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Thread: How Many Birds Per Acre or Acres Per Bird?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default How Many Birds Per Acre or Acres Per Bird?

    I have a doozy of a thread for all of you. Requires some thought and recollections of your experiences. I am interested in opinions on the reasonable expectation of average pheasant and quail numbers per acre over a span of time, that you expect to find over the course of a season. Now obviously, this varies some year to year, and I really don't think the one honey hole 80 which is either intensely brooded by the landowner, or completely encircled by a national wildlife refuge area, is what I'm looking for! I'm talking about ground which subscribes to what is now normal farming practice. How many acres do you cover to flush 1 covey of quail, or 1 rooster, over the course of the season. To kick off the discussion the old rule of thumb I used in Missouri and Kansas, was about 40@ per covey, pheasants about 20@ per harvested bird over the course of the season. So 320@ would translate into 16 roosters over the season, and would be home to 8 quail coveys? Reason for the question is that seems like a higher bird count than I've seen in the last 3 years. Please respond with your numbers and general part of the country you are reporting on. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've heard wildlife pro's say that as a general rule you can expect one chick produced at nesting time per acre of suitable nesting grass.

    That doesn't account for predation and a lot of other things that could reduce survivability numbers between nesting time and opening day. I'm sure the nesting production numbers are higher in fertile pheasant states like South Dakota and lower in marginal states like Wisconsin.

    Doesn't really answer your question but is an interesting tidbit I've seen published more than once.

    DB
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  3. #3
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    I think the rooster part seems pretty reasonable with decent cover.

  4. #4
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    I don't know, good one. They do sq mile counts some how around here. For example pope co. was saying there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 birds per sq mile. Not sure how many acres that is.
    http://www.bluerivergundogs.com/Home_Page.html

    When you think you are smarter than your dog, ask your self who cleans up who's poo.

  5. #5
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    SQ MI = 640 acres...At 100 per, that would be a bird for every 6.4 acres

  6. #6
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    That means there would be 50 roosters per sq mile. That would be DARN good MN pheasant hunting. I can see a count like that in a prime habitat sq mile, certainly not average.
    1 rooster harvested per 20 acres would be 32 per sq mile. Very much possible in good South Dakota Pheasant country. And in quality habitat much higher.
    I think one rooster flushed per 20 acres at an average would be about right.

  7. #7
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    Eastern KS.....1 rooster per square mile and you just hope he's not at the neighbor's place that day. Or, 8 coveys per square mile (used to be up to 15).

    W KS....I'd say 150 birds per square mile in the better areas. Quail in parts of W KS are as good as they are here these days (at least in areas of SW and SC).

  8. #8
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    Default Numbers

    I came across some data so I am passing it on. From the Iowa DNR, 1 acre of nesting habitat is worth 1 fall bird. Nebraska claims in the 1970's that they had a population count in the panhandle around Alliance, in that flat irrigated stuff of 300 birds per square mile, ( 640 acres). I would sure like to see that again before I die!!! Missouri, on the "quail emphasis" areas, which are intensly managed to improve and select for bobwhite and other first succession wildlife, management target is for a bird per acre. We used to have that by osmosis, or some other alchemy, in Missouri and SE Kansas, now fighting for a toe hold, with widely scattered remnant populations. I agree with Kansas Brittany, on the NE Kansas numbers, both then and now. We must be haunting the same areas.

  9. #9
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    What's wrong with my W KS estimates?

    I suppose there are parts of NW KS with more than 150 birds per section. I don't hunt that part of the state much so I can't say for sure what the best areas there produce. My W KS estimates don't necessarily speak for anything N of I-70 or any further W than Scot City.

  10. #10
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    Default W Kansas numbers

    I do not hunt enough out west to say, haven't been west of Phillips County for years, but based on crow counts etc. sounds reasonable to me!!!

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