (not too cold, not too warm, not too much snow) and the clubs will go gangbusters. March is becoming most clubs biggest months now. If March is true to form, we could even see a shortage of birds at the tail end of the season.
Again, the next few weeks will determine which way the market goes.