2016 Upland Game Bird Population Trends – Panhandle Region

2016 Conditions -The Panhandle is coming off a banner 2015 season. Snowpack in 2015-16 was below normal and spring weather was relatively mild. The Panhandle is behind the average annual total rainfall but periodic summer rains kept forage green. On a regional basis production was average and brood survival should be high. Grouse are not as abundant as last year but hunting should still be good and above the long-term average. Because of the summer rains, grouse are distributed across a wider geographic area, hence you might not see as many birds along roads this year. Predicted fall conditions are for normal precipitation and above average temperatures so survival should continue to be high. Pheasants, gray partridge and quail are restricted to the southern portion of the region. Populations of those species appear stable to slightly increasing relative to previous years.

Upland Game Bird Trend from last year
(2015)
10-Year Trend
(2006-2015)
Comments
Pheasant Stable Down Sparse populations in the southern portion of the region.
Gray Partridge Stable Stable Sparse populations in the southern portion of the region.
California Quail Stable Stable Sparse populations in the southern portion of the region.
Forest Grouse (Dusky, Ruffed, Spruce) Down Stable Production was average this year. Periodic summer rains kept forage green and brood survival should be above average. Relative to last year, grouse numbers are down but grouse should be abundant. Birds may be widely distributed and hunters may have to cover more ground to find them.