Whistling-cock Indices as a Measure of Northern Bobwhite Harvest in North Carolina

Counts of whistling male northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) were conducted on standardized routes from 1981-86 at Fort Bragg Military Reservation, North Carolina. Harvest data were collected at check stations from 1967-86, and were used to monitor population fluctuations. A linear relationships (r2 = 0.89, P < 0.01) was observed between the mean number of quail heard per station and the subsequent fall harvest. The call index and hunter success also were related (r2 = 0.73, P < 0.03). A negative trend (b = -0.51, P < 0.001) in the mean number of calling males per station was recorded from 1981-86. Whistle-count surveys may provide a cost-effective method for predicting fall harvest levels for controlledaccess management areas.

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