Nebraska -(Ammoland.com)- All wildlife species surveyed during the 2015 April Rural Mail Carrier Survey appeared to have a good overwinter survival heading into breeding season.
Those species also appeared to have rebounded from the severe winter of 2009-2010 and the drought of 2012-2013.
Species surveyed were pheasant, bobwhite, prairie grouse, wild turkey, cottontail and jackrabbit.
Barring adverse weather conditions during the nesting and brood-rearing seasons and suitable habitat availability, populations appear poised for a good production year.
Compared with April 2014, the relative abundance of all species reported in the survey was higher in 2015. Increases in regional and statewide numbers for pheasants were significantly higher in all regions except the Northeast, where the numbers were comparable to April 2014. Bobwhites were significantly higher in the Southeast and West Platte regions, as well as statewide, but comparable to April 2014 in all other bobwhite zones. Cottontails were significantly higher statewide and in the Central, Sandhills, Southeast, and Southwest regions, but comparable to April 2014 elsewhere. Wild turkey, although higher, were not significantly higher than in April 2014, regionally or statewide.
The survey was conducted April 6-9 by 442 rural carriers, who made observations of species while traveling 193,688 miles of rural roads in 88 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.
The survey was conducted before the recent heavy rain, unseasonable snow and cool temperatures across much of the state. It is possible some of the breeding population was lost to these events, but it is likely that the nesting season for most game birds was not impacted. The next scheduled survey is in July.