Colorado pheasants—and hunters—are catching a break after a long drought. A wetter year has meant more abundant habitat for birds.
“Our crowing counts increased about 60 percent in our core area—a pretty healthy jump,” says Ed Gorman, small game manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Admittedly, that’s a 60 percent improvement over some pretty low numbers because of a drought that began in 2012. “But it’s still a significant increase from last year to this year,” he says. “It’s slightly above the long-term average.”
That’s in the core area—Colorado’s six northeastern counties. Elsewhere in Colorado’s pheasant range improvements were more modest.
What impact will the higher bird numbers have on hunting? “It’s going to be better than last year,” says Gorman. “To what degree it will be better—that’s really difficult to predict. Just judging by what we’re seeing in the field as we’re putting up walk-in signs and what landowners are seeing, it’s going to be moderately better than last year.”
A detailed report on Colorado’s pheasant population will be available on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website beginning in mid-October, Gorman says.
November 14, 2015 through January 31, 2016 (east of I-25); November 15, 2015 through January 3, 2016 (west of I-25)
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