Another impact of the drought is on the vegetative cover that gamebird producers “grow” in their pens. This cover is not only necessary to shelter the birds from the elements, but the cover provides the birds something to pick at and keep them occupied. The best location for pheasant pens is on well drained, sandy soil which is the very type of soil that dries out the quickest during times of drought. So the impact is that the drought is making it difficult for producers to provide adequate cover in their pens for their birds.
An impact that isn’t being felt yet, but most likely will occur is that hunting preserves are struggling to get their cover to grow in their hunting fields. Without adequate cover on preserves, released birds have limited places to hide and hold. Hunting preserves without adequate cover in their fields won’t be able to provide the same hunting opportunities to their members. So the impact here is there is some fear among producers that demand for gamebirds from preserves might be decreased this fall due to the reduced cover in the hunting fields.
There will also be longer term impacts from the drought as the true costs of the drought filter into many aspects of all of our everyday lives. Those impacts will be on the cost of food and the price of fuel (not much money to be made producing ethanol out of $8 corn)