I went on an unbelievable pheasant hunt near Aberdeen, South Dakota partly thanks to the CRP program. Using a blocker and drive technique, a party of 13 guys took 36 pheasant. That translates into their limit and it was all done in about one hour. There we were in a corn field. It’s about 25 degrees and nine of us are driving birds from one end of the cornfield to the other towards blockers. Most of us were carrying 16-20 gauges It’s important to point out that this wasn’t a put and take operation. We were hunting wild pheasant on CRP land and that land was leased by an outfitter called Couteau View because of the view they had of the Couteau Hills in the distance. And here’s where the USDA comes in. The USDA has for some time been encouraging farmers to commit land to their Conservation Reserve Program offering to pay up to 70 percent more than in previous years to put agricultural land into a federal conservation program. Here’s executive director of the FSA’s Boise office, Dick Rush: “They’ve tightened the rules this year under the 2008 Farm Bill to make it even more of a conservation program. It has to be highly erodable land, there have to be other factors loaded in like wildlife benefits.” So there you have it, USDA helping outdoorsmen.