Upland Bird Forecast - Southeast Region

Southeast Region

2022 Conditions – Winter conditions across the region were mild; however, spring brought significant moisture, which resulting in excellent growth for forage and cover. Although summer months were dry, recent rain has provided some relief. Nest success this past spring is unknown given rain/snow events, but those birds that nested successfully likely had great conditions for brood-rearing. Observations have been mixed thus far. Hunters can expect similar upland hunting compared to last year. While the temperature remains high, hunters might expect upland birds to be more concentrated near available water sources. Winter conditions across the region were mild; however, spring brought significant moisture, which resulting in excellent growth for forage and cover. Although summer months were dry, recent rain has provided some relief. Nest success this past spring is unknown given rain/snow events, but those birds that nested successfully likely had great conditions for brood-rearing. Observations have been mixed thus far. Hunters can expect similar upland hunting compared to last year. While the temperature remains high, hunters might expect upland birds to be more concentrated near available water sources.

Pheasant

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): 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 Portneuf and Sterling WMAs.

Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Decreasing
  • Lek surveys suggest 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 2022 were slightly above what was observed in 2021 and have slightly increased from recent low counts.

Chukar

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): Stable
  • Chukar numbers remain low and are found in only a few localized areas in the Southeast Region.

 

Gray Partridge (Hun)

  • Trend from last year (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): 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 (2021): Stable
  • 10-Year Trend (2013-2022): 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 early season reports are variable, which likely indicate numbers are likely stable and hunting should be average across the Southeast Region.