2019 brood report

They're making us suffer a little bit this year...... It has no bearing on whether or not I'm going, but I really like to read the report.
 

dakotasj

Member
I was thinking the same thing. I'm going, going to the same area where there are great memories and super people that I have met through the years that have welcomed me and shared their land and homes. It really doesn't matter what the report says. I'll study it just like I do the public land atlas, but I'm going regardless. It is just that important! Pretty sure my 4 Brits feel the same way...
 
Same here, I'm going regardless of what the report says. To be honest, I saw just as many birds year before last as I did last year, even though the report said a pretty big increase.
But I still can't wait to see the report!!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
While I don’t put much stock in the brood survey because it really only shows trends at best…..I do love pheasant season & I do love playing with numbers.

So when the brood survey comes out, I put the data into my own spreadsheet, which also contains data from another SD GF&P document with historical statistics. This other sheet is made after the season is over & hunter surveys are taken. It factors in survey responses, as well as things like weather, crop harvest, etc. They use all that info to come up with a preseason population estimate for that past year, as well as a harvest estimate.

Only half of the past 20 years has the change in brood count followed the change in preseason population remotely closely. And by remotely closely, I mean within 15 percentage points or so. On average, the change in brood count and the change in preseason population are over 20 points different (with several years 40-80 points apart). 4 of the last 20 years, where the brood survey indicated an increase or decrease, the adjusted preseason population estimate indicated the opposite.

Interestingly, last year they estimate there were 7.1M birds preseason (which is pretty good), but only 951,000 shot. This is only 7.8 birds/hunter, which is way on the low side.
 

dakotasj

Member
roadscholar --- Agree.

Thank you A5 Sweet 16! I thought maybe I was the only one that dove way too deep into all that stuff including harvest information per county.
I agree that the survey doesn't always match what I see while hunting. Some of my better years were when the survey was not good.
By the way, I grew up shooting a sweet 16 in the 60s and 70s. Like the A5?
 

randywatson

New member
i'd like to know the specific routes they take when doing these surveys. If they do the same routes over the last 20 years there will be a lot of new crep wpa's and public shooting areas that will be missed with a lot of production that can happen on these pieces of ground.

I'm out there in SD for the adventure of hunting new areas with friends and the dogs. Each year we go out and find birds, hoping this year is the same.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Specific routes...I inquired about this a few years ago and never got a response. Must be "classified" government info..
 
i'd like to know the specific routes they take when doing these surveys. If they do the same routes over the last 20 years there will be a lot of new crep wpa's and public shooting areas that will be missed with a lot of production that can happen on these pieces of ground.

I'm out there in SD for the adventure of hunting new areas with friends and the dogs. Each year we go out and find birds, hoping this year is the same.
There has been a lot more big block (1/4 section or larger) CRP acreage lost in the last 20-years than CREP or public land acquisitions added. I get your point though that as habitat acreage comes and goes under the farm bill programs etc. that the value in the count is likely more on a region wide or statewide basis than local.
 
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[sarcasm]South Dakota Tourism is having the SDGFP re-write the survey results and buying time until they can secure an order for another 1000 semi loads of pen raised roosters[sarcasm]
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I believe the map above comes from the "South Dakota Pheasant Management Plan". Google it. It's great reading.
Interestingly, it says, "It should be noted that no licensed shooting preserve statistics are used in the statewide population or harvest estimates."
That said, when surveys are sent out (at random) & returned after the season, I assume some of the data comes from people who hunted at preserves.
Therefore, my guess is that preserve hunting influences population & harvest estimates, but not greatly.
 

Woollybob

New member
I noticed that the brood survey report is on the agenda for the GFP Commission Meeting in Spearfish, Sept. 5-6. Not sure if that means it will be discussed (after being published) or if it will be reviewed internally before public release sometime after this meeting.

Like others have noted, the results of the report do not affect my plans - I'm making several trips to SD either way - but it is always good to read the results and discussion in the report to have some level of expectations.
 

Hockeybob

Member
Amd
I noticed that the brood survey report is on the agenda for the GFP Commission Meeting in Spearfish, Sept. 5-6. Not sure if that means it will be discussed (after being published) or if it will be reviewed internally before public release sometime after this meeting.

Like others have noted, the results of the report do not affect my plans - I'm making several trips to SD either way - but it is always good to read the results and discussion in the report to have some level of expectations.
We use this report to determine our trip. Only one year we didn’t go and that was the bad drought year 2 years ago. Great decision by our group as the guys that hunted that land all season had terrible success with many trips no birds harvested. SD is too far and expensive to travel for little or no birds.
Hope this report is positive or at least numbers similar to last year that weren’t that great.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
Hope this report is positive or at least numbers similar to last year that weren’t that great.
Point of fact....last year the GF&P estimates there were 7.1M birds in SD, which is only 8.2% below the average for the last 20 years, which includes the years of huge numbers (2003-2010). Last year's estimate is higher than 7 of the last 20 years. More birds in the state than in any year from 1964-2002. I guess you could say that's "not that great"....but it sure wasn't that bad either. Yes, some areas were fairly poor last year (happens every year), but on average, what made last year frustrating for many people was the tough hunting conditions.
 
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Woollybob

New member
Point of fact....last year the GF&P estimates there were 7.1M birds in SD, which is only 8.2% below the average for the last 20 years, which includes the years of huge numbers (2003-2010). Last year's estimate is higher than 7 of the last 20 years. More birds in the state than in any year from 1964-2002. I guess you could say that's "not that great"....but it sure wasn't that bad either. Yes, some areas were fairly poor last year (happens every year), but on average, what made last year frustrating for many people was the tough hunting conditions.
I have to agree - last year was not too bad (for us, at least). It's not like the 2003-2010 boom years, but those were more unusual (on the positive side) than where we are now. Seems that a lot of those that struggled through the last 2 dry seasons were following the 'hunt the same ground every year' pattern. We had to completely shift where we hunted based on the conditions - All the good old honey holes of the past were mowed, grazed, or too thin/dry to hold birds. We had to search out areas that concentrated birds in dry conditions - nothing we had hunted in the past.

But, I will say that I don't understand how GFP makes their estimates on the preseason population. It involves a lot more than the brood survey and I have a hard time believing the population last year was anywhere near the 10 year ago mark (as it would indicate). Below is a graph comparing the reported population estimate vs. observed PPM from the brood survey. The 2018 estimate is a bit of an outlier - would expect the estimate to be below 4M birds, purely based on PPM. Not sure what other data they use to justify the high estimate.

View attachment 9337
 

hunter94

Active member
I have to agree - last year was not too bad (for us, at least). It's not like the 2003-2010 boom years, but those were more unusual (on the positive side) than where we are now. Seems that a lot of those that struggled through the last 2 dry seasons were following the 'hunt the same ground every year' pattern. We had to completely shift where we hunted based on the conditions - All the good old honey holes of the past were mowed, grazed, or too thin/dry to hold birds. We had to search out areas that concentrated birds in dry conditions - nothing we had hunted in the past.

But, I will say that I don't understand how GFP makes their estimates on the preseason population. It involves a lot more than the brood survey and I have a hard time believing the population last year was anywhere near the 10 year ago mark (as it would indicate). Below is a graph comparing the reported population estimate vs. observed PPM from the brood survey. The 2018 estimate is a bit of an outlier - would expect the estimate to be below 4M birds, purely based on PPM. Not sure what other data they use to justify the high estimate.

View attachment 9337
the delay in the publication of the fall brood survey has me wondering......it can't be good and what is SDGF up to? lots of dollars at stake with the results. a claim for a late hatch to bolster the numbers?
 
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