This habitat option serves a dual purpose; establishing permanent shrub cover along the many dry creeks common to eastern Colorado, and to enhance hunting within non-farmed creek bottoms, which are very attractive to pheasants and hunters. On many of these creeks, habitat is less than ideal, but pheasants use them because of the undisturbed vegetation they provide. Adding a shrub component only enhances the quality and diversity of the creek bottom, and are not intended to increase winter survival. Two-row plantings also provide an important travel corridor for pheasants between different fields, and a secure daytime loafing area for hens with broods. In part these plantings were the motivation for the NRCS focus on planting riparian buffers and filter strips along creek bottoms in some counties in eastern Colorado, an option that most chapters are using to do these plantings currently, while spending their PHIP budget on other types of projects.
Two Row Shrub Thickets by Year