Bird Trackers

What’s Happening to the Pheasants?

Story and Photos by Kris Millgate

I’m shooting footage of a haystack, but not for a farm story. I’m after something wild.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Curtis Hendricks stands on top of the stack about twenty feet above me. I tip up my lens at an awkward angle, thankful the summer sun is at my back, and focus on Hendricks. He swiftly swings an antenna back and forth in his hand, looking like a guy desperate to tune into the big game on TV. He picks up a signal, but not for the big game. It’s for a bird. He’s looking for wild pheasants.

“I truly believe these birds will make it,” Hendricks says while turning the antenna to track the radio-collared pheasants. “Hopefully all of them. And for those that might not make it, we’ll have some answers as to what happened.”

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Kris Millgate

About Kris Millgate

Kris Millgate is an outdoors journalist for whom the quiet cast of a fly line cures writer’s block. Many production ideas for her Tight Line Media company come from the time she spends in her Idaho Falls base camp. Her two decades of journalism experience and several cross-country moves prove she’ll go anywhere for a good story. See more of her work at:

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