Survey indicates higher pheasant, cottontail, turkey numbers

May 24, 2017 Jerry Kane

LINCOLN, Neb. – Pheasant, cottontail and wild turkey population measurements indicated higher numbers in Nebraska in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to the April Rural Mail Carrier Survey.

If spring and early summer weather is moderate, production of young should be good this year, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The population measurements indicated an increase in pheasant numbers that was highest in the Southwest region. The increase in wild turkey numbers was highest in Panhandle and Southeast regions. The Central and Southeast regions saw the greatest increase in cottontail numbers. The Republican region had the greatest increase for quail; however, statewide population measurements were slightly lower than in 2016.

The survey was conducted April 3-6 as 424 rural mail carriers observed species while traveling 176,863 miles of rural roads in 87 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.

This annual survey provides a snapshot of wildlife populations entering the breeding season. Additional surveys throughout the summer will give more insight into conditions experienced by hunters this coming fall. To view the full survey, visit


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