Ring-necked Pheasant and Grey Partridge Hunting Forecast for Southern Alberta–Late Summer 2019

Our late summer upland surveys indicate below average counts for ring-necked pheasant and grey partridge in 2019. We worked with volunteers and trained dogs to search in some of the best habitat the South has to offer. The survey sites include large coulee systems that harbour a mix of native and tame grasses, fruit-bearing shrubs, creek, and cattail sections, often bordered by crop land.

The flush rate for both pheasants and partridge are down from last year and is the lowest that we have seen in the past 8 years. Overall, we flushed 52 pheasants and 56 partridge while covering 40.6 km over 16 hours of effort. The dogs had 1.2 pheasant and 0.4 partridge flushes per hour (single or covey). Averaged over the entire sample period, this equates to roughly 1.6 flushes of either partridge or pheasant per hour. There are still birds out there, but the effort between flushes was greater than normal. If you’re willing to put in the distance, we flushed 1.28 pheasants and 1.38 partridge for each kilometre walked.

The survey location again experienced an extreme winter and a late, wet spring; with these conditions, it is no surprise that counts are lower than previous years. With some hard work and dedication, wild birds can still be found. There are lots of pheasant hunting opportunities on Provincial Pheasant Release Sites ranging from Peace River to Medicine Hat. Visit the ACA website to plan your hunts at over 40 sites. Buy your licences, and start making plans for your fall hunts.

Survey results Ring-necked pheasant Grey partridge
Survey year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Distance surveyed (km) 53.6 60 30 46 47 46 67 40.6 53.6 60 30 46 47 46 67 40.6
Total count 111 215 73 155 263 163 129 52 354 420 397 292 159 214 151 56
Flushes/hour 1.37 2.59 1.96 2.44 3.32 2.23 1.54 1.21 1.37 1.59 3.53 2.15 0.83 0.96 0.82 0.42
Birds/km walked 2.07 3.58 2.43 3.37 5.6 3.54 1.93 1.28 6.6 7 13.2 6.35 3.38 4.65 2.25 1.38

A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers and ACA staff who helped pull this year’s survey together!