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Pheasant, Quail Counts Up in Neb. April Survey

Pheasants Forever File Photo

Results are in from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s 2012 April Rural Mail Carrier Survey, with the statewide pheasant index slightly higher (up 2 percent) compared to 2011, and the bobwhite quail index up 175 percent compared to last year.

Indices were also higher in most pheasant regions, except for the Sandhills (down 41 percent) and the Southwest (down 8 percent). Bobwhite indices continued to improve following the devastating winter of 2009. The statewide bobwhite index was 175 percent higher in 2012 compared to 2011, and regional indices were higher everywhere except for the northeast region.

Jeff Lusk, Program Manager for Upland Game with Nebraska Game and Parks, cautions that percent differences comparatively can be misleading when relative abundance is low – regionally and statewide – as that leads to large percentage changes. Still, good news is good news for upland birds and upland hunters in Nebraska.

Field Notes are compiled by Anthony Hauck Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

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2 Responses to “Pheasant, Quail Counts Up in Neb. April Survey”

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  1. Mike says:

    With a mild winter and early spring, will quail have a double hatch?

  2. @Mike – Some quail hens have been known to care for their brood for just a few weeks after hatching, then abandon the brood to care for itself and find another mate and raise another brood the same summer (This is one reason quail show an amazing ability to rebound from substantial population losses – if they have the habitat to do so). So the answer to the question is they undoubtedly have the ability to double clutch if they wish, and it may be more likely to happen in the situation we are in now with low quail densities, and good body condition coming out of the winter and into the spring. At the same time, it’s not likely to happen with every quail out there. – Anthony Hauck, Online Editor, Pheasants Forever

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