Ring-necked Pheasant and Grey Partridge Hunting Forecast for Alberta—Fall 2020

The survey methods have changed this year. We have reached out to the hunting dog community and asked for their assistance with gathering data. This has expanded the area of coverage as well as the time/kilometers surveyed, which will provide us with a broader perspective of the what the hunting season should look like in Alberta. However, this change makes it difficult to compare this year’s results with previous years. Volunteers were encouraged to survey areas throughout the entire province, meaning some surveys took place in areas with no pheasant populations. For this reason, we have spoke with the volunteers and adjusted the time/kilometers surveyed to correlate with the surveys that took place in pheasant habitat.

Our late summer upland surveys indicate rebounding counts for both ring-necked pheasants and grey partridge in 2020. Overall, we flushed 66 pheasants while covering 46 km over 18 hours of effort and 222 partridge while covering 90.67 km over 37.6 hours of effort. The dogs had 1.28 pheasant and 0.64 partridge flushes per hour (single or covey). Over the entire sample period, this equates to roughly 1.25 flushes of either partridge or pheasant per hour. If you are willing to put in the distance, 1.43 pheasants and 2.45 partridge were flushed for each kilometre walked. 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.

We wish everyone a safe and productive upland hunting season! A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers and ACA staff who helped pull this year’s survey together!

Survey results Ring-necked pheasant Grey partridge
Survey year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Distance surveyed (km) 53.6 60 30 46 47 46 67 40.6 46 53.6 60 30 46 47 46 67 40.6 90.67
Total count 111 215 73 155 263 163 129 52 66 354 420 397 292 159 214 151 56 222
Flushes/hour 1.37 2.59 1.96 2.44 3.32 2.23 1.54 1.21 1.28 1.37 1.59 3.53 2.15 0.83 0.96 0.82 0.42 0.64
Birds/km walked 2.07 3.58 2.43 3.37 5.6 3.54 1.93 1.28 1.43 6.6 7 13.2 6.35 3.38 4.65 2.25 1.38 2.45

*The red line between 2019 & 2020 is an indication of the new survey method.