Annual Report 2007-2008 - 9

lecting data on movement, recidivism, survival and captures/unit effort. For the third consecutive winter the PGC captured and transferred wild turkeys to South Dakota for their restoration efforts, in exchange for wild ring-necked pheasants released into southwest Pennsylvania for population restoration. All turkey transfers were from over-abundant flocks in urban/suburban areas of Allegheny and Washington counties. The 44 turkeys transferred last winter bring the 2006-08 total to 113 birds. Numbers of Pennsylvania grouse hunters estimated for 2007-08 dropped eight percent from 2006, following the decline occurring for most small game hunters. Days of participation decreased by 7.6 percent. Harvest per hunter-day remained the same, reflecting a similar or stable grouse population. Harvest estimates showed that 96,429 hunters took 82,020 birds. The 2006 statewide grouse cooperator survey showed that the average statewide flushing rate was 1.41 flushes per hour, up by almost 32 percent from the previous season. This flushing rate, which was similar to the 1.39 in 2000, was the second consecutive increase, and approximated the past 42-year average of 1.42. Compared with the previous year, all six regions had higher flushing rates. In early October 2007, the annual grouse/woodcock newsletter was mailed to more than 700 cooperating grouse and/or woodcock hunters. Included were the results of the previous bird hunting seasons: 338 grouse hunters reported on 9,440 hours afield and 109 woodcock hunters reported 1,465 hours. The PGC cooperates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in completing annual Mourning Dove Call Count surveys. In late May wildlife conservation officers conduct mourning dove surveys along 17 routes across the state. Results from 2008 indicated no significant population change from last year. Since 1966, mourning dove populations have not changed significantly in Pennsylvania. Harvest Information Program surveys estimated 37,500 hunters took 509,100 doves during 159,000 hunter days in Pennsylvania during the 2007-08 season. This was a 19 percent increase in hunter numbers, a 40 percent increase in hunter days and a 37 percent increase in birds bagged. A summary report for the 2003-05 dove reward band study in which PA participated was produced during the year. The primary study objectives were to produce estimates of age-specific harvest rates and band reporting rates in a representative set of states in each dove management unit. Almost 100,000 doves were banded nationally, nearly 5,000 in Pennsylvania, over the three study years. Averaged over all states, at least 80 percent of the harvest of a state’s banded population occurred in the same state. Ninetythree percent of the doves recovered in Pennsylvania were banded in Pennsylvania. Total estimated average population abundance in the 28 participating hunting states was 320 million doves. Pennsylvania’s average dove population was estimated at 8,150,000. The PGC cooperates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in completing annual Woodcock Singing Ground surveys. From mid-April to early-May wildlife conservation officers conduct woodcock surveys along 73 routes across the state. Results from 2008 indicated no significant population change from last year for woodcock. Since 1968, woodcock population indices have declined 42 percent, although not significantly in the last 10 years. An estimated 10,599 woodcock hunters (most of any eastern state and fourth nationally) took about 11,141 woodcock during the 2007 hunting season. Compared to 2006, this was a five percent increase in the number of hunters pursuing woodcock. The harvest decreased by 39 percent, so hunters did not encounter as many birds migrating JANUARY 2009 9

Annual Report 2007-2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Annual Report 2007-2008

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