Iowa 2014 Pheasant Count UP 151% - Quail UP 214%
Statewide: This year the statewide index is 17.4 birds/route, a 151% increase from the 2013 estimate (Figure 6). This year’s statewide count is the highest seen in over 6 years dating back to 2008 (Table 4). Every region reported significant increases of 100% or more in pheasant counts, except the NE which report no change in bird numbers compared to 2013. This year’s index is 2% above the 10 year average and -57% below the long term average (Table 4, Figure 4). Iowa research indicates overwinter hen survival, brood survival, and nest success are the major factors influencing annual changes in pheasant numbers. Statewide, the total hens (+142%) and roosters (+53%) counted on routes this year were significantly higher than last year, suggesting excellent overwinter survival AND/OR that poor dew conditions during the 2013 survey lead to a poor count (Table 3 – statewide numbers, Figure 3). Statewide data on chicks (measure of nest success) and age ratios (chicks per adult hen – measure of overall hen success) showed no change compared to 2013. Both indicate the nesting season was very similar to 2013 (Table 3).
This year’s count represents the highest single year increase every recorded in the surveys 52 year history!