posted on January 01, 2014 11:19
Pre-season population predictions are never certain, and neither is the number of birds hunters will take home. What is for certain is that Colorado hunters are becoming increasingly interested in chasing after ringnecks.
While the number of pheasants per hunter has stayed pretty consistent over the past four years (about three birds), the average number of Colorado hunters has doubled from about 13,500 to more than 27,000.
Here are the numbers that hunters saw in 2013.
Pheasant numbers have rebounded from 2012. The effort many landowners have put into establishing good pheasant breeding habitat, coupled with good late-season rain, has helped create a solid 2013 production. Areas that have been hayed or in areas next to cropped fields that have tall grass cover provided good numbers of birds.
East Central Colorado
Opportunities weren’t as numerous in this section of the state. The dry conditions weren’t ideal for pheasant production. Even so, the populations are slightly better than last year, and if you did some scouting, you were probably able to find a few good places to hunt.
Similarly, despite having very dry conditions throughout much of the nesting season, late rains sparked a good production. Successful hunting required some homework though. Southeast Colorado had decent numbers, but they were not great. Areas that received more precipitation this July provided the best habitat.
For more information on where you can access the best fields, Colorado Parks and Wildlife provides a few resources, including maps with embedded coordinates and a Walk-in Atlas. Both will point you toward walk-in access areas.
What have you heard about Colorado upland hunting lately?
Tell us in the comments!