Upland Bird Forecast - Southeast Region

Southeast Region

2019 Conditions – Conditions in the winter were above average throughout the region. The early nesting and brood rearing season received good precipitation resulting in excellent grass and forb growth. Observations have been mixed with some reporting large broods while others are seeing very few young birds and broods.

Pheasant

  • Trend from last year (2018): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2010-2019): Stable
  • There are no surveys conducted for pheasant in the Southeast Region; however, field observations suggest numbers and productivity are relatively stable compared to last year. Pheasant stocking will continue at Sterling WMA in 2019.

Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse

  • Trend from last year (2018): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2010-2019): Down
  • Lek surveys suggest that sharp-tailed grouse numbers have declined over the last 10 years. The conversion of CRP fields back into agricultural crops coupled with poor nest and brood success are suspected to be the primary causes for decline. Lek counts in 2019 were similar to 2018 suggesting that hunting this fall will be similar to slightly improved from 2018.

Chukar

  • Trend from last year (2018): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2010-2019): Stable
  • Chukar numbers remain low and in only a few localized areas in the Southeast Region.

 

Gray Partridge (Hun)

  • Trend from last year (2018): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2010-2019): Stable
  • There are no surveys conducted for gray partridge in the Southeast Region, but incidental information suggests numbers are stable.

Forest Grouse (Dusky, Ruffed, Spruce)

  • Trend from last year (2018): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2010-2019): Stable
  • No surveys are conducted for forest grouse in the Southeast, but harvest data over the past 5 years suggests relatively stable numbers. Sportsmen reports give a general trend for both ruffed and dusky grouse numbers and the early reports are variable, which likely indicate numbers are likely stable and hunting should be average across the Southeast Region.