The statewide Pheasants Per Mile (PPM) indexfor the 2019 pheasant brood survey decreased 17% (2.47 to 2.04, 90% confidence interval = -32 to 0%)compared to 2018 (Table 1, Figure 1). This year’s index is 43%lower than the 10-year average (2019 = 2.04, 10-year average = 3.58). Fewer hens and broods were counted throughout the 110 survey routes compared to last year while the number of roosters remained nearly unchanged.Statewide, 40 of the 110 survey routes had a higher PPM than 2018.
Adult Bird and Brood DataThe number of roosters increased 2% from last year (813 vs. 798). The number of hens decreased 21% from last year (955 vs. 1,216). Total broods counted decreased by 21% (801 vs. 1,009), while the statewide average brood size increased by 3% (6.24vs. 6.08). The average brood sizeincreased8% in the northeast and remained unchanged elsewhere(Figure 2). The statewide average brood size for 2019 (6.24) is slightly larger than the 10-year average (5.90).
Local Area2019 vs. 2018and 10-Year Average PPMThe Aberdeen, Sisseton, and Western SD local areas increased compared to 2018, but not significantly. All other local areas declined compared to 2018;the decline was significant for the Pierre, Mobridge, Huron, Mitchell, and Brookings local areas. Most local areas are significantly below the 10-year average (Table 1, Figure 3). The Yankton, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Sisseton, and Western SDlocal areas are not significantly different from the 10-year average.
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