Thursday, August 28, 2014

Iowa 2014 Pheasant & Quail Counts are UP

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!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SD Pheasant Numbers UP 76 % over 2013 numbers.

PIERRE, S.D. -- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has completed the annual pheasant brood survey and the results show a 76 percent increase in the statewide pheasants-per-mile index from 2013.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 Ruffed Grouse Forecasts Are Out


    “Ruffed grouse drums increased 34 percent from the previous year, with the increase happening in the northern part of the state,” said Charlotte Roy, DNR grouse project leader. “This may signal the start of an upswing in the grouse cycle that since 2009 has been in the declining phase.”

            The increase is consistent with changes typical of the 10-year grouse cycle. The most recent peak in drum counts occurred in 2009. The cycle is less pronounced in the more southern regions of the state, near the edge of the ruffed grouse range.

Compared to last year’s survey, 2014 survey results for ruffed grouse indicated increases in the northeast survey region, which is the core of grouse range in Minnesota, from 0.9 drums per stop in 2013 to 1.3 in 2014. Drumming counts in the northwest increased from 0.7 drums per stop in 2013 to 1.2 in 2014. Drumming counts did not increase in the central hardwoods or southeast, with an average of 0.8 and 0.3 drums per stop, respectively.

            Ruffed grouse populations, which tend to rise and fall on a 10-year cycle, are surveyed by counting the number of male ruffed grouse heard drumming on established routes throughout the state’s forested regions. This year observers recorded 1.1 drums per stop statewide. The averages during 2012 and 2013 were 1.0 and 0.9, respectively. Counts vary from about 0.6 drums per stop during years of low grouse abundance to about 2.0 during years of high abundance.

Friday, August 1, 2014

MN DNR offers mentored upland bird hunts - Ruffed Grouse - Pheasant

Families and youth can apply now for an opportunity to hunt with experienced upland bird hunters on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The mentored hunts for pheasants and grouse are being offered through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever and the Ruffed Grouse Society. The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 2

"Those new to bird hunting can learn techniques, equipment needs and the skills to be safe and successful in the outdoors," said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator.

In the youth hunt, participants must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 18, have earned a firearms safety certificate and possess a small game license if required (hunters under 16 can hunt small game without a license). Youth must have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a mentor, without a firearm. The adult must also go with the youth during the pre-hunt orientation.

In the family hunt, all participants can hunt, but they need to be 12 and older, have little to no pheasant hunting experience, and have the appropriate safety certificate, stamp and license.

Applications and more details about the hunt are available online at or by contacting Kurre at 651-259-5193 or Successful applicants will be notified via mail or email by the end of September.