Upland Bird Forecast - Salmon Region

Salmon Region

2022 Conditions – The 2021-22 winter was relatively mild. Spring conditions were cool and wet, and likely resulted in variable nest success across the landscape. However, it is unknown at this time how the wet spring and dry summer conditions have affected chick survival in the region. With a couple mild winters and springs in a row, the trend for most upland game bird populations should be stable to upward.

Pheasant

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Stable
  • There is little pheasant habitat in the Salmon Region and wild pheasant numbers are low. Pheasants stocking was initiated in recent years to provide increased hunting opportunity. These stocking efforts will continue in 2022.

Chukar

  • Trend from last year (2021): Up
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Down
  • Chukar numbers have steadily improved following a severe die-off during winter 2016-2017. Wet spring conditions may have limited brood success, and hunters may encounter smaller covey sizes.

Gray Partridge (Hun)

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Down
  • Gray partridge are uncommon in the Salmon Region, but do occur in small pockets of habitat across the Lemhi, Salmon and Pahsimeroi valleys.

Forest Grouse (Dusky, Ruffed, Spruce)

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Stable
  • Dusky grouse are the most common forest grouse species in the Salmon Region due to its predominantly dry forest habitat. Dusky grouse production is likely average this year and hunting should be fair. Ruffed and spruce grouse numbers are limited, but they may be found in riparian habitats and moist, high-elevation forest types.

Greater Sage-grouse

  • Trend from last year (2021): Up
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Down
  • Lek counts were variable across the region. Production was near or above normal, and hunting should be fair, particularly around springs and wet meadows.

Mourning Dove

  • Trend from last year (2021): Down
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Down
  • Due to general lack of cereal grain production, mourning dove populations are low in the Salmon Region. Most birds are found in or near cottonwood galleries in riparian areas or on private agricultural lands.